A few years ago, some stores brought out their Christmas merchandise very early, in September and October, but this year it didn’t come out until after Halloween in most cases. But the holiday season started way early in terms of radio and TV ads, which I personally listened to and watched as early as November 4, the day after the presidential election was resolved! And the general population is starting early this year; people at work were talking about Christmas shopping this week, and I am already seeing some decorations up around town. One house had their tree up already, decked out, on November 8. Another house that was decked out for Halloween now displays a Christmas wreath. Yard decorations were seen at still another house yesterday afternoon.

Maybe this is a good thing. Finally the store merchants and the general population are on the same page. Anyway, the holiday season, once said to include Christmas and New Year’s, now includes Thanksgiving and most of November, for that matter. This appears to be a fact of life; I guess we should make the most of it. My fear is that we can get so caught up in the festivity and even the stress of the season that we lose sight of what it all means:

Thanksgiving
Being truly thankful for all things, great and small
Christmas
Celebrating the birth and life of Jesus Christ and the love and compassion that goes with it
New Year’s
Closing one year and ushering in the next with the hope that we can do better in the new than we did in the old

As I said, we should make the most of this holiday season. May it be a special blessing to you and yours—from start to finish!