|Photo by Diliff, through WikiCommons.|
John Doe: Christmas is getting so commercial. It's not even Thanksgiving and it's taking over the stores. They shouldn't have the Christmas decorations out yet.
Me: When does your family put up your tree?
John Doe: Oh it's this great tradition. After we eat Thanksgiving dinner we all go out and cut the tree and we decorate it and stuff. It's great.
At this point I stand there dumbfounded. How in the world can someone expect to put their tree up on Thanksgiving if they can't go buy the stuff to do it before then? And yes, I had someone say "We store it all from the year before." The problem is that you had to buy it some time.
For many Christians, the top thing on their Thanksgiving thankfulness list is the gift we receive from Jesus Christ. Our eternal life assurity, guidance from the Holy Spirit, and the sacrifice He made in order to allow all of that to happen. That means Christmas (and Easter) are embedded in a Christian's Thanksgiving celebration.
|Photo from WikiCommons, work of the US Government.|
Maybe it's because I love Christmas so much, but the blending of the holidays doesn't bother me at all. I feel like it heightens both. If I join Thanksgiving and Christmas, then I enter the Christmas season with a spirit of thankfulness and giving, focused on the blessing God has given me.
If we fight to separate the two completely, I'm afraid we'll start seeing Christmas as more of the hustle and bustle and presents and lights, instead of a celebration of the most precious gift of all.
The other thing is, that while Christmas Day doesn't occur for a whole month, the Advent season starts, usually, within a week of Thanksgiving. This year it will be a week and a half before the official start of the Christian Christmas season. That's still a very short time in the grand scheme of things.
How do you see it? Do the opening notes of Jingle Bells turn you into a Grinch if you hear them before the turkey is relegated to sandwich meat? (By the way, if you're looking for a few different songs for your Christmas playlist, check out my posts from last year on the Best Christmas Songs You've Never Heard.)
Do you hold off everything Christmas-y until after Thanksgiving? Does it bother you when others don't?