Some people have been teasing me by putting up Christmas decorations, listening to/singing Christmas music, etc. before Thanksgiving. And I’ve protested against it. I insist that we can’t just skip over Thanksgiving. I was not happy with the snow before Thanksgiving (let’s be honest, I’m almost never happy with the snow, period).
And it’s not because I’m Ebenezer Scrooge, saying “bah-humbug” at all the joy of the season. I do love Christmas, everything that it means, everything that comes with it.
But we leave out Thanksgiving too much.
I’m not saying we need to celebrate the Pilgrims and the turkey and–we don’t need to focus more often on Thanksgiving Day itself. Christmas is definitely more worth celebrating if we go down that route.
But we absolutely need more thanksgiving. Thankfulness. Praise. All the many ways we could put it.
In fact, I don’t think we can truly celebrate Christmas if we’re not thankful.
This isn’t to argue that Thanksgiving is better than Christmas or that we can only start celebrating Christmas after Thanksgiving Day is over.
Referring back to my last post, Ann Voskamp said that “To know God is to thank God.”
The only way we can know–truly, intimately know and love–God is because Jesus came. He came to earth (Christmas), lived as fully God and fully human, taught, died on the cross to save us from the penalty of sin and give us access to the Father in Heaven, and rose again to save us from the power of sin/death and give us hope.
And if we know God, we will thank God. This should happen all year, but we can especially focus on it at Thanksgiving. Just like we can remember Christmas all year, but especially focus on it during December.
Celebrate both! Mix parts of them together! Celebrate them throughout the whole year! We’re thankful because Christ came!!
I found it interesting and timely that, soon after I had thought about this topic, I read a poem in school that I think goes quite well with it. I’ll link to the whole poem here and I recommend reading it all, but I’m only going to share my favorite bits and pieces.
Shall Houses clad in Summer-Liveries
His Praises sing
And laud thy King,
And wilt not thou arise?
See how their Breath doth smoke, and how they haste
His Praise to sing
They scarce a Break-fast taste;
But through the Streets, lest precious Time should waste,
When Service doth begin, to Church they haste.
And shall not I, Lord, come to Thee,
The Beauty of thy Temple see?
Thy Name with Joy I will confess,
Clad in my Saviour’s Righteousness;
‘Mong all thy Servants sing
To Thee my King.
Who would not always sing
To such a King?
~Thomas Traherne, “On Christmas-Day”
The King has come, has done/still does all these things, and is the reason for the season. And we should sing, should praise, should be thankful and grateful and joyful.
📷: Image by Terri Cnudde on Pixabay