For the record, I don’t love all Hallmark movies. Just because I’m typing while watching my very favorite Hallmark Christmas movie ever, while drinking Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, while burning a delicious holiday candle doesn’t mean I get all in a tizzy over every one of them. And what if I did? What’s wrong with a television channel totally devoted to Christmas movies for a whole…90 days or so? And if I smile at the happy and perhaps slightly cheesy ending, so what? If you don’t like happy endings feel free to watch Titanic or something by Nicholas Sparks.
What’s the big deal about celebrating Christmas early anyway? Scoffers mock those who put up the tree around Halloween, but why? I tried to explain it to two kids who were not mine last week. My own kids understand the import. Technically, I have 50 percent participation.
My son refuses to acknowledge the Christmas holiday until after his birthday on November 30. That doesn’t work for me. I remember vividly when he was born, and I celebrate his birth, but I am fully involved in the Christmas holiday by November 30. (My beloved is a lamb and encourages my holiday enthusiasm at whatever time or season I deem necessary.)
I love the Christmas lights, the candles, the music, the caring! The caring is my favorite part! Our Christmas colors are always green and red. Years ago, in the encyclopedia (pre-Google), I read that the traditional green stands for eternal life and the red represents the blood of Jesus. Mark me SOLD! We have red-and-green checkered curtains and green and red plaid everything else. The pictures on the wall are wrapped in bright red and green paper with big bows to match. Greenery is hung in the windows and mistletoe is out where it can get the most use.
An extra month to enjoy Christmas is like wanting biscuits to have a little more gravy, a piece of pie to last a little longer, a pumpkin roll to have a little more filling…you get what I mean.
I say this every year: “I LOVE THE PILGRIMS!” But, loving the Pilgrims and all, and admiring their courage and determination to leave most of their worldly goods, board a ginormous ship with their children and NO VIDEO GAMES, brave the new world and a brutal winter, to help build a new world…it doesn’t keep me from wanting to trim the tree and deck the halls this minute! I don’t want to wait until after Thanksgiving! Can’t I celebrate the Pilgrims and baby Jesus together? Can’t I have my Thanksgiving cake and eat my Christmas cake too?
In a multi-tasking world where we relish doing more than one thing at once, can’t I celebrate two holidays at once? Oh, I bet I can! I can celebrate the courage of the Pilgrims while celebrating the courage of a young girl named Mary who fearlessly followed God to a new and complicated life. I can remember a man named Joseph who surrendered his future to God knowing immediately he would face opposition and criticism-just as the Pilgrims did. I can think about the wise men who kept their eyes up, traveling from a far off place-like the Pilgrims from England-to answer the call of their hearts. I can ponder a tyrannical king (in both stories) trying to squelch God’s supreme plan. Yep, I’m bettin’ that I can celebrate both holidays at once.
As I eat my Thanksgiving dressing and my mom’s fabulous turkey gravy, I will know in my heart that it’s still all about the Baby…the best gift to be thankful for.
So, bring on the yuletide cheer! Light my cinnamon candle and bring me coffee in my favorite Christmas mug! Let me celebrate each moment, no matter the date on the calendar!
Unfortunately, this year I totally miscalculated my decorating schedule. I had a cyst removed from my wrist a few days ago, so I have limited use of one arm for two weeks. I can’t put up my Christmas stuff until ALMOST THANKSGIVING!!! Yikes! I may have to leave everything up until Valentine’s Day!
Dawn Reed is a newspaper columnist and pastor's wife in Prestonsburg. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.