It’s a phenomenon that we mark every year. And every year it draws comments about the timing. But this year really takes the cake!
I’m talking about the advent of Christmas decorations in stores.
I had to run a quick errand to Costco yesterday (quick – or cheap – trips to Costco are an endangered species!). As I joined the river of humanity making the circular walk on the proscribed path, I walked past a decorated Christmas tree and gently playing holiday music.
It was August 25th!
Christmas is still 4 MONTHS away!
I get that a lot of stores make a huge chunk of their money for the year around the holidays. I don’t begrudge them making a living. But holy cow! This is a new record.
I started thinking about how many holidays they leapfrogged to put out those decorations…
- Labor day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving (and I won’t even talk about the cyber or black “holidays”)
What gets me even more, is that if Costco is advertising Christmas trees and decorations, I’ll bet people are buying it! I can’t even get my head around that while the temperature is so hot here in Arizona.
I get that Christmas has come to hold a special place in our culture. It’s become the celebration of generosity. Of being the kind of people who think of others first and take joy in giving over receiving.
It’s a holiday that lets people feel good about themselves and think that they are that kind of person all the time.
What’s missing? God. The reminder that we were actually so incapable of being “good” that He had to send His Son into the world to clean up the mess we’d made.
It makes me sad to see how God has been left out of the Advent. But not surprised. We have an enemy who loves to twist and distract. And he is masterful at what he does. Paul points it out right away when he names this adversary as the ruler of this world today (Ephesians 6:10ff).
So get ready for it. It has officially begun. The Christmas commercial season is upon us. At least in our family we don’t intentionally listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving… but I can see that while shopping it will be much sooner than that!
Until next time,
P.S. In the face of such pressure from our culture, we need to be vigilant in our faith and maintaining a God-centered world outlook. This week I am highlighting my book Getting to Know God’s Word because it’s a book that is all about looking at life through God’s eyes.
The Bible is God’s communication to us about what He values and how He wants us to live. In its pages we see how much trouble people have meeting God’s expectation and how far we fall short. But it also shows how God took control of the situation for our benefit and created the path back to Him.
One of my favorite chapters is Chapter 7: The Life and Times of Jesus the Christ. The four gospels give us different pictures of Jesus life here on earth. I bring them all together to create an outline (in 14 points, no less) of Jesus life and public ministry. If you read this chapter, I think you’ll have a radically changed view of Jesus and what you expect from the gospels going forward.