I. Love. Christmas.
I love the colors: the traditional red and green, the ritzy look of black and gold, red and black plaid with fur that makes everyone look like they live their lives chopping wood and building log cabins, and the classic beauty of silver and gold.
I love the smells of firs and peppermint and orange and cinnamon that fill the air. The smells of hot cocoa and coffee, and your favorite winter dessert baking in the oven.
I love the sounds of Christmas carols and old hymns, and Christmas movies on the TV.
And the sights! Lights everywhere, in every color and in every form. Yard ornaments: literally anything goes. Candy canes, snowmen, stars, deer, the possibilities are truly endless.
I love the feel of the cool crisp air that lends itself to get togethers over a cup of coffee out on the patio. And the lack of humidity that helps my curls to hold far longer than they do in those warm months … not really a Christmas thing but if you know, you know.
I love everything about the Christmas season.
So I giggled when I saw a quote last night that said “It’s cool outside. Wow, not to overreact but Merry Christmas everybody,” and can’t stop thinking about it on this cool and wonderful November morning. It’s south Louisiana, cool weather is a big deal, y’all!
Then I saw the comments … and they reminded me of all the things I’ve seen recently on social media. Conversations which, to me, were nay-saying the Christmas spirit. I love Christmas, remember? But they really were just innocent conversations about how people should wait to give thanks before putting up Christmas decorations or even talking about Christmas excitement. I’ve even seen a very well known and respected person declaring that they “hate” seeing Christmas stuff out “before I’ve given thanks.” I read as several people rushed to agree and bash the Christmas lovers who would dare to put out a fir or a candy cane, or heaven forbid — their Nativity — before December.
I get all that. I get wanting to wait. I get wanting to celebrate Thanksgiving.
I celebrate Thanksgiving too. But aren’t you missing the whole point of Christmas (and Jesus!)? If you’re waiting to give thanks, you’ve missed it.
But hear my heart on this…
This very season leading up to Christmas leaves me in awe. I find myself feeling an intense longing for the joy and merriment found only in these last months of the year. The Christmas season brings about an explosion of songs and hymns sung that aren’t readily sung throughout the year. There are lights about, reflecting His unending illumination of our world; darkness isn’t just darkness anymore, because we are reminded that the beauty of His light shines brightest at night. So many things!
It is disheartening that people would be so judgmental about whether someone puts up Christmas decorations and a tree in October or after Thanksgiving. Then in almost exactly one month, some of these same people will be lifting up the name of Jesus in the songs I’m eager to hear now. I was so annoyed!
Then this morning, as God so perfectly does: He reminded me that it’s okay to eagerly await the day of the coming of our Lord. He reminded me that it’s okay to celebrate Him now! It’s also okay for others to wait to enjoy His season.
So I’m putting up the tree. And I’m putting out the lights and the decorations. I’m taking out the Nativity so I can look at it every single morning as I drink my holiday coffee with only the lights from the tree illuminating my living room. Because I am thankful. I am so so thankful that I don’t have to wait to celebrate the coming of the Lord!