Why I Wish It Was Christmas, Already
I know, I know, it’s not even Halloween yet. And yes, I am already counting down, sixty-three days until our beloved Christmas Day. But really it’s in these days leading up to it that I love the most. I love everything about the Christmas season, and I really, truly wish I could live somewhere it was Christmas all year round. (I’m still holding out for a trip to North Pole, Alaska, or the Arctic Circle in Finland.)
And like a list to Santa, here is a list of reasons why I love this holiday (and why I wish it wasn’t so far away)…
1. Jesus is the reason for the season. Despite all of the glitz and glamour that is portrayed by successful marketing, the core of this holiday is founded by a most beautiful truth. God sent His Son to be born, fully man, fully God, to save the world. It started with a sinless baby. And that is certainly the most important reason to celebrate! When I think of Christmas, my first thought is not about presents. But then again, Jesus is certainly a gift to me, and I could not have imagined a more perfect one.
My favorite Christmas song is by Relient K, “I Celebrate The Day.” The final lines overwhelm me every time.
And with this Christmas wish is missed The point I could convey If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You’ve touched my life Because here is where You’re finding me, in the exact same place as New Year’s eve And from a lack of my persistency We’re less than half as close as I want to be
And the first time That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior And the first breath that left Your lips Did You know that it would change this world forever
And so this Christmas I’ll compare the things I felt in prior years To what this midnight made so clear That You have come to meet me here
To look back and think that This baby would one day save me In the hope that what You did That you were born so I might live To look back and think that This baby would one day save me
And I, I celebrate the day That You were born to die So I could one day pray for You to save my life
2. Kindness and joy are found everywhere. Of course there are those few “grinches” and then the parents who stress about buying presents for their kids. But for the most part, there is a noticeable endeavor in our society to treat others, even strangers, with kindness; to be generous and loving to those in our lives. We find joy in the assurance that baby Jesus was brought into this world, forever changing our destinies. And joy is the reason we spend so much time, money, and energy buying gifts for those we love, just to see that smile on their face when the open your gift.
3. Shopping and decorating are two of my favorite things. Sure businesses make lots of money at our expense, but that’s not the reason we do it. A funny little quote I read once said, “I’m not a shopaholic, I’m just trying to help the economy.” I love to shop. I wish I didn’t (and so does my husband!), but I do. And I love decorating! And what is wonderful about the Christmas season is that everyone participates. Every business you walk in to and home you visit has at least some form of festive décor. It’s like red and green threw up everywhere, and it’s beautiful! The evergreens and holly, the twinkling lights and smell of cinnamon, all warm my heart in that special way only Christmas time can.
4. The food is amazing. I don’t know why (though I’m glad we do), but we save certain foods and spices for JUST this season. There is something so enjoyable about saving certain pleasures for the appropriate time. Pumpkin pie, hot cocoa, gingerbread men, apple cider, glazed ham, and eggnog to name a few. Also, families who otherwise neglect the tradition of sitting down a table together, make Christmas meals an event to be cherished. Sharing the amazing food with people you love, filled with happy hearts and hope of a Savior.
5. The music and movies are so fun! “Oh Holy Night” and “Jingle Bells” create a spirited sensation, no matter how many times I have heard them before. And let me just say these four words, “Miracle on 34th Street.” Sweet little Susan Walker, I look forward to seeing her believing little face every year! Or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” or “Charlie Brown Christmas,” or “A Christmas Carol,” and don’t forget “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Claymation.” And like our delectable reserved food, these songs and movies are saved for about eleven months, until the proper time comes to pull them out again.
6. Christmas is universal. Unlike Thanksgiving or Independence Day, Christmas is celebrated throughout the whole world. I was almost surprised to learn on one of my visits to the Philippines that Christmas is also a very big holiday there. Sure, among countries where Christianity isn’t as widespread a faith, Christmas is less popular. But nonetheless, there are Christians all over the globe that celebrate the birth of Jesus on that special December Day. It gives me that same feeling of unity that Sunday morning church gives, knowing that fellow believers from all different lands and languages are celebrating the same thing as you, at approximately the same time.
Just some last thoughts…
1. Now it’s just my opinion, but Santa is fun. I like the guy and his big red suit. And I think it is okay for kids to believe in him. I know I did, and as a kid that was such a fun memory. I turned out alright (I think?), I have what I think to be a healthy view of God and put the proper importance on Jesus at Christmas. Cultivating a little imagination and wonder is healthy. I have never met an adult who has trust issues or is bitter just because their parents let them believe in Santa as a child. I have even heard some parents say, “Well if I tell them Santa is real and they find out he isn’t, how are they to believe me when I tell them Jesus is real?” Well I would say that you’re forgetting the Holy Spirit, and that He is the one that makes a child believe, not you. Santa doesn’t have a holy, sovereign spirit; I think the kid will be alright. (But then again, I am not a parent.)
2. Don’t hate on people who chose to begin celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving. First of all, Christmas has been celebrated for thousands of years, Thanksgiving only since the 1860’s. And the “First Thanksgiving” came about when the New England colonist celebrated their first harvest in the New World. But they were accustomed to days of prayer, thanking God for blessings such as military victory and bountiful harvests. So how about those of you having an issue with those of us who put our tree up before Thanksgiving look at this way, we’re just being thankful that God sent His Son to the world to be born. Problem solved. Let’s all be thankful!
3. So what if Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th? Maybe He was, maybe He wasn’t. But even if Jesus’ actual birth date is not certain, even if it was in March (or whatever other day historians may speculate), the reason for celebrating is absolutely certain. For instance, my birthday is on July 14th. But almost never do I get to see my bestfriend on my birthday, we almost always celebrate about a week or so after. But every year she sets aside time just for me and plans something really special. Now whether she had done it on my actual birthday, or a week later, the reason was the same and my joy wasn’t lessened. So I like to think, even if we got Jesus’ birthday wrong, He’s not up in heaven all frustrated. But He sees us celebrating on December 25th, and He feels loved and honored.
4. The day after Christmas is the most (expected) depressing day. I dread that day almost as much as I anticipate the day before.
(P.S. I’m working on my Philippines recap now. Will post soon!)