Looks as if we’ll have to change the designation “Christmas in July” to “Christmas All Year Long.”
I mean, the Hallmark Channel began its summer Christmas movie blitz June 23 and is continuing with a mini-marathon of Christmas content throughout this week. Of course, then there IS the whole month of July itself.
If you detect a touch of irritation in my prose, you are perceptive. I’ve previously written about the early celebration of Christmas that occurs in the fall, and I’ve basically come to terms with that phenomenon.
But I’m still working on this whole Christmas While We’re Sweating Buckets thing.
Maybe one reason is that my beloved “Murder, She Wrote” reruns have been pushed aside in favor of mistletoe, Christmas trees and wrapping paper. That show is usually what lulls me to sleep each night.
Just the other day, though, I had an epiphany concerning this Perpetual Yuletide. I’m not sure how or when – nevertheless, it happened.
I haven’t watched one of those Christmas movies yet, but I’m going to. I’m going to do so because I am finally realizing that the spirit of Christmas is not bound by dates on a calendar. It is a flame that can burn brightly within us all year long, even if the temperatures outside are scorching as well. It’s a state of mind, a way of living and a reminder of the greatest gift ever given: the birth of Jesus Christ.
While I once bemoaned the intrusion of Christmas-themed movies during the summer months, I now see beauty in their presence. These seemingly incongruous reminders of the holiday season can serve as gentle nudges to reconnect with the core values that Christmas represents – love, joy and compassion.
Imagine a world where the joy of giving is not reserved for a single day, but becomes a guiding principle that continually shapes our dealings with others. Picture a society where care, understanding and forgiveness are not fleeting sentiments, but constants that permeate our thoughts and actions. This could be the essence of celebrating Christmas all year long.
The family of one of my longtime friends who grew up in West Monroe but now lives in Colorado leaves up their outside Christmas lights until Easter – to celebrate the entire story of Christ’s life, incorporating his death into the narrative as well as his birth.
Because, really, although his birth was a wonderful, supernatural occurrence tied into the Greatest Love Story Ever Told, his death and his resurrection are even more significant. Because that’s where our sins were taken care of.
I guess that’s what I’m recognizing about this Never-ending Noel that we’re now encountering. Even though the movies are mostly secular-based, if the love of Jesus can shine through in them for just one moment and if even just one person is brought closer to Christ, then it’s worth it. After all, there’s a reason the season is called Christ-mas.
So, as we navigate the depths of summer and later find ourselves in the heart of autumn, let’s not shy away from the thoughts or symbols of Christmas ….
Wow. I just had another epiphany. I’m not kidding. I just realized that I’ve already been inadvertently forced to practice what I’m preaching. My husband absolutely loves Christmas lights and ever since Covid has insisted on leaving up our little tree. We also had to leave out the North Pole electric train. Not to mention the Christmas mouse that sings “Here Comes Santa Claus.”
But leaving these decorations in place and celebrating Christmas all year doesn’t mean we lose the sense of wonder and excitement that comes with Dec. 25, which, as we know, is not really the Jesus’ birthday anyway. Quite the opposite. Celebrating Christmas 365 days a year means we appreciate that one day even more because we understand its value.
So I invite you to join me in a perpetual celebration of Christmas. Let’s carry its spirit within us, allowing it to guide our words, deeds and interactions. In this way, we can truly make every day a Christmas worth commemorating.
Sallie Rose Hollis lives in Ruston and retired from Louisiana Tech as an associate professor of journalism and the assistant director of the News Bureau. She can be contacted at email@example.com.