Each year it seems that the Christmas decorations go up and sales begin earlier and earlier. Summer is barely in full-swing and we are thinking about Christmas. I believe it was early July when I noticed the first Christmas items appear in a local store, giving shoppers a full six months to get all their shopping and decorating completed in plenty of time for Christmas. Decorations go up and Christmas music plays in stores and on the radio. TV commercials advertise items that we simply must have.
The recent trend is for the spectacular Black Friday sales to begin a week or so prior to Thanksgiving, and many stores are open on Thanksgiving Day. And, many stores are open on Christmas Day, so people do their “last minute” shopping, or spend money they received as gifts. The after-Christmas sales, lasting through around Valentine’s Day, give you the opportunity to purchase decorations for next year at greatly reduced prices. So basically, the Christmas retail season lasts eight months.
Amazingly, the extended shopping time-frame does not seem to have an affect on the busy-ness and frenzy that has become Christmas. There are decorations to unpack or purchase, so our homes and yards are well decorated. We begin shopping very early in the year for the best price on the items that those on our gift-giving list want. Endless phone calls, emails and text messages are exchanged in our attempt to get all of our family together at the same time and in the same place for our Christmas celebration. There are church, school, office, neighborhood and various organization programs and parties to attend, and the concomitant foods and goodies to prepare and share.
With all the hoopla surrounding Christmas decorating and shopping and football rivalry and championship games, we seem to have repurposed Thanksgiving.
Are you familiar with the term repurposed?
According to Merriam-Webster online, repurpose means “to change (something) so that it can be used for a different purpose.”
Sadly, Thanksgiving is no longer a day set aside to thank God for His bountiful gifts as the Pilgrim’s did, as our nation did in the past. Throughout our history, the United States of America has set aside national days for prayer, humbling ourselves before God, and giving thanks for His blessings and provision, and to ask for His continued blessings. Since 1942 that day has been the fourth Thursday of November.
… in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:18
We have repurposed Thanksgiving as the official starting line for the mad dash that we call Christmas.
Oftentimes, we skip over and miss our opportunity to give thanks to the Lord. Now, don’t misunderstand me. We are to give thanks to the Lord for everything in our lives, at all times, not just at Thanksgiving. But, Thanksgiving provides a unique opportunity to gather with family and friends to share with each other, and join together in giving thanks to Him.
As the crazy busy holiday season ramps up to warp speed, it is very easy to set aside your personal time in the Word of God. This holiday season, make your relationship with God your top priority.