I imagine by the time you’ve read this article you’ve probably already seen and heard dozens of ads for Christmas in the past few weeks. It’s become something of an annual joke to comment on how early the Christmas decorations and advertisements come out each year. We used to joke about getting through Thanksgiving first. Now we’ve moved our expectations to trying to make it through Halloween. What’s next, hoping we make it to Arbor Day before the wrapping paper and Christmas countdowns begin?
To be fair, I admit that I can feel the same as well. Especially since I’m in the “church business”. It can seem awfully overwhelming and quite commercial to push Christmas so early. I would hope that Christmas never becomes just an excuse to try and put retailers in the black before the end of the fiscal year.
But, with some admitted misgivings, I think that I’m ready to embrace the early Christmas push this season and in future seasons as well. I reserve the right to change my mind, of course, but as I was thinking about it this year I wondered, ‘Is it ever too early for Christmas?’
Think about it. What’s the meaning of Christmas? And I mean the real meaning. Not the one where some guy in a red suit gives you gifts based on your observed behavior. I mean the real Christmas story. The one about a baby boy, born into a broken world to bring hope, and peace, and light to a place that was desperate for it. The story about how the son of Mary and Joseph was also the King of the world. The story about Jesus. It’s a pretty remarkable story. And one that needs to be heard in our day just as much as the day in which Jesus was born. Because our world is still broken, and still in need of peace and hope. So our world still needs to hear the story of Jesus.
In fact, it’s such a good story, why on earth would we confine it to one season? Why not let it spread out to the season of thanksgiving, or the season of love, or whatever season you want. Because this story of Jesus makes sense in any time and in any season. I encourage you to get excited for Christmas. And, as much as possible, get excited for all the build-up to Christmas. Amidst all the ads and all the fuss, there’s a simple story about a simple baby that changed the world. Thinking about that is wonderful in any season.