Too soon for Christmas?

peanuts

So Sirius/XM has activated the “Holly Channel”, a music channel dedicated to playing Christmas music 24/7 during the holidays. The music is mostly secular, but also a few classic songs which may mention *gasp* my Lord Jesus Christ’s name in the lyrics. I don’t know what day they activated it but when I heard it was active I immediately programmed it into my presets.

Too soon? It’s too soon to hear positive and uplifting music with cute, often quirky and funny lyrics that express joy and sharing and nostalgia and happiness and all that sappy stuff? It’s too soon to hear about fat elves giving toys to children and reindeer with bright shiny noses and sleigh bells and snow? (Actually you can keep the snow). Too soon to hear about being home with family and loved ones and eggnog and hot chocolate and chestnuts and turkey? Too soon to hear about Dominic the Christmas donkey and grandma getting run over by a reindeer and wanting front teeth or a hippopotamus for Christmas and mama kissing Santa Claus? Too soon you say? Well I say it’s about time! Bring it ON!

If you don’t know how I feel about this season you can read a Christmas rant I wrote a few years ago. Still relevant today. I love this season and for more than the chance to celebrate the birth of Jesus which has little to nothing to do with December 25th. I’ve loved this season since childhood and my childhood was mostly spent in poverty so the materialism of the season was not a relevant factor for me. Of course then I had no idea how poor we were but that didn’t even matter.

My Christmas seasons have been far from what you may call “traditional” and the contrasts have often been pretty sharp. I’ve spent the Christmas season in the Caribbean tropics and in New York City. They are very different feels. I’ve spent Christmases alone and surrounded by family and loved ones. I’ve spent it on ships in the middle of the ocean and in a barracks room in the Middle Eastern desert. I spent my first Christmas in the Navy in Boot Camp. I’ve gotten slews of gifts and I’ve also gotten just one. For Christmas dinner I’ve eaten turkey with stuffing and duck stuffed with veal (trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve had that). I’ve had pig roasted on a spit with rice and pigeon peas and lamb with Nan and Hummus. I’ve built snowmen on Christmas and I’ve spent Christmas on a beach. I’ve been to Christmas mass, to Baptist services and rousing Pentecostal services. I’ve sung on Puerto Rican Parrandas and I’ve gone Christmas Caroling. Heck one year I even sang Christmas carols with a group of Philippinos to a bunch of Muslims linguists (my rendition of Feliz Navidad was a huge hit!).

My point being that I don’t need the external stimuli of “traditional” rote to feel the Christmas spirit. I’m annoyingly upbeat anyways so it doesn’t take much. I’m a sucker for it. You can throw as much cynicism and myth busting you want at me and it will slide off of me like water off a duck’s back (mmmm duck with veal stuffing). I don’t know why anyone would try.

Christmas is too commercial? I say bring it on! Bring on the money spending which create jobs and success and entrepreneurialism and improve people’s lives not just in this country but all around the world. This is an undeniable fact dismissed by too many who think only a select few benefit. Trust me, everyone benefits. Even the act of shopping makes people better. Thinking of family and friends as you try to find the best gift for them; whether you’re spending little or too much. Whether you buy the gift or buy the supplies to make the gift. It’s all a good thing.

People ignore the reason for the season? Sure it would be nice if at least once a year Jesus Christ were honored by all of humanity for which He sacrificed so much. Once a year is clearly not enough, but who knows? Someone, somewhere will take a knee and because His name is being bandied about (albeit unintentionally by some) that someone will give their lives to Him this season. And their lives will become better for all eternity. That is a guaranteed fact.

What is clear is that most everyone will be better human beings, if only for a little while. Some pettiness will fade, some acrimoniousness will lessen, someone will be forgiven and fences will be mended. People will express joy and love and it won’t seem sappy or contrived. They will genuinely mean it. I admit, some may be completely unmoved by the entire season. I feel so sorry for those people.

I am not immune to the pain and suffering throughout the world. Some will experience tragedy for sure because life its ownself doesn’t take a break, but this season offers more solace and comfort than any other time of year for those who reach for it. Those who won’t would reject a cup of water in the middle of a searing desert because it has no ice.

I get the atheists and the secularists points. I really do. If I had their belief system the mere act of Jesus Christ’s or our Father God’s name being mentioned more frequently would make me want to dig in my heels too. After all, even atheists believe in God and Jesus Christ. Otherwise why would they fight them so hard? There is definitely a battle going on that happens about this time every year in this country. But none of that is relevant. I’m not gonna even engage in it. Because you just can’t beat something as powerful as Christmas no matter how hard you try.

Too soon? I think not. I think it’s definitely about time. So cinch up Mr. and Mrs. Crankypants! If you want to remain jaded and cranky you’re in for a bumpy ride. Or, just give in. Embrace the joy of the season as it is truly a choice for you because it is. A choice I mean. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and celebrate His birth and His sacrifice for the redemption of your sin or not. But I certainly invite you to forgive more, give more, love more and generally enjoy life more. And listen to Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey if you never have. It’ll get you every time.

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