If you haven’t begun your Christmas festivities yet, perhaps you should — I know I am.
If this country could agree that it’s never too early to celebrate Christmas, then Americans would be better off for it. I believe that the same spirit of Christmas that united men at war and provided faith in a time of industrial and material overload can still unite the world today. If this is true, then why hold off? Why not celebrate Christmas now?
Many are wrongfully tied down to a spirit of legalism, believing that the heavens have bestowed a specific date when Christmas festivities can morally begin.
Now, I’m not condoning complete moral subjectivity. In our impatient nature, Christmas could be celebrated too early without honorable intentions, or too passionately too soon (for example, the Elf on the Shelf should not arrive until December). However, I believe there’s a spirit inside of us that knows when the proper season of festivities should be. Even if I wanted to, I could not physically, fully celebrate in August. But this year, as October rolled around, I felt that it was time.
It’s in moments of darkness that Christmas shines brightest. For the Israelites, it was salvation after 400 years of silence; for humanity, a gift to cover all sins. For me, it was during midterm week when I had a double ear infection and a fever, and I knew it was time to embrace that spirit of hope.
I found reflections of this by binging Hallmark movies — a miracle can be found in each of these films. If a woman can find a handsome, clean-cut, all-around perfect, good with children, somehow single, grown man in a town with only one stoplight, then anything is possible. So, I subscribed to Frndly TV and let my Christmas movie countdown begin a little early. I knew there was nothing worse than realizing that there were just too many good Christmas movies to watch in just a few weeks.
Adding to my early Christmas practices, during Halloween weekend I painted a pumpkin that said “Merry Christmas.” This uncarved pumpkin according to google should last between two-three months, allowing my Halloween decoration to last just a little longer than Dec. 25. This alone shows that October is the perfect time for anticipation to rise!
Christmas is too enormous of an occasion to be held in one day. Preparing for Christmas is a journey that can’t be rushed. Mary and Joseph weren’t simply told on the day of Christ’s birth that they would be raising the king of the world. No, they needed more time to anticipate and prepare for his birthday.
Additionally, it’s one thing to see the miracle of Christmas when the stress of the first semester is gone. It’s another thing to see hope when you’re drowning in homework, wondering if it’s too late to drop classes. Celebrating Christmas isn’t only a lifestyle choice, it’s a matter of faith.
Christmas also increases joy. Over the weekend, I went to Ross Dress For Less and noticed they already had their Christmas decor up. In seeing this, I could’ve only focused on how companies exploit the season for marketing purposes. If I thought like that, however, where would my happiness be? Instead, I walked down those aisles with childlike giddiness and allowed my senses to take in the nostalgia-filled decorations. I would suggest others do the same — it can be good for you!
The truth is, the ways in which humanity celebrates Christmas have continuously changed since its origin. There have always been extremes. Some took advantage of the holy day, using it as an excuse to participate in the same hedonistic practices that the pagans partook in. Others banned Christmas because of the pagan activity that happened. It took time for America to see it as a time that emphasizes faith, hope, joy and love. Perhaps if there is one thing we can learn from the history of Christmas, it’s that it doesn’t matter how long we celebrate the season, but how we celebrate it.
With the right heart conditions, Christmas celebrations could last all the way up until the end of the Epiphany season, which traditionally ends right before lent (around February or March). As I learned in “Elmo Saves Christmas,” it isn’t good to have Christmas every day, but as Maya Angelou teaches Elmo, “You know you can keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year long. Here, in your heart.” So, I say go ahead, start playing Christmas music and feel no shame in buying those presents for your loved ones. In doing this you may just be embracing the reason for the season.