Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas in Advent

I recall years when I was torn between the two viewpoints: "getting ready for Christmas" that had been so much a part of my Decembers versus the rule of "waiting for Christmastide" until we actually arrived at the 24th or 25th. I can see the point of those who don't want to do anything "Christmasy" during Advent, but I still rebel against the idea of putting up a tree on the 24th when I'd rather be in church. In some of my blog reading this week, Pastor Cwirla made a point that made more sense than any I'd heard before.

He spoke of having distinct seasons of Advent and Christmas within the church. He said that, in his home, there was a blend of "getting ready" and "waiting." But what I loved most was his perspective on what's happening out there in the world, with manger scenes set up the day after Thanksgiving:
In society, I rejoice whenever I see a nativity scene or hear an actual Christmas hymn, even if it's the day after Halloween. With everyone trying to wipe Christmas off the holiday map, I don't need to help them. I'll gladly sing along with the Christmas carols at Home Depot and wish anyone a "Merry Christmas."

It IS amazing, isn't it, to hear
He from whom joy streameth
poor in a manger lies

while you're shopping for mittens, or

veiled in flesh, the Godhead see,
hail the incarnate deity!
Pleased as Man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Immanuel

while trying on jeans at Fleet Farm.


  1. Wow, Quite the discussions on the subject. Personally, I am with ya, Susan! Let the hynms and carols play on. We can't have too much "Christmas" in my opinion.


  2. Susan, it's not Fleet Farm. It's Farm & Fleet. ;)

  3. Don't mess with my brain, Melody. ;-) I grew up with Farm & Fleet. Moved north to where we had a Fleet-Farm. About the time I got used to the backwards name, we moved close to the Illinois border and were back to Blain's Farm & Fleet. Now we've moved back into Mills' Fleet-Farm territory. I never know WHAT to call that store anymore!

  4. Well, Debbie, contrary to what Dr Scaer espouses, I really like holding off on the Christmas music (especially at church) until Christmas... except for those Christmas hymns I sing year-round and which would be silly to give up for Advent if I normally sing them in Lent, Eastertide, and all through the Trinity season.

    At home, I crave quietness so desperately that I rarely listen to Christmas music even during Christmastide anymore, much less during Advent. But I am definitely feeling more charitable toward the bits of real Christmas that sneak into the secular world's December celebration, even though it be early according to the Church's rhythms.