“Thanksgiving? Never heard of it.”
Maybe that will be a conversation in the future sometime. A sad one. But the reality is that the Christmas is starting earlier and earlier each day. Are we the only ones tempted to just leave the tree up all year? Seems like the space between putting it away and taking it out again is growing shorter and shorter. (Yes, we use a fake tree. Don’t be a hater.) I was thinking about this today and have conflicted views.
CRASS COMMERCIALIZATION FOR DOLLARS
Maybe that is why Christmas is coming earlier. It is just the result of money hungry corporations lining their pockets on our inability to resist purchasing their wares. They know that we have a deeply sentimental resonance with the holiday season and the earlier they can get those plastic Santas and colored lights out on the shelves, the quicker we will snatch them up. The Christmas tunes will come earlier. Bieber’s new song Mistletoe came out in mid-October! Yes, there is an effort to capitalize on Christmas… to squeeze the season for every dime and dollar. And that’s why the Christmas stuff keeps showing up so early. There is money to be made.
But that doesn’t explain why consumers consume.
MISSING ELEMENT MONEY CANNOT BUY
I could be wrong but I think there’s more to the early Christmas buildup besides money. After all, there are real people spending all that money…and for a lot of them it’s money they do not have. So I’m thinking that for all of the talk about taking Christ out of Christmas and being politically correct, there is still something about the season that speaks to the heart. For so many, after all the presents have been opened and it’s time to put that tree away again, there remains an emptiness. That something that they really tried to find just wasn’t there. The truth is that it isn’t something that is missing, it’s Someone. After all the clearance sales, loud music, bright lights, endless cards, and spiked eggnog … it turns out there was a missing element that the greedy corporations couldn’t offer and we couldn’t buy. The love of God rises above all of the noise and settles within reach. If we will only reach for Him.
That’s why I think Christmas comes early. We’re all reaching for something, really a Someone. If you approach this holiday season with God’s love in your heart, rejoice! If not, prepare to rejoice. This gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes and surprised the world throughout His life and even into his death … and resurrection. There, in his nail scarred hand, is the beautifully wrapped gift of grace. And the name on the tag is yours.