It’s November 1st. For a large group of people, that means it’s now acceptable to listen to Christmas music. But there are still some who say “Not until after Thanksgiving!” Even Brandon Heath has written a song “The Day after Thanksgiving.” For those who are resistant to bringing Christmas into November, here are some things to consider.
“But what about being thankful?” you may say. Is it not possible to be thankful whilst doing other things? I’m all for being grateful. I practice gratitude every day, hopefully multiple times a day.
And, by the way, you can trust me. I’m a Christmas expert.
Neuroscience has taught us about the power of anticipation. In fact the brain may even enjoy anticipation more than fulfillment. When we were kids, we spent great amounts of time anticipating Christmas. Sears and JC Penny sent out their big catalogs in August or September and we’d spend the next several months worth of bathroom reading time dog-earing the pages we wanted most.
“But, doesn’t starting the music and movies and all that before Thanksgiving take away the anticipation?” Not unless you move up your Christmas celebration!
(On a more serious note, I think the fact the we are hungry for Christmas earlier and earlier in the year, setting up our trees and so forth is a testimony to how hungry we are for wonder. One of the negative effects of living in a time where we think we know everything about everything is the loss of wonder.)
2.) Commercialism is an Opportunity
You’re going to start having Christmas crammed in your face. In general, I say we shouldn’t “go with the flow” of advertising agencies. But, this is Christmas. Instead of raising your fist in the air and saying “It’s barely November!” you could see it as an opportunity. Pretty much our whole society radically embraces Christmas, a Christian Holy Day. You can be the negative person like every other person and complain about it or you can be different and say, “you know what, I kind of like seeing Christmas trees and hearing Christmas music.”
People putting lights up on their houses, going Christmas shopping, being more generous, donating food and so forth are all good things we have the opportunity to celebrate that are connected to Christmas.
We are a ridiculously busy society, which is never more true than at Christmas time. We all end up with events, parties, services and programs that fill up our calendars in December. We’re so busy, that before we realize it, it’s Christmas day and we didn’t get to enjoy so many things.
That is, unless you start in November! November is a much less busy month. If you start now, you can get in all those favorites before you’re too busy to be able to do so! Which leads me to #4…
I mean, there are just too many good Christmas albums and movies to try to cram into one month. We’ve been watching Hallmark and Lifetime movies for about a month now. And we love it!
“But all the movies are the same, and they play the same songs over and over!” Sure. Most Hallmark movies are about as unpredictable as rain in November in the Pacific Northwest. But, who cares?! Hollywood is just reproducing new versions of the exact same thing they released 20 years ago. How is that any different.
Besides, both the movies and the music are positive with a positive message. That’s something we desperately need more of in our time. So, why not watch some hallmark movies and allow yourself to be a little happier? Why not listen to some Christmas music and be nicer to the people around you?
5.) You Get the Opportunity to be “That Guy”
All through the month of November there are those “humbugs” who give me their justifications for why I’m wrong to listen to Christmas music. But, it doesn’t stop me. I still crank it up. And you know what, before long people start singing the same songs. You get to be that guy who whistles “Joy to the World” while the person you’re walking by is upset with their boss. You get to be that guy who sings “Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow” from White Christmas when the first flurries start to fall. You get to be that guy who brings a little bit of Christmas cheer to people who would otherwise be angry or frustrated.
So, there you have it.
I’m sure some of you are going to think I’m crazy. Others will agree. But, none of that is going to change the fact that I love Christmas. I always have. The Spirit of Christmas is something that should affect the way we live our lives all year long.
Jesus came at Christmas, and he had a special name given to him for that event: Emmanuel. “God with us.” Well, now because of Jesus, God is literally always with his children, all year long in the gift of the Holy Spirit. So, when you think about it, every day is Christmas. Because God is always with us.