“Mom, why don’t you like Christmas?”
If that question doesn’t stop a Christ-following mom in her tracks, nothing will.
I suppose it’s possible that I teased one too many times about punching the plastic snowmen bobbing happily outside the grocery store on November 1st.
(Or maybe I didn’t smile when said teasing took place. Which could certainly muddy the teasing waters.)
I might’ve refused one too many requests to put up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving.
Perhaps it was my adamant rejection of all attempts to play Christmas music before December.
It could’ve also been my perpetual bemoaning of the approaching cold weather. Or my determination to pretend it was spring on a couple of recent warm days.
Yes, I really did that.
It’s true that I’m not a fan of winter.
And I’m also not a fan of rushing through November to get to Christmas.
But once it’s time for Christmas…
well, there aren’t many things better in life than celebrating the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. (John 1:14)
God over us
becoming God with us
I’ve been celebrating the Christ of Christmas my whole life long, and I’m still not over it yet.
It’s completely wonder-full.
So it really made me sad to hear that my daughter thinks I don’t like Christmas.
It caused me to reconsider some of my hard-and-fast opinions on how and when we should start celebrating.
Because really, is it ever too soon to celebrate our Savior’s birth?
Actually, shouldn’t we never stop celebrating it?
I know, I know…so much of the early Christmas hubbub is shoved down our throats by retail establishments, and they’re not exactly jumping up and down in anticipation of Jesus’ birthday. No, they’re jumping the gun in anticipation of my dollars and yours becoming theirs as we spend, spend, spend November and December away.
But what if I shut down the cynical voice in my head that reminds me of this fact, and instead choose to remember that once upon a time, a Savior hadn’t yet been born.
And people just couldn’t wait for His arrival.
I think of Anna, who first saw Jesus and “began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38)
I think of John the Baptist’s ministry, and how “the people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah.” (Luke 3:15)
I think of a certain woman of a certain reputation who met a Man at a certain well, and said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” (John 4:25)
Old Testament prophecies had nurtured the Israelites’ hope for centuries.
Hope for salvation.
Hope for the Messiah.
Yearning for His coming.
Longing to see His reign.
If I can view the expectancy of Christmas through their eyes —
these dear ones who ached for His coming…
these ones who didn’t even know His name —
it might make me appreciate the anticipation a little bit more.
It might make me all the more grateful that I do know His name.
“For He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
And it just might make me willing to put up the Christmas tree at the first request next year.
As long as it’s after Labor Day.