It's the final week in November. There is lots of rain, soon to become snow. Yesterday was the Sunday of the Fulfillment, which is the last Sunday in the church year. What this means is that Advent is upon us, along with many other celebrations. Thursday is Thanksgiving, Saturday is my birthday, and next Wednesday is our 3rd wedding anniversary. Time flies.
Always be thankful. It is fitting that Thanksgiving takes place so close to the beginning of Advent, because we reflect on our blessings around the family table, overloaded with food and laughter, and then begin the all too short journey of reflection towards the celebration one of the greatest events in the history of the universe: Christmas Day.
Never mind that the world begins to celebrate Christmas as soon as All Hallow's Eve comes to a close and All Saints' Day dawns; we Christians have a blessed freedom in Christ to enjoy the secular merriment and reflect during Advent. Plus, we know that the season of Christmas doesn't end on December 25th! The Christmas season in the church year culminates with Epiphany, the celebration of the visit of the Magi, on January 6th.
Life is short, and it's silly to get all grouchy when the Christmas music begins playing in mid-November. In fact, I welcome it, because within all the fun (and strange, yes) secular holiday music playing, the message of Jesus' birth will come through. It's there, my friends. Rejoice in that. Don't refuse to listen to Christmas music. At least don't refuse to listen to it once December rolls around. Enjoy this season of family, merriment, and fun, which also remembering that Jesus came for us and why He came.
The holidays are upon us, and my family in particular has a few extra special days between Thanksgiving and Epiphany, some I did not specifically name. I am sure other families have special days in this time too.
Enjoy it, my friends. The freedom we have in Christ does not equal being a scrooge about all things secular.
With that being said, I'm going to dig out my stash of construction paper, put on some Christmas music, and craft some snowflakes and maybe a paper chain or two. And figure out where the heck our Christmas tree is going to go.