Mark and I were out for a little walk yesterday and as we usually do, we had music playing to help us keep a good pace. We hadn’t gone far before we saw a lady coming toward us on the opposite side of the street. As she came up almost parallel to us, she shouted something that I couldn’t quite make out, so I asked Mark to repeat it for me. He said, “She said it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet!”
Well, that’s absolutely right. It was Monday and Thanksgiving isn’t until Thursday, but what does that have to do with anything? Then I realized what she was referring to. The music we had playing was Christmas music. For some people, it is not lawful to play Christmas music until after Thanksgiving.
I do want to say that I understand why this sentiment exists. Our celebration of the birth of Christ has been so commercialized that many years ago we were horrified when merchants starting putting up Christmas displays before Thanksgiving — wanting to capitalize on the more profitable holiday. Of course, I think I’ve observed Christmas displays going up as early as summer in recent years — but maybe that was my imagination. As Americans and as Christians, we also believe in the importance of a day to be thankful, so we want to keep things in their place in order to properly recognize both holidays.
Now Mark and I are definitely looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with our family, and we are very grateful for all of God’s blessings in our lives, so why in the world were we “jumping the gun” and listening to Christmas music before it is the official “Christmas Season?” Well, that’s a good question. I won’t try to answer for Mark, but I’ll give my excuse to be considered.
When I was growing up my three sisters and I took piano lessons. Every year, our teacher would have us either purchase or retrieve Christmas music to begin practicing the first of November. I was also in school band and chorus as well as church choir over the years and we always starting practicing Christmas music at least by November and in some cases, as early as September, so that we could be ready for the Christmas concerts that would take place in December. So it seems perfectly natural to listen to Christmas music — even before Thanksgiving.
I have to smile when I think of our oldest son, Jonathan, who loves Christmas music so much that (at least while he was still living at home), he would often get it out even in the summer months. Even in July, we would hear strains of “I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas” wafting down from his upstairs bedroom. It’s a good thing the Thanksgiving police didn’t hear that!
Actually, I think it’s a shame that we don’t celebrate Jesus’ birth every day, just as it’s sad that we only celebrate His resurrection when it’s “official.” In fact, both Christmas and Easter should be days of Thanksgiving as well! In my opinion, we don’t have to wait for a special season to begin the celebration, so Happy Thanksgiving! Merry Christmas! and Happy Easter!