In about fourteen days, after Thanksgiving, we usually put up our Christmas Tree. A few weeks ago, my daughter started asking to put up the Christmas Tree, she wanted to feel the presence of Jesus in our home. We declined and offered the normal excuses:
- It’s too early
- Everyone waits until after Thanksgiving
- It will be up too long
- The neighbors will make fun of us
My husband and I had a delightful conversation inspired by her request. My husband gave in to her shiny blonde hair and big blue eyes (I warned him about this) and said “We’ll put up the tree but not the outside lights.” I argued back that the weather is sunny and beautiful and putting up the lights now makes good sense. He replied “but then people will see me putting up the lights and make fun of me for being the first to do so!” I fought back “what you are saying is that it’s okay to put up the inside decorations, and when people mock us, you can blame it on me.” We continued the debate as I encouraged him to put out the lights “you don’t have to turn them on until after Thanksgiving.” Suddenly I realize that my husband (not me?) had too much pride. His pride (not mine?) was keeping him from putting up the Christmas lights before it was socially acceptable.
Looking inward, I realize that I too was soaking in pride. Why not put up the Christmas Tree and celebrate the birth of Jesus! I am a Christ-follower and love the Lord, so why not put up the symbols of His birth celebration! As a society, we ridicule department stores and retail mall stores for putting out their Christmas (excuse me, “Holiday”) decorations before Thanksgiving. We see this as a lure by retailers to push us into spending our money on their Christian (oops, “Season”) gifts. We complain about the Christmas Trees and we stand our ground that we’d never put up a tree before Thanksgiving. How embarrassing!
In my morning bible study I was reading about Paul’s conversion and the persecution he endured because he loved Jesus so much. My Christmas Tree story is beginning to reflect a lack of submission and humility for the sake of the Lord. My eyes were blinded by what is socially correct, compared to what honors my Savior. I was seeing my Christian holiday through the eyes of social politeness- and I did not like what I saw. Pride was keeping me from putting up the Christmas Tree! I feel into the trap of giving the Thanksgiving holiday higher value than my own Christian holiday. I was lured into the “one-holiday-at-a-time” rules of society passed on from one generation to the next. I’ve stepped out of my little box and today is the day we are putting up the Christmas Tree. Humble me Lord.