The holidays have begun! Whether I’m ready or not to be bombarded with commercials, decorations, music, and sales, it’s here. And, it seems it’s here earlier than ever.
Don’t get me wrong….I love Christmas, and I really am looking forward to the season. Each year the activities and traditions we are building with our family are so wonderful and dear. But, I have a serious pet peeve. I can’t stand the fact that Christmas commercialism is overshadowing and crowd out Thanksgiving! Used to stores didn’t open until Friday morning. Then, it was 5:00am….then.1:00am….the 12:00am. Last year, stores opened on Thanksgiving night. I knew it would happen this year, and it has. Some stores are opening on Thanksgiving day for shopping. Christmas music has already started!! My heart grieves.
Seems like to me every sacred holiday has been slowly taken over in order to take away from its original purpose. Christmas- Santa Claus; Easter- Easter Bunny; Valentine’s Day- Romance, cards and candy; Halloween- Death and darkness, etc, etc. Thanksgiving has been immune until now because there’s been no way to commercialize it. The companies can’t find a way to change its purpose, so instead, they are simply drowning it out. Create enough deals, get the shopping started early to plump up the end of the year sales and make them forget about the real reason.
I don’t want it to suck me in. I want to resist. I will celebrate Thanksgiving.
It became so clear to me yesterday at church. The timing of these holidays blend so perfectly together….Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas.
Thanksgiving is a time to count blessings, to pause and give thanks, to realize how much we have. This gratitude is the perfect beginning to Advent- a season to reflect on the gift of Jesus. Before we can truly celebrate His Birth, we need a time of reflection and introspection to recenter our lives on Him. And finally, the delight of Christmas overflows into joy!
So, before the season sweeps us away, take time this week to be especially thankful. Count your blessings. Yes, name them one by one. Oh sure, if you gotta go shopping, go! But, don’t let the commercialism crowd out the real reason for the season!