The social media discussion was about how early Christmas arrives nowadays and whether that’s a good thing. The consensus was no, in the sense that store displays and sales starting in September or October are pretty over-the-top.
The original lyrics to “We Need a Little Christmas” were pointed out – in the musical “Mame,” Auntie starts to sing “Haul out the holly” and get the Christmas trimmings up, but the objection is that “it’s only one week past Thanksgiving Day.”
Yep, a week after Thanksgiving was considered a little early as recently as 1966, when the musical was first produced.
It’s kind of insane to see all the commercial reminders of the Christmas shopping season so very far in advance of the actual day when we share gifts with our loved ones.
But you know what?
We do need a little Christmas, not before Thanksgiving and not in September or October, but year-round.
No, not THAT Christmas, but the one that reflects the original promise of the season.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
I dare say the prophet got it a little wrong, because when the Prince of Peace did finally show up, he was the opposite of a guy who would have had much to do with the government.
But he did have a lot to say, some of it pretty darn blunt and some of it pretty darn beautiful, and the thing he said that sticks with me is when somebody asked what the most important law is, he replied as follows:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)
Love God and love one another. How different the world would be if everyone just followed those two commandments, don’t you think? Imagine how different the political campaign season would have been.
Christmas is about celebrating the birth of the guy who preached that philosophy. The other big-time Christian holiday, Easter, celebrates the guy’s immortality. For Christians who pay attention, every day is Christmas and every day is Easter.
So yes, Christmas season comes way too early in the sense that the social media conversation was going. But in the original sense, well, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute, and always.