There seems to be a Holiday battle every year. Some refer to it as holiday confusion. It usually starts in July when several businesses and channels run Christmas in July campaigns. It carries into August when craft stores ramp up their holiday offerings for crafters and continues into fall when various people listen to Christmas music (Oct. 1st for me), shopping (some people shop all year), putting up the tree, or start attending or planning holiday Open Houses.
November seems to bring it to a climax. One side can’t decorate for Christmas prior to Thanksgiving because it would infringe and “not give Thanksgiving it’s due”. The other side decorates early and celebrates Thanksgiving amid a blended decor or full on “Christmas in the house/ Thanksgiving on the table.”
I’d like to weigh in, possibly clarifying nothing.
Yet, maybe, bring a little understanding between the sides.
For many many years, all my “kids-at-home” years, I was in the church choir. Christmas was a demanding time for choir members. We started practicing Christmas music in August: listening to CD’s during the week with the chosen Christmas music. Several special rehearsals during the Fall were just for Christmas music. Once December hit, the calendar was dotted with lots of rehearsals and performances. I lived Christmas music for five months out of the year. It was a lot to learn and memorize on top of everything else the holidays brought.
To maximize my December energy bank and enjoy the holidays more, I learned to decorate early. When we switched from a live tree to artificial (due to household pine allergies), I was able to put the tree up before Thanksgiving, making December so much more enjoyable for dear old Mom.
If we were home Thanksgiving weekend, our house had guests. So, I couldn’t put up the tree on Thanksgiving weekend. It got pushed into the week after Thanksgiving, which took up the first week of December. If Thanksgiving was late, like this year, I could feel a bit of panic setting in weeks before. How would I get it all done?
My goal was not to ignore or minimize Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving! It was to help our household focus on both holidays. There were no extra hours in December and my energy waned on exhaustion by the demands of the season; schools, family, friends, neighbors, community, church, etc. It was a way to find some personal balance for myself and thus my family. So, my tree went up in November.
Believe it or not, it truly helped me focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas more. I had breathing room. I found some margin, in today’s vernacular, balance. December was so saturated, I had to navigate it within my own limitations.
A beautiful thing happened amid these changes:
I focused on Thanksgiving MORE!
HOW? You Ask…
Because, Thanksgiving is not just about Fall, Pilgrims, Settlers and Native Americans. It’s about what I am thankful for, my personal reflection. What adds meaning and purpose to my life? What stirs my heart with gratitude? What has been given to me that money can’t replace … my cherished treasures?
As lights twinkle on a tree and nativity figures stand in a humble stable,
it is the clearest reminder of my Thanksgiving.
I am MOST thankful for a baby coming to Bethlehem.
He hung on a tree to redeem me!
The lights of heaven announced his birth.
Sitting at the table surrounded by the backdrop of Christmas,
my heart swells with Thanksgiving!!
This is my most cherished treasure….
the baby Christmas celebrates …
Focusing on thankfulness is the perfect way to start any day and
effects our lives from the inside out.
Turns out, it is, also, the perfect way to enter the Christmas Season!
It doesn’t confuse me at all!
Which side of the holiday battle do you line up on?
It’s all good … we all have different perspectives. I’d love to hear about yours!
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
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6 thoughts on “Biased, Neutral or Confused?”
I never put my tree up or decorate before Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving and I want to focus on one holiday at a time. I usually put up the tree the day after Thanksgiving then all the decorations over the weekend.
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Michelle, you are likely more the norm. Glad it works for you!
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Since our Lord never wants us to feel frustrated or overly burdened I’d say keep things as simple as possible. If you do find yourself getting frantic just stop and commune with the Lord and ask Him to show you what to cut out – what your priorities should be. He wants your relationship with Him to be central in your life, so of course every day should be a Thanksgiving Day. As we wait upon Him He will give the wisdom and the strength to do what He wants us to do for His glory and for our joy. I truly believe He does want us to experience joy – each day and maybe especially at this time of year. Don’t let busyness rob you of your joy at this time of year – or any time !!!
Thank you Marie … wise words! Totally Agree😘
I don’t have a well thought out answer that is scripturally based or caused by some event in our family history. For as long as I can remember, we put up the tree after the Dallas Cowboy game on Thanksgiving night. Or if we were getting a real tree, we would pick it up on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The two constants were after Thanksgiving; and when we were decorating the tree/house, White Christmas is played on the tv (probably via VCR a long time ago, now just streamed on the Apple TV). I will admit we have cheated in recent years as we have so many favorite movies we want to watch, and as you thoughtfully articulated, the season gets busy. Typically Elf gets watched early and songs start to get played in late November. Tonight might kick it all off for us this year as I promised the girls Starbucks Holiday Coffees today.
I love your blogs and read them when I get the notification from my Twitter account. But I figured I would respond this time to let you know I am an avid reader of your blog and love the topics you choose.
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Thank you Kenny for your encouragement and participation! Thank you for sharing your traditions with us! I too watch movies as I decorate! Elf and White Christmas are always a must!! ….Holiday Coffees … might need to run out soon for one!!
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