Ken Haskins: Christmas, not consumerism, should start early

It begins a little earlier every year. I’m not referring to the Christmas displays in retail stores. My parents decorated their home for Christmas during the first week of October. We will enjoy three months of Christmas this year.

We can get too much of a good thing. I recently watched a Donald Duck cartoon with my granddaughter, Arianna. After a seemingly perfect Christmas day, Donald’s nephews wished that every day could be Christmas Day. They received their wish and for a few days were very happy. Boredom soon set in, however, and they longed for something different. They had too much of something that can never satisfy for long: toys.

The retailers set up shop earlier every year and spend billions of dollars in an attempt to convince us that we should rise in the middle of the night, line up outside their establishments for hours on end and trample one another underfoot to get our grubby little hands on the latest toy — a toy that likely will be forgotten next year. This isn’t Christmas. Certainly, one can get too much of this!

You can’t get too much of Christmas, though — even Christmas in October. We do not neglect other important days or celebrations. We love Thanksgiving and we give thanks for our faith, family, friends and food. We also seek to practice Christmas every day.

Christmas is spectacular. It is the story of Jesus and His great love. “God demonstrates His own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christmas is the season of faith and hope, love and generosity, joy and peace.

Our family has many great Christmas memories. So why not start a little earlier every year to make new ones? You can’t get too much of faith, hope, love, joy, peace and Christmas!

On the first Christmas, an angel announced the true meaning of Christmas: “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.” May we respond with the heavenly host, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests!”

I wish for my parents and all of you, a very Merry Christmas this Thanksgiving!

Ken Haskins is the pastor of First Christian Church.


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