How to Stop Christmas from Coming Too Early

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We're always sorry to hear the groans of "Too early!" when Christmas talk starts before Thanksgiving.

We understand that there is a season for everything, but the intensity of the response suggests that somehow Christmas has become painful -- "If I have to hear one more Christmas carol, or see one more inflatable Santa Claus, or endure one more holiday demand on my attention, I'll scream!" they seem to say.

Statements like that suggest an advanced case of Christmas Commercialism, in which the Christmas Spirit has been completely obscured by the commercial noise. It is the loss of the Christmas feeling that causes the pain, and that painful feeling of loss may be expressed as frustration.

But ideally, The Christmas Spirit is something we not only celebrate at Christmas, but which also lives on throughout the year.

If you are losing the Christmas feeling and instead feel manipulated by the commercial symbols of Christmas, it's time to re-think your approach to the holiday.

Start by identifying what's bothering you: fake Santas, repetitive Christmas carols, artificial decorations, exhortations to buy, or something else. Chances are good that the thing bothering you is NOT one of the core Christmas values, like Kindness, Togetherness, Charity, Love, Peace, Fellowship, Fun, etc. More likely, you are troubled by something that symbolizes just the opposite of those values.

The next step is to disarm the offending symbol. If you're hearing too many Christmas carols, you're probably spending too much time in stores. If it's the decorations that the Chamber of Commerce has put up, keep in mind that Christmas does not happen in a mall, and what you are seeing is not Christmas or a celebration of Christmas. Is it the meaningless secular symbols?  That's not Christmas either. Know this: The thing that is upsetting you is not Christmas, the celebration of Christmas, or even the early celebration of Christmas. It's something un-Christmas-like that is replacing what your heart remembers.

Finally, reject the commercial definition of Christmas. Commit yourself to expressing within yourself and within your circle of influence your true meaning of Christmas -- whether that be mostly about Love, Charity, Kindness, or the Gospels. If Frosty the Snowman doesn't fit with your understanding of the Christmas holiday, just ignore that inflatable toy as if it were 4th of July fireworks, totally irrelevant to Christmas.

Once you stop buying into the commercial vision of Christmas, and commit yourself to living your own vision, Christmas can never come too early, nor last too long.

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