Sunday, November 4, 2007

A holiday mourned

Halloween has come and gone for another year, and before the candy wrappers hit the ground, the stores had their Christmas decorations up. They had long since displayed their Christmas ornaments, trees, wreathes, paper and ribbons for sale and their Halloween decorations were priced at 50% off six weeks before October 31st! We literally had no time to catch our collective breath before we were swept away into the mad commercial tide of the holiday season.

I remember when the Christmas season began the day after Thanksgiving, which was a holiday in and of itself. Nowadays, Thanksgiving is sandwiched in-between Halloween and Christmas with no importance attached to it whatsoever. The Christmas season, now a full two months long, takes up a full one-sixth of our calendar year! No wonder we don't feel any excitement when we see the stores decked out in holiday sparkles. No wonder we're sick to death of the decorations, the music, the food, and the ever-invasive commercialism long before we ever celebrate the day itself.

And when I say "celebrate," I'm using the word loosely. For far too many Americans, Christmas season means gifts, parties, alcohol, an excuse to eat sweets, and a chance to buy a refrigerator, car, or other ridiculously-non-Christmas-related item as a gift. Everything from plumbing supplies to cruises to appliances, cars, and life insurance are all touted as the perfect Christmas gift, the ultimate expression of love.

Bah humbug!

I want to revisit the past; I want to see our country treat Christmas as it should--a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I want us to marvel at the love of our Heavenly Father in sending His Son to us as a man; a Man Who experienced life as we do, Who can relate to everything we feel, do, worry about, love or hate. I want to hear "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" as often as I do "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." I want to revel in the promise of peace on earth, good will toward man.

I want Christmas back.

Until the next time...

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