Confession time, friends. I’m putting my tree up this weekend—the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving. And ya know what—I’m turning on the lights.
There, I said it! I’ve glanced at my calendar over the last week and marveled, ‘How are we already half way through November?! It’s almost Thanksgiving, for goodness sake!’
Please don’t misunderstand me. I will celebrate Thanksgiving. I will look to those around me and wonder yet again, how did I get so blessed? I will give thanks and share in good food; I will count my many blessings and give thanks to my Creator for all that I have been given; I will vow, yet again, to use what has been entrusted to me wisely and well.
But in the midst of it all, even at this moment almost 6 weeks before Christmas, the words from Ann Weems’s poem “O Lord, You Were Born” echo in my mind: I rejoice for the carnival of Christmas! Yes. Yes I do!
Bah humbug if you prefer. Roll you eyes and speak against the commercialism if you’d like. Cling to the rejection of all things joyful if that makes you feel better. But I sure do love the festival, the party, the sheer celebration of Christmas. I love the music and lights and food and presents. I love the parties and laughter and excitement (but not so much the eggnog). And I love my tree each morning as I sip my coffee in the quiet of my home. I really just love it all. It’s hectic and stressful and there always seems to be a shortage of time. And yet it is so very awesome.
At the same time, I understand it doesn’t always feel the same for everyone else. There are many circumstances that can change the way people feel about the holidays. I not only understand it—I accept it and hope I afford others the time and space to live the life they are given. Affording someone else a safe place to simply be, in no way steals any of my joy. See, I don’t worry about keeping Christ in Christmas because I try to keep Christ in every day of the year. I fail; but I keep trying. I fall; but I keep getting up.
So friends, I am putting my tree up as soon as I can. I’m grabbing the Christmas spirit as early as I can and I am holding onto it far after everyone else has taken down their tree and boxed up all their decorations. It’s just how I do me. And long after it is socially acceptable, I will be turning on my tree lights and sipping that coffee in the dark of the early morning. And in that moment I will be feeling peace on earth and goodwill to all people. And it will be a mini carnival.
Christmas blessings to all of you from me and my little Wolf-pack.