You may have noticed it.
As you drove through your neighborhood or down the streets of Shelbyville, you noticed a Christmas tree sparkling in the window of a home. Or you may have noticed a Christmas wreath hanging on the door or window of a home. You may have seen Christmas lights hung around the outline of a house. You may have seen a Christmas display in the yard.
You may have noticed it and said to yourself, “why are these Christmas decorations showing up already? It’s only the middle of November!” It’s an interesting occurrence. Christmas decorations are coming out earlier than before. Christmas songs are playing on the radio sooner than they used to. Why is there a rush to get to Christmas? Why does Santa seem to show up the day after Halloween? Why is there Christmas in November?
The early arrival of Christmas has been a trend for the past few years, but it accelerated during the pandemic. It had been a tough year and people needed some joy and hope. They looked to the “spirit of Christmas” to provide the joy and hope they were missing. Since then, we have lived through more difficult times.
We have faced racial strife and conflict in this country. Inflation has drastically increased bringing economic difficulty for many of us. Our political leaders can’t (or won’t) work together which leads to uncertainty and inertia in our government. The effects of the pandemic have lingered and there are those who are concerned about the arrival of a new pandemic on the horizon. Life seems more uncertain now and just “different” than it did in early 2020. Hope and joy are still being sought which leads us back to Christmas. Christmas brings hope and joy. I’ve heard many say, “I just need to see the lights on my tree to make me feel better”. The decorations, music and memories of Christmas bring hope, joy, and comfort for many of us.
At Christmas, we feel joy because of the joy that Christ has brought to us. We are reminded of God’s gift and grace to us through Christ. Our hearts are filled with joy as we contemplate the presence of that baby in the manger and what it means for us today and through eternity.
At Christmas, we feel hope because the gift of Christ is the one thing that brings unwavering hope to us. Our hope is in Christ. This isn’t a wishy washy hope or a desire we believe may be filled, but it’s a confidence that the baby given to us two thousand years ago truly is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and every promise He has made us is true. Why is Christmas coming in November these days? We have a longing to be reminded of the hope and joy of the story of Christmas. We find comfort in the story of the birth of Christ. We are reminded of the goodness of God and His love for us. Jesus is the greatest gift that we will ever be given.
So, let Christmas come in November. If you need to decorate and enjoy Christmas a little earlier this year, please do. If you insist on waiting for Christmas till after Thanksgiving has been celebrated, that is fine as well. Whatever your desire, may we all experience and be comforted by the joy and hope of Christmas this season as we celebrate the gift of Jesus.