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Countdown to Christmas

We are right in the middle of the holiday season. Thanksgiving is upon us, and the countdown is on to Christmas and the end of the year.

For some, the Christmas season may have started a month ago. As the Halloween decorations went down and the candy was packed away, the Christmas trees and lights went up.

You may have been listening to Christmas music since early November. Others prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to begin preparing for Christmas. There is something called the “Save Thanksgiving” movement. There are Facebook pages, petitions, and websites all devoted to not rushing into the Christmas season before Thanksgiving.

Most people have a pretty strong stance on whether to start Christmas preparations in early November or wait until after Thanksgiving. I live in a semi-split household. My daughter starts listening to Christmas music as early as possible, usually around Halloween. My husband insists on waiting until after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music, and sometimes does not get around to decorating until mid-December. (It depends how much the kids nag him!) I don’t think my son cares one way or the other, just as long as the presents come on time!

Then there are those who do both — full Christmas decorations with a giant inflatable turkey on their lawn. Then you just take down the turkey and voila — instant Christmas! There’s no need to decorate again.

I prefer to wait as long as possible before entering into the season of Christmas music, sparkly lights, and hot chocolate by the crackling fire.

I am not too big on Christmas music, probably because I did not grow up listening to it much and don’t have childhood memories of it. However, I do think we need to give Thanksgiving its day every year. My family has the tradition of watching the parade every Thanksgiving morning, going for a community Thanksgiving dinner at a small-town church, then a hike.

Whether you have been singing “Jingle Bells” along with the radio for a month now or you are just starting to look for your tree in the attic or basement, there is no avoiding that Christmas is coming.

This year, Christmas Eve is on a Sunday. It is easy to forget that it is also the last Sunday of Advent. Salem is celebrating the fourth Sunday of Advent in the morning, then having the Christmas Eve services in the evening. Advent is a time to slow down and prepare for the coming Christ.

I encourage you to attend both, so as not to forget the joy in anticipation and the waiting for Christ to be born, the true meaning of Christmas!

Shari Van Baale
Salem Communications Coordinator

Tags: Weekly Word