It’s not uncommon for shoppers to see clearance Halloween items in near proximity to the newly released Christmas items each year-in fact, we have come to expect it even though we often complain.
This year, however, I noticed something different. Instead of complaining about the Christmas items being brought out too early, it almost seemed like many friends and associates were joining in the festivities in their own home.
I’m well connected on Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and many friends started commenting about how they really were in the mood to start getting their Christmas decorations up. In October. Yes, in October.
I’m used to a handful of friends who really just love Christmas putting up their decorations that early, but this felt like a mass movement this last holiday. Why? I asked myself. A friend provided an answer that I think makes sense.
Christmas represents hope for many people. Even those who aren’t Christians and don’t recognize the holiday as Christ’s birthday seem to find a sense of renewal, hope and joy in Christmas.
To me, the October and November Christmas decorating represented a frantic need to feel hope. A hope in promised joy, a hope in celebration and for those of us who believe in Christ, the sense of hope found in celebrating the birth of our Savior.
Once Christmas was here and gone, I fully expected many of my friends to want their Christmas decorations to stay up, perhaps even longer than normal. But I found the opposite. A large number seemed almost frantic and noticeably determined to clean up everything to do with Christmas, clean the house and settle in for the New Year.
Every new year brings resolutions and a sense of renewal but this year I sensed a universal feeling that the renewal and change needed to happen sooner than later. Is it the economy? Is it the general low morale in the country? Is this feeling spreading beyond the United States and across the world? These are all questions I’ve asked myself and continue to wonder in the back of my mind.
A bigger question becomes, did people find the hope and change in our two most recent holidays?
My heart cries out for our country and the world right now, as we live in a time that seems void of hope and wanting so much change.
My heart also prays that people realize that the only full and true hope and change comes through Jesus.