I guided my cart through the Target Department Store not really paying attention. With Halloween coming soon, many shoppers were loading up on candy and treats. The store was so busy that I came close to running into an older women and what I assumed was her grandchild.
My wife had sent me to the store to run an errand. Truth be told, I was just enjoying the unseasonably warm autumn temps – hence my light sweatshirt and shorts – and glad to be feeling better. I had just gotten over a cold and was starting to feel myself again.
I turned the corner and immediately had to stop and pause. We hadn’t even celebrated Halloween and the store already had an aisle full of Christmas lights and decorations. To make things worse, they had left unpacked boxes in the middle of the floor which made me think they were ready to branch out to two or three more aisles.
Christmas starts earlier and earlier each year. Radio stations where I live started playing Christmas music in early November. We’ve whipped right past Halloween and dived headfirst into a commercialized version of Santa Claus and Rudolph-filled Christmas.
It would be easy to say that we’ve lost sight of the true meaning of the Christmas, but I’m not buying the argument:
- God’s watchful eye. After a windy night recently, we had an old tree fall on our house. It took out part of our deck, scuffed up our siding, and put a 2 foot by 2 foot hole in our kitchen drywall. Yes, it was a quite a surprise to wake up one morning and find dust and dirt splattered across the floor. While challenging to clean up and work with our insurance company, I drove to work the next day feeling blessed. We were fortunate. The tree could have easily hit my son’s room, possibly injured him, and caused even more damage. I couldn’t help but feel that God was watching over us.
- Love of my family. I’m looking forward to the trappings of Christmas like everyone else, the gift giving, the holiday carols, and even Santa Claus, but I’m looking forward most to spending time with my family.
- Christ. In the end, I come back to something a friend said long ago, “you can’t celebrate Christmas without Christ. You can try, but it’s just not possible, everything else is just whipped cream on an ice cream sunday. It’s nice and all, but you need the ice cream to make it truly special.”
So yes, businesses can try to commercialize the heck out of Christmas and try to make a buck off it, people can temporarily lose sight of the meaning, but I keep coming back to one simple truth: Christmas begins and ends with Christ.