It’s that time of year again. Time for Starbucks to release their newest Christmas-hating cups, Halloween decorations to come down, and for everyone to completely forget that there’s this major American holiday called “Thanksgiving” coming up.
I get it. I mean, we only live in the safest, most prosperous and successful nation the world has ever known. We have longer life expectancy, better food, better schools, and more TV channels than you can count! Seriously, our median per-household income is over $50,000 and the worldwide average is hovering in the $9-$10,000 range. What do we have to be thankful for?
Apparently we can be thankful for Christmas. Halloween isn’t even over these days and Target is setting up the back corner of their store for Christmas. Want a Thanksgiving turkey decoration? Maybe a pilgrim hat? Already in the 50% off aisle, if you can even find it. If you’re really lucky you have a store with maybe even a whole quarter of an aisle dedicated to the modern-day Jane Eyre of holidays. Even then half of that is football related, but I digress…
Today as I was driving home from work I was listening a podcast and the questions came up, “how early is TOO early to put up Christmas decorations? Is it sinful to put them up before December 1st?” For those reading this that are in the non-church/non-religious crowd, this was asked tongue-in-cheek. Christians don’t sit around thinking this is a sin for real. We reserve that for coffee cups.
However, to answer the question with marked simplicity, YES! It is sinful and terrible to put Christmas decor up the day after Halloween! Ok, maybe just mildly sacrilegious, or lame. Ok, its not a sin but golly it should be frowned upon by decent folks.
I’m sure by now you’re wondering where I’m going with this, and not just because you want to get to where the reference to Disney’s Incredible’s will finally play into this rambling tirade.
Each holiday during this season is special and deserves to be recognized as so, but Christmas is especially so. Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Son of God come to take away the sins of the world. The day that fulfilled thousands of years of prophecy and led to the availability of forgiveness, love and hope for all mankind.
So now moving from deep theological religiosity to a movie targeted to those who cannot read. What DOES “The Incredibles” have to do with this?
If you recall, the villain, Syndrome, is upset after being hurt (emotionally) by Mr Incredible as a child. He responds by inventing gadgets, machines and weapons to turn himself into a “super”. He of course chooses to be a super-villain instead of a hero but that’s not my point here.
During one of his monologues, he reveals his ultimate game plan against the supers.
I’ll give them heroics. I’ll give them the most spectacular heroics they’ve ever seen! And when I’m old and I’ve had my fun, I’ll sell my inventions so everyone can be superheroes! Everyone can be super! And when everyone’s super, [laughs maniacally] no one will be.
Did you see it? When Christmas (super power) is expanded beyond the select few days/weeks allotted it, each of those days becomes less special!
Just like a precious metal, the value in it is not just because it is inherently valuable. Its valuable because it is rare! It’s worth is determined by the fact that it’s not surrounded by other things just like it.
The same goes in my mind for the Christmas holiday. It’s not so much about overlooking Thanksgiving (though that is of course important). It’s about keeping Christmas as that special time of year, not that special 4th quarter of a year.
So, go on with your sinning and your Christmas decorating and your demon-coffee drinking. I, like all God-fearing decent people am going to wait until 12:01 am on November 27th to shovel all my fall decor into boxes. Then I’ll make my house look like Santa Claus lost control of his elves and they magically stampeded through my yard, leaving half the North Pole strewn across it in their wake.
That is how you keep Christmas special. That and tricking Starbucks baristas into writing “Merry Christmas” on your coffee cups.