'Tis the SeasonForgive me in advance for my candor and potentially harsh words. But if they do not apply to you, please take them for what they’re worth.

Honestly, some people may think it’s to early to think about Christmas. I saw some Christmas lights up the weekend after Halloween. People love to get cozy by the fire, bundle up in a coat (or in Tucson’s case, a light sweater), and just bathe in the magic of the last 60-90 days of the year. But it’s not all season’s swell greetings as it should be.

K-Mart has created quite the hubbub on the news and social networks by announcing that they’ll be open on this Thanksgiving Day, 2013.

Now, to be fair, there are tons of businesses open that day, including service industry companies, medical institutions, restaurant establishments, telecommunications & power utility companies, and other essential services.

Lots of people work on holidays, including Thanksgiving in particular.

But for some reason, the outrage over this is different. K-mart is a retail company, selling only goods, and non-essential ones at that.

Thanksgiving is the gateway to Christmas, that most holy of times when we take extra time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Savior and Messiah.


We, in general, get uppity at the thought of ushering in the materialistic aspect of  American Christmas…

…too soon.

We’re fine with the Christmas “season.” We want it, actually. It’s the time of year where we pay special attention to the “specialty” of how the faith we call Christianity came to be. But for a lot of Americans, that simply means the delay of making Christmas what it shouldn’t be.

Everybody expects the Christmas “rush.” Most participate. Though today, trends lean toward Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays. Just because you’re not “rushing” to the mall or some outlet store for a sale doesn’t mean you’re completely averted to the storm of the season’s trappings.

Personally, I love, and I mean love, December… The lights, the cold, the festive spirit in the air. The coming of a day off spent with family and friends and giving to each other and…

and…

…And then January comes. Spirits dip, the atmosphere mellows, and life goes back to… normal.

Why does normal have to be so boring and mundane????

 

We make Christmas a big deal, and rightly so.  But let’s start early this year in remembering that the Christmas “spirit” really is important not because of its season, but the person of Jesus, Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Maybe we could strive towards such an unchanging spirit, instead of just a seasonal spirit.

 

Remember all those people in your life who are missing someone at Christmas? They do. For them, Christmas is not just a time of year, it’s a reminder that their loved one is not there. But this too, is a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made to give us hope, even in death.

So it’s the middle of November and we have time to steel ourselves for January 1st. And we can remember the new mercies of God not just every December 25th, or New Year’s Day, but every day.

 

“Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-24)

 

Let’s bring a spirit of life into the rest of our year, our marriage, our family, and on…so Christmas becomes not a unique time of worship in our relationship with God, but rather a celebration and outpouring of our life lived all year round and a reminder of why life is worth overcoming and why relationships are worth fighting for.

 

Remembering hope,

 

the RYM Team