I have always loved decorating early for Christmas. If my family would let me, I would start in October. Not that I don’t love Thanksgiving, not that I want to rush past it, but there is something about the Christmas season that just makes me happy. My heart is lighter; my step is peppier. I look forward to this season all year long.
Coming down the mountain on Thanksgiving Day, we stop by a Christmas tree farm to cut down our tree. When all the kids were home it was one of my favorite things about the holiday. It was always like a competition between the boys to see who could find THE tree. Once we were home, there was an assembly line to get the boxes of decorations from the attic and the tree in the stand. Then, Hannah and I spent the next day transforming the house into a Christmas wonderland. Makes me warm inside just to think about those memories.
I find it interesting that so many people are decorating early this year. In a year unlike any other, even the early-decorator-scoffers have jumped on the bandwagon to hang their lights and trim their trees. There is an intangible desire to make merry and look forward. We are all ready to have this year behind us, and I think that by pushing Christmas forward it feels as if we are closer to the end.
Yet, nothing is the same as usual. Shopping will be mostly online. Concerts and other longstanding traditions will be cancelled or totally reimagined. Family events may not happen at all, or in smaller groups, or on zoom. I would think during this time people would feel even more isolated, but the Christmas lights and music are lifting spirits up. It just goes to show that the season is about hope, not materialism.
In fact, this year, we have the forced opportunity to put aside the frenzy and commercialism, and focus on the true meaning of the season. We get the opportunity to have a stripped-down version which takes us back to the very basics of love, family and faith. Perspective is a rare gift, and this year, it is a Christmas gift for us all. We are like the whos in Whoville that realized when all the trappings are stolen, the hope of the season remains. Even the corona virus Grinch cannot steal the hope of Christmas in 2020.