"Oh, Nanny, look! Look at the Christmas trees. Aren't they so pretty? I wish I had a Christmas tree like that one in my house." I'm sure you can picture the excitement of my three year old granddaughter as she sees all the lights and ornaments.
While out with my daughter and grandchildren, Peyton's giddiness over the beauty of the trees could be heard by everyone. When she's excited she wants everyone to be excited with her.
To me, in that moment, my first thought was, "You have got to be kidding me! Already? We aren't even out of September!" Okay, that was a BIG thought that held a wee bit of aggravation. I know what you're thinking. How can I get angry over a Christmas tree? Well, I think the stores take advantage and to them Christmas is nothing more than money and more money. To the Christian Christmas means something valuable and holy. It's the celebration of the birth of our Savior.
I love Christmas. I love the beauty of the season. I am a cold weather loving girl. Give me a snowy blizzard and I am one happy chick. But in September? I've not even had a chance to be excited over Thanksgiving yet. There are no pumpkins on my front deck. No autumn decorations out. None. I like to take my time from season to season. Now, everything is just thrown in and summer contains every season possible.
But....after getting home and relaxing a bit I had time to gather my thoughts. When I don't rush my thoughts God always seems to give me a different outlook. How about you? I just love to ponder. I let everything soak in and after a while I'm a changed girl.
So, here's my pondering thought. What's so wrong with the Christmas tree being up so soon? Yeah, I know all the thoughts you're thinking too, but just what if we as adults held in our hearts just a little bit of the excitement my granddaughter has at seeing a Christmas tree? She was over the top thrilled. There was a glow in her eye. Her smile was bright and her enthusiasm catching.
I know. There's a time and a place for everything. Christmas comes once a year. We should treasure the day. In our world today Christmas is a huge market for money. All this is true, but what about the message of Christmas? The cheer? The excitement? This is something as Christians we should be sharing every day. See, for us it isn't just a tree that's decorated. It has meaning. It brings us to joy and celebration of the heart.
I don't know. Sometimes I think we just like to gripe. Don't we? It's too soon or not soon enough. People want to say, "Merry Christmas", while others want to say, "Happy Holidays". Does it really matter? In the entire scheme of things, does it really matter? I will say, "Merry Christmas", to all that cross my path. I'm just saying that if we aren't careful we can become a Scrooge year round.
From a little girl's perspective, she wasn't thinking about presents. She wasn't thinking about anything but the beauty that was before her eyes. That's it. At three she doesn't yet know the importance of dates. All she knows is Christmas isn't here yet because her Scrooge of a Nanny told her Christmas isn't for another three months. She was excited in the moment. What's so wrong with that?
She taught me something of value yesterday. I can be excited even when no one around me gets it! Christmas isn't just a date to celebrate and then it's over. Christmas should be in my heart and my Savior should be celebrated all year long.
So, if you see Christmas trees decorated right along next to the pumpkins, don't be a Scrooge. Let that glimmer in your eye light up and just simply enjoy the beauty. Take time to think about your Savior and all that He is to you. Take every opportunity given and celebrate Him!
"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!"