You can listen to Christmas music anytime
Someone recently posted on facebook a question about whether or not it is acceptable to listen to Christmas music the day after Halloween. They wanted my advice as a spiritual advisor. I probably didn't give them such a spiritual answer. I said ABSOLUTELY you can listen to Christmas music as soon as Halloween is over. In fact, you don't even have to wait for Halloween to be over! Anything that shares love and cheer and positivity should be shared as often as possible!
Being born on Christmas Eve Eve myself, I have always felt a special kinship with Christmas. Unlike Lent, where we are charged to be penitent and reflective for the 40 days (excluding Sundays) before Easter, Advent can be joyous all the way through. We can read about the prophets as they proclaim the Messiah is coming - and then celebrate! God made us a wonderful promise that he would send a Savior!
"Therefore The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14
WOOHOO! YEEHAW! HALLELUJAH! PRAISE THE LORD! The Lord is sending "Immanuel" - God with us. God is going to live with us on the earth! How awesome is that! I'm singing the Hallelujah Chorus in my head, even as I write this!
But there is a responsibility that goes along with the jubilation...a condition that must be met before launching into the celebration. The reason for the season is Jesus Christ and our love for him. Even secular Christmas songs can be holy because God made the man who made the jingle bells, and Frosty the snowman. God gave creative minds to so many who wrote the many stories of Christmas, like the little drummer boy, Twas the night before Christmas, Scrooge, the Grinch, and the Nutcracker. But in all the hoopla, we cannot miss the REAL reason for whooping it up: we have a Savior. As one of my favorite hymns says "Love came down at Christmas." If that's not reason to celebrate all year long, I don't know what is...Well, except maybe a risen Savior...but that's another holiday altogether!
And BTW, it's "Merry Christmas!" not "Happy Holidays!" We do still have free speech in this country. Let's use it!
• Reach the Rev. Caren Bigelow Morgan of Waxhaw United Methodist Church, at P. O. Box 9, Waxhaw, NC 28173 or at (704) 843-3931