Yep, I’m one of those. Do not decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving! As I hypocritically pulled out my Christmas decorations 2 days before Thanksgiving this year due to a crazy upcoming schedule, I lamented the breaking of my own rule. But I refused to do any outdoor decorating where the neighbors could see my transgression, and the tree could not go up indoors because that would cross the line into my self-appointed “unforgivable sin”. So, I went into Thanksgiving feeling only mildly dirty, but feeling it, nonetheless. I’m not sure what magic line in my mind gets crossed after the Thanksgiving celebration that allows one to begin decorating for Christmas. My pastor, in his Thanksgiving/Advent sermon, just blew up my magic line and gave me some freedom from my current early decorating guilt.
I was brought up, and wholeheartedly embraced, that we don’t skip thanksgiving – being purposefully thankful to the Lord for all of the many blessings we have BEFORE entering into the season celebrating “want” for what we don’t have. But to assign Christmas as the “wanting season”, embraces what the world has turned it into, instead of what God intended it to be: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God has already given us EVERYTHING! We are thankful most of all for the Christmas Season, also called the Advent Season. Advent means “the arrival of someone notable”. There is no one more “notable” that has graced this earth than the Son of the living God, Jesus Christ! God GAVE us Christ because He LOVED us. What could we ever be more thankful for than that?!
It may take me some time to fully cross over into all-out Christmas decorating before the Day of Thanks, but after pondering the teaching I heard, I should be pleased to be surrounded by every reminder of Christmas – God’s greatest gift to each of us. And not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day!
We are now officially in the Advent Season where we celebrate Jesus’s first coming as a baby. The Bible also tells us He will have a second coming as King, when He will gather us together to be with Him forever! So as we deck the halls, celebrating His first coming and anticipating His return, let our evergreen garlands and wreaths and trees remind us of eternal life. As our Christmas trees point to heaven, let them remind us where every good and perfect gift comes from. Let the Christmas lights remind us that He is the Light of the world, and because He lives in those who believe, we also shine His light. And may we be reminded during this Christmas season, to celebrate with Thanksgiving every day!