It has been my observation that over the past few years more and more people have begun to go along with the commercial push to start the “Christmas season” as early as November 1st. The past few years I have noticed on social media that people making posts about putting their Christmas tree up in the first couple weeks of November have become more and more common.
Typically, I am very much on the opposite end of the spectrum on this issue. I tend to take a hard line that Christmas decorations do not come out until after Thanksgiving. I have always seen the push to make Christmas time start on November 1st and last for nearly two full months to be nothing more but rampant commercialism. At times I have almost taken a combative stance in the harshness of my opinion on this subject. However, this year has me reconsidering a bit.
I think this year we are going to see a lot people putting up Christmas trees and decorations a lot earlier than they previously did. In part this is because 2020 has not been a good year, for a lot of people. Since Christmas falls at the end of the calendar year, I think a lot of people are going to rush to get the decorations in an attempt to rush this bitter year to its conclusion. However, I think there might be a deeper, more spiritual reason for the rush to decorate for Christmas this year.
For many Christmas represents joy. It is a special time filled with warm memories. From a faith stand point, Christmas is a celebration of joy but it is more a celebration of hope. We celebrate that love came down at Christmas and through the incarnation God gave humanity a hope for eternity. One of the elements of Christmas we really highlight during advent, is the hopeful expectation. On Christmas we celebrate that Jesus came to the world once, and with hopeful expectation we look forward to when he will come again.
This year has been a physical, financial, emotional, and spiritual struggle for so many people. One of the things that I am keenly aware of is the world desperately needs more joy and hope right now. If one of the small ways that you can increase joy and hope in your own life is by putting up a Christmas tree early, then go for it. More than any other year, may that tree be a reminder that even in dark days we have a reason for joy, we have a reason for hope, and that reason is Jesus. Jesus promised he will be with us until the very end of the age. However, sometimes we need a little extra reminder of that. So if that means your Christmas tree goes up on November 1st, then so be it.