I make a lot of statements on this blog. But rarely are my statements ever incredibly strong, controversial, rude, or bossy. Today? I’ve got something I need to say. I’m calling it. I’m about to lay my cards out on the table and take all the chips. So if you decided to scroll past this post, please come back. If you never read my blog, read it today. If you remember one thing about my blog ever in it’s history or future, remember this.
I want to talk about the holiday season. And what I want to say about it is pretty black and white and makes a lot of sense to me, so I’m not going to draw it out.
We are entering the holidays, and I’m so giddy that I can hardly stand it. That’s right, I’m 20 years old and STILL cannot wait for Christmas morning. Many of you will remember how passionately I feel about Christmas. I listen to Christmas music all year long and start planning gifts in June. We’re about to put lights on the house and the trees aren’t far away. It’s serious. (So, yes, this will not be last time this year you read about Christmas on this blog of mine.)
But what really gets at me is the War on Christmas. There is a war on Christmas, it’s a very real thing and seems to have started early this year. And guess who the commander-in-chief is?
Like I said, I’m going to try not to draw this out. So here is what I want to say about this whole thing:
Thanksgiving and Christmas are not separate things for me. I’m not interested in the “celebrate being thankful before celebrating getting everything” mentality. Because for me, Thanksgiving Day does not end my season of Thanksgiving. It really kicks it into full swing. Christmas is the most humbling, wonderful, and grateful day of my entire year. I may be surrounded with gifts and find my lost toddler niece buried in the wrapping paper, but all I can do is sit and look at my family, hear their laughter, and wonder how we can be so infinitely blessed.
I believe in being grateful, and that doesn’t have to only be at Thanksgiving. I do not believe that Christmas takes away from Thanksgiving because I believe that they are the same, they bring us the same joy and perspective. As a Christian I celebrate Christmas as the birth of my Savior Jesus Christ. I celebrate that He came into this world to give His life for us. If that celebration isn’t an expression of gratitude for the greatest gift of all, then what is?
One of my top three favorite Christmas albums holds one of my all time favorite songs. It is a song about being Thankful. On a Christmas album. Do you see what I’m getting at here?
I believe that at Christmas, we give gifts as acts of love. The number of presents does not equal love, the lack thereof does not equal love. We can get lost in both sides. We give gifts at Christmas because God gave us the gift of His Son. We get the unique opportunity to find something that will bring another person joy and give it to them selflessly and wonderfully.
On the receiving end, we really learn more of what it means to come unto Christ. We do so humbly, because He asks it of us. He stands with open arms, ready to receive us and all we have to do is be ready to receive Him. Christmas teaches us about true gratitude and what it really means to give and receive. Thanksgiving is a wonderful, glorious moment that begins this joyous season of gratitude and giving.
The war on Christmas was begun by the very things that it professes to fight. In telling others not to celebrate Christmas prior to Thanksgiving, are we telling them not to celebrate Christ, to not receive what we are given in love, and to not give to others in love? In focusing on gratitude only at Thanksgiving, we take away the very reason we have Christmas. In fighting about the “true meaning of Christmas” and plastering it everywhere in angry words, we lose the true meaning of Christmas.
I believe in Thanksgiving and Christmas. I believe in the whole holiday season as a time to be grateful, celebrate Jesus Christ, receive in love, and give selflessly. Don’t wait to celebrate.