Saturday, October 06, 2007

Christmas Season vs Shopping Season - Is there really a problem?

It is true that the "Christmas Shopping Season" seems to start earlier and earlier each year. By some accounts Christmas merchandise has appeared on retail shelves as early as late August. Such early sightings of tinsel and mistletoe have raised a predictable lament among some who are rightly concerned about the "reason for the season"

While I certainly empathize, I would like to suggest that there is no necessary correlation between the "shopping season" and the "Christmas season." In other words, we are not forced to celebrate Christmas early because retailers do.

Whether we admit it or not, all of us (who celebrate Christmas) feel the pressure to shop for Christmas gifts, and all of us will. And though year after year our churches warn us about the commercialization of Christmas, etc., we still find ourselves "making a list and checking it twice" while the pastor is yet speaking and then rushing from the church to the mall to get it all done!

I believe my mom had the right idea. She would do her Christmas shopping in July. By August all the presents were wrapped and "hidden" away until Christmas. With the "shopping" part of Christmas done months ahead of time, our family had the leisure to pay more attention to the "reason for the season," as was our wont.

As Christmas approached we still shopped for Christmas items, but more for fun stuff -- decorations and such.

So rather than curse the retailers perhaps we should be thanking them, so that when Christmas comes we can spend more time thanking Him.

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