Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What is the hurry?

I have a friend that begins decorating for Christmas on Veteran's Day. She works so she does a little decorating each day (and she has a lot of decorations inside and outside) up early in December.

Last week we waited in the car while Ram went to a door to drop something off. The Lambs commented that it was strange that they had both fall and Christmas decorations up at the same time outside their house. I answered that sometimes that was necessary in MN where people don't want to put their outside decorations up in winter weather. Other than that, I agreed with the Lambs that it was strange.

We were at Costco in September and they already had Christmas decorations for sale. The Lambs couldn't figure out what Saint Nick was doing at Costco in September.

Our local early childhood group is having their Christmas party on November 30. I plan to take the Lambs, but I'm sure I will have a difficult time being in the Christmas mood especially to sing Christmas songs that early.

My family waited until the end of Advent to put our Christmas tree up when I was growing up. We tried to wait until Christmas Eve, but sometimes because of my dad's schedule as a pastor we did it a few days before Christmas Eve. Some years it was difficult to find a live tree that was still alive by waiting that long. Some years if we needed new lights they were already 75% off by then. We would then leave our tree up for the 12 days of Christmas and celebrate Epiphany before we took it down.

Please enjoy Thanksgiving with your family instead of worrying about Christmas already. Just because the world starts selling decorations for Christmas in September and starts decorating for Christmas before Halloween, please don't get stressed if you don't have your decorations up the day after Thanksgiving. Your children will have memories of Christmas whether the tree is decorated for 24 days before Christmas or just one day. Remember that you do not have to take the tree down the day after Christmas either. We often take photos of the Lambs in their Christmas outfits in front of the tree in January, not during Christmas week when Ram is so busy with church services.
Please remember to keep Christ in Christmas. Take some time for prayer and personal devotions during this busy time of the year. If your church has midweek Advent services, be sure to attend all of them, not make an excuse that you are too busy. That is more important than Christmas decorations.  I want my Lambs to have memories of the fun things we do during the Christmas season, not a stressed out mom because I rushed to Christmas and forgot about Advent.


Sue said...

It's easy to stress yourself over decorations and forget what it's really all about. I have a large nativity collection, and not really decent display space at home (not to mention 2 cats - need I say more?). My church has a large display case, glass shelves, lighted, locked and the past few years that's where most of them go. The children in our preschool are just thrilled, as are many of the adults. The first year, one little boy said to his teacher, "Miss Dawn, there are THIRTY-FIVE Baby Jesuses in there!" She reminded him there is really only one, but he had to repeat it. Most kids never see more than one at a time. When my niece was little, she wanted to kiss every Baby Jesus she saw, which could be dangerous with the fragile ones. My Mom found a non-breakable Baby Jesus by himself at a garage sale and sent it to Melissa, so she could kiss him to her heart's content (and hopefully leave the others alone). I enjoy sharing my nativities. Each one makes me think of something different about the Christmas story.

I think stretching Christmas out and so early the way we do anymore is what causes things to become so frantic.

Joelle said...

I always think it is funny to see the Christmas items in the stores in October. So strange. Our local Christian station plays only Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day, then right back to the regular Christian music. I think other denominations don't 'do' the church year schedule, and many don't realize the difference between Advent and Christmas.

I miss going to every Advent/Lent service (and the soup suppers before :) Growing up we were 2 blocks away, so it was easy to always make it. Now it is a 30+minute drive each way. We were able to do it before kids, and probably could do it this year since Audrey is now 5. But not realistic again with Timothy here. We'd be getting home close to 9. That makes for a not fun day on Thursday :) Maybe in a few more years.