My neighbor is a huge Christmas-lover. She cracks me up, especially when she posted this on Facebook---
And you know? While some folks' Christmas tradition is to complain--
"Oh! Those Christmas tv ads began the day after Halloween!"
"Man, does the Hallmark channel have to start airing Christmas movies so soon?"
"Did you see how the supermarket already has snowflakes and Santas and carols blaring? Good grief."
"I haven't even made Thanksgiving plans yet!"
--I'm thinking, this year? Maybe we all need Early Christmas.
Wait. Seriously. I mean, oh, what we've all watched happen even in our streets these months.
The political arguing.
The abandoning of years-long friendships.
The division of a Country gone extreme.
Early Christmas? Perhaps this year it could help heal what we experienced in our troubled 2018 world.
"To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas." – Calvin Coolidge
"Christmas, my child, is love in action." – Dale Evans
“Peace on earth will come to stay, When we live Christmas every day.” – Helen Steiner Rice
"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?" – Bob Hope
Real Christmas. It's not the screaming babies with their weary-eyed mothers in shops with Christmas tunes blaring. Nor worrying about money to pay for perfect gifts or decorating like our home is a NYC magical store window. Nor is it the too many parties or performances or big dinners eaten late at night and the non-sleeping and the rushing, rushing to get everywhere.
Instead, it's the remembering that God sent Jesus to heal our hurts and give us an un-shatterable joy in all ages throughout Time, even this one enveloped by strife.
And may we remember The Real. And do. And be. And live it. And may we welcome, not resent, Early Christmas with its reminders (trees, carols, decor, parties, etc.) of what matters most.
And as Charles Dickens said, may we honor Christmas in our hearts and try to keep it all the year. Even now, all these weeks before Thanksgiving.
Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality." — Washington Irving
"A good conscience is a continual Christmas." – Benjamin Franklin
"Walk ... with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love." ... Ephesians 4:2