Side note: Do you think some people don't capitalize words in their blog titles (or anywhere on their blog) for a design choice or because they just don't know what to capitalize?
It was Halloween several years ago. I got into my car and turned on the radio. The station that I'd been listening to the day before was now joyfully ringing out the tunes of "Jingle Bell Rock". "Those Utahn's love their Christmas," I thought. "Surely you should wait until at least Black Friday."
A few weeks later Christmas lights started showing up on houses. "Understandable," I decided. No one wants to hang lights when it's below freezing. But surely you should at least wait to turn them on until after Thanksgiving - the Christmas season is much better enjoyed in small but potent doses. Too much Rudolph can't be good for anyone.
Then the first snow came. The first real snow. The first "I can make a snowman" snow. The first agonizing Narnian snow that always makes me simultaneously homesick for childhood and for combination creepy/charming kidnapping you but still friendly faun friends. And I couldn't help myself. I turned on the radio and was in Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra heaven before anyone had even thought about buying their Thanksgiving turkey.
"This is wrong!" I thought. "But why does it feel so right?!"
Because, said a little voice in my head. Christmas is awesome. But no really - it's full of awe. And the Spirit. And Scrooge said we should keep Christmas all the year.
There's been a slew of posts on my Facebook feed lately from people who demand for the official divorce of Christmas and Thanksgiving. "Stop listening to Christmas music! You're forgetting Thanksgiving!" People say. "Putting up your tree before Thanksgiving is just wrong."
I'll admit - I don't quite get it. What about Thanksgiving and Christmas are so fundamentally different that they can't be mixed? I understand the special quality of Christmas that is, in part, maintained by its four reserved weeks in a year, and even that is too many weeks for me to hear "Jingle Bell Rock" several hundred times. (Or worse: "Christmas Shoes".) But must we be so dictatorial about it?
I believe that Thanksgiving is a perfect segue into Christmas. It puts into our minds just a little bit longer that the true meaning of the holiday season - all two months of it - rests in a spirit of gratitude. Gratitude for our country and for the men and women who worked hard and overcame so much to "(preserve) us a nation." It is about gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy, which include the freedom of religion and worship of God in whatever manner we deem best.
So while I totally support not putting up your Christmas decor in July or leaving your Christmas lights up all year ('cause that's soooo white trash), I will fully support the right to bring in the spirit of Christmas (which is really the spirit of Christ) as early as they like.