Friday, November 13, 2009

When SHOULD Christmas Start?

Christmas has a great PR agent.
My friends on facebook cover the whole range. One has three of her families five Christmas trees up. Some are itching to start the season, but being held back by others who are pleading for them to wait. The local Christian Radio station was giving away concert tickets in October, but to win you had to send in a picture of you standing beside your nativity scene already on your lawn. I thought that was clever. In the mall, Christmas music was playing a week ago. We're waiting until after Thanksgiving to put our tree up, but just barely.
Some "bah humbug" the whole commercialization of Christmas. I don't. I honestly think God could teach marketing at a university.
As a culture we race to celebrate the birth of God's son. The arrival of the Savior. We long for it. We can't wait. We push the starting date earlier and earlier. And this dishonors God how? Some say many people don't celebrate the "real" reason for the holiday. I don't believe God thinks like that. He knows we're flawed, selfish people. He knows what lurks in our deepest parts - you honestly think he's surprised when we turn Christmas into something all about us? Naw, I think he knows why we long for Christmas, expand it, and wallow in it.
God is an infamous rule breaker - when we are the ones making the rules. I think God and the angels probably scour the earth to see the first sign of Christmas each year and then they have a party.
For as long as we desire Christmas, we desire to touch God - whether we know it or not.


Rob said...

Christmas should start on Christmas Day and continue to Epiphany Sunday as according to the church calendar. The reason it has become so commercialized is that the church has abandoned Advent, and Advent has become Christmas. It was never meant to be that way. Skipping Advent to go right to Christmas is like celebrating easter without lent. We take the incarnation far too lightly and make it way to familiar without reflection upon it. Advent gives us time to reflect upon the mystery of it. Lent allows us time to reflect upon the meaning of the cross (our own mortality) so when the resurrection arrives we are ready for it. Advent performs the same purpose for Christmas. We are reminded that Jesus will come again and must be ready for it. You can't have the resurrection without Good Friday and you can have Christmas without the Magnificat, without the voice crying in the wilderness to repent. I agree that God's grace is sufficient, however we miss out on the richness and the depth of the mystery of God's incarnation by rushing to Christmas without Advent.

Kay Dew Shostak said...

Good points, Rob. I do like Advent, the background I came from did not talk about Lent or Advent. I have found there is real depth in those times of preparation. Lent seems to be more noticed than it used to be, (but that may be my recent awareness) wonder if Advent can make a comeback. Of course, since it starts a month before Christmas Day - Advent season will need to start sometime around Labor Day - just joking!

Rob said...

Ain't that the truth!