Sunday, November 22, 2009

Planning vs. Celebrating (Christmas edition)

During our engagement, I wrote a post about planning a wedding vs. preparing for marriage.  Now, I'm here to talk about the same topic, only this time with a seasonal twist.

In case you haven't looked at a calendar lately, it's November 22nd.  Thanksgiving is 4 days away, and Christmas is over a month away.  In case you couldn't tell, Thanksgiving comes first. (When is Christmas before Thanksgiving? In the dictionary!*)  Maybe it's just me, but I'm seeing more Christmas decorations in November than I ever have before.  I hear bits of many Christmas songs on the radio these days, and most stores are fully decked out for December 25th.  I am a firm believer in giving Thanksgiving its proper recognition--it's my second favorite holiday and one that is too often overlooked as just the start of Christmas season.

Friday night found me painting a Christmas ornament and then sewing a Christmas stocking while watching a movie with my husband.  Is that in conflict with what I just wrote about celebrating Thanksgiving? I don't think so, and here's why: preparing and celebrating are different.  So while I may be preparing for Christmas (sewing, thinking about what I want to bake and budgeting for gifts), you won't find me listening to Christmas music** or decorating my house in evergreens and tinsel just yet.  (God help me if I ever decorate with tinsel.  No offense.)  And you know what? I've found that "confining" my Christmas celebration to a shorter time of year makes it that much more special.  Christmas marks the end of Advent, a period of a waiting. Thus, December 25th is a day that starts our celebration, not ends it.

*Thank you cheesy childhood jokes.
** Just another plug for Behold the Lamb of God.  Best Christmas music EVER.

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