Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Countdown – Is It Too Early?

With less than fifty days till Christmas, I am hearing a variety of complaints that it is just too early with the Thanksgiving holiday coming and going in the ‘tween of now and the evergreen decked holiday.  Personally, I love fall and have no wish to hurry though the changing colors and the songs of the leaves scattering through the yard.  At the same time, I love Christmas.  The sounds, and smells, and the beautiful decorations!  So, what about that “rule” of when the decorations should go up?  Is there really any truth to it or is it just a bit of grumpy bunk of some people who just need some extra turkey?

So, with a chuckle and a scent of turkey, evergreen, and a wood fire I think of the concept of the Thanksgiving to Christmas timeline.  Skipping the whole shopping center décor (which is a matter of marketing, product movement, and economic studies), my own home will soon be the subject of a vigorous pre-Christmas cleaning before decorating.  That’s right folks – the trees (yes, there are quite a few more than one), will be up before the Thanksgiving turkey is thawed. 

That doesn’t mean I will be skipping the holiday of remembering the action of giving thanks.  Rather, it is that the attitude of giving thanks should be a daily one, not dependent upon the calendar.  I challenge those who are taking it upon themselves to be thankful daily during November to make it an opportunity instead of forming a habit of gratitude.  God is good, each day, every moment.  Now, I am a great grumbler, I think I would have fit right in with the Israelites.  So, this is a habit I am also working on.  Instead, let me give thanks for each day, each breath. 

Psalm 92:1-2 “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O Most High, proclaiming your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…”

So while not skipping Thanksgiving, and taking my time to love Christmas, I also am thinking of Mary and preparing for the birth of Christ.  Nine months of preparation… yeah, she definitely started her preparation before Thanksgiving.  (Yes, I know that there was no Thanksgiving holiday in her lifetime).  But, truly think about it – her preparation did start a long time before the month before birth.  What about a nine month celebration?  Or at least a two month celebration?  After all, the stars that the shepherds saw in the sky were planned far before Thanksgiving. 

Regardless of when you start celebrating, let’s just start celebrating.  Giving thanks for the many blessings, the many mercies of our Great God.