Friday, October 21, 2011

Christmas in October

The Christmas decor is up at Walmart, and it's been on display at Hobby Lobby for weeks now...and I am bothered when I see that commercialism beginning so soon. I'll be holding off on decor and preparation until November 25th (at least). I have a strict rule: no Christmas-anything until after Thanksgiving. (Apparently I'm "old school" like that....)

So, as you might imagine, when I joined the Christmas Choir at our church and our first practice began in August, I was admittedly a bit apprehensive about listening to Christmas music so early.

My cousin will smile at what I'm about to say. She's from the school of thought that Christmas music can never come too early. My dear sister, who shares my feelings about giving each holiday and season its due time, might disown me...but I do hope she doesn't.

The fact is, I am truly enjoying listening to and singing Christmas music in October. (To be clear, sis, it's just the choir music, I promise!)

Most of my mornings in recent weeks have begun by singing along (with gusto!) to the rehearsal CD in the car on the drive to work. The songs are jubilant, beautiful, and with lyrics like "arise...come alive!!!...", how can one help but to be awakened and ready to start the day? My morning "rehearsals" have been such a worshipful time.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:
The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

(This is, interestingly enough, not my first post this year about singing Christmas music out-of-season. Remember this one in April?)

I always greatly enjoy and appreciate Christmas music in the weeks leading up to December 25th. And, I know that when December rolls around (shoot, when the day after Thanksgiving rolls around!), I'll be ready to play my Jim Brickman Christmas albums (yes, plural) on a regular basis. But, what I didn't expect was the appreciation that I've found for these carols right now.

Right now, the shopping frenzy has not begun. The television commercials are not yet emphasizing finding "just the right gift", and our minds aren't overwhelmed by what "must" get done before Christmas morning. The decor & the shopping & the wrapping & the baking & the parties are all such fun! But, they can lead to a frenzied and overly-busy month. Right now, I just get to reflect on the message of Christmas through the music, without the distraction of all of the other things that December holds.

There is something to be said, I believe, for having a few weeks of mental and spiritual preparation for the holidays. Who would've thought that by listening to Christmas music in October, God would bless me with the chance to do exactly that?

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

1 comment:

  1. Love this! I have found, like you, that songs with lyrics like "Be Glorified in Me" are an awesome, prayerful way to begin the day too. So glad you're in the choir!