Monday, November 16, 2009

My Christmas Musings

Is Christmas a holiDAY or is it a season? Why is it that 'Christmas' seems to seep into department stores, radios, homes, and public streets earlier and earlier. Is it wrong that people want to celebrate Christmas more than just the day of the event? Why do we? I personally start listening to Christmas music in October. I don't listen to it every day - but it just brings cheer to my heart. I get excited when I see decorations starting to go up and while stores have an ulterior motive of making money, it still makes me excited when the Christmas season begins to arrive.

Christmas is supposed to be about Christ, the birth of him more specifically. However, with most Christian holidays it has been commercialized and marketed into an explosion come November of tinsel, lights, and bows, but is that bad? Is it bad that a day meant to celebrate Jesus has spilled into the entire month of December... and now into November? Doesn't that commercialization of bows, lights, and tinsel just provide additional opportunities to bring it back to Jesus? I mean yes in a sinless world we wouldn't have to 'bring it back to Jesus' it would be all about Jesus, but we don't live in that world. Shouldn't we as Christians be delighted to be able to remind people why we celebrate Christmas for that much longer? I mean we should celebrate Jesus every day with as much fanfare and excitement that people do when they celebrate Christmas, but we don't. I know I don't. But Christmas allows for an ever present reminder.
Buying presents, giving your time, giving to others, decorating with lights, putting up a tree with a star on top - just like the star that led the wisemen to Jesus (it is why I like a star on the top of my tree and not an angel) all of these things are small (albeit commercialized) ways to celebrate Jesus - and yes non-Christians utilize these same symbols to celebrate their Christmas - but if we know in our hearts why we put up these symbols that's what matters.

I think the reason that people (not businesses) enjoy breaking out Christmas music and decorations early is because of the feeling and emotion that comes with Christmas. Christmas Cheer is a real thing. While it causes stress and annoyance for some - I find everything to be a cheerful and joyous this time of year. It is a season of giving - while people can (and some do) give all year long - this season is when people give out of the goodness out of their heart. People donate can goods, toys, and their time more during this season. It makes people open their hearts more. People (except at malls) are kinder. They want to see their fellow man enjoy the same joy on Christmas day that they do. And while not everyone that gives from their heart is motivated by Jesus - it certainly is a good reminder of Jesus. A self-sacrafice for the benefit of the undeserving and/or unfortunate.

Watching a Christmas movie evokes memories of happy times and brings a warmness to my heart - which while I might be happy regardless of Christmas - it just adds a level of well... cheer and why wouldn't that be a good thing? I can't find one.

My son and I watching A Muppet Christmas Carol

So if it invokes cheer in me - why is it that for others Christmas before December 15th (the obligatory 2 week prior acceptability to decorate and celebrate) a cardinal violation of something sacred? That when they hear Christmas music before December 1st they want to punch a wall? Is it just a general humbug? Are they merely Scrooges and Grinches? Can't they see and feel the warmth of the holiday season regardless of the date on the calendar? Perhaps the two sides never will understand each other. Perhaps there are just those that embrace Christmas as a season and those that embrace it as a day.

I don't know, for me the Christmas season lifts my spirits. It's a time to celebrate Jesus in a special way, it is a time for family gatherings, it is a time to be happy and cheerful. For me it IS the most wonderful time of the year and so why wouldn't I want that time of the year to begin as soon as possible? ;-)


Mrs. G said...

I think for some and including myself, its a painful time if their childhood didn't evoke the same charm and enthusiasm. Now that I am not single, its helped a little bit with the season of depression. But with no children of our own or siblings to share.....its hard to get excited about it. I remember feeling sooo much better the day after the 25th. If anything, I think a demographic of people are only trying to limit the length of reminding of the past.

ravennagirls said...

I could not agree more. It could be why my Christmas music sneaks out of my ipod even in April....

Lori said...

For me, it's a season. However, I don't start celebrating my season until after the Fall/Thanksgiving season is over. I don't want Thanksgiving to get shafted. The day after Thanksgiving I break out decorations and enjoy a month (plus a couple of days) of Christmas.