When should we celebrate Christmas?

Christmas-themed arrangement of makeup at Brookwood Mall Belk | CAROLINE WOLFE, OPINIONS EDITOR.

 

Some people feel awkward in the beginning of November when they hear Christmas music creeping through the radio. For others, this beginning of the “Christmas season” (i.e. the period of time when inflatable Santa Clauses can be found in Home Depot) is nothing more than society joining in a regimen of year-round Christmas music. Still, the question remains: When should we celebrate Christmas?

Allow me to recommend putting off Christmas celebrations until Dec. 25. But what is to be done with the time period before Christmas? Enter Advent. Advent is the season of the church calendar that begins on the Sunday nearest to Nov. 30 and encompasses four Sundays leading up to Christmas day. It is a period of penitence and reflection to prepare one’s heart for the feast of Christmas and reminds the Christian that Christ’s coming cures our sin.

Rather than dive headfirst into the hedonism of “the Christmas Season,” Advent asks Christians to approach the incarnation with the realization that we often allow sin into our lives. I am not claiming that we should banish Christmas trees and Christmas music from our lives until Dec. 25. Rather, Christians should live intentionally as a people whose job it is to seek after order. Just as there are seasons of longing and fulfillment throughout redemptive history, so too should we approach the feast of Christmas longingly and penitently — like the children of Israel waiting for the coming of the Christ, like the way one prepares their hearts before worship on the Sabbath — with the resolve of the magi as they sought the Savior. To ignore the disorder of sin that required Christ’s coming and to start partying like it’s Dec. 25 on the first day of November is to ignore redemptive history.

Though the promise of a Savior has been fulfilled, we look to the second coming of Christ, when the Earth is returned to the order of Eden. The incarnation fused together longing and disorder with fulfillment and order, asking us to rejoice in the answer of the covenant of God and long for the day when sin is completely abolished. This year, set aside Advent as your season of reflection and admit that the disorder of sin in your life needs the order of Christmas Day — a day to celebrate the order of Christ. If you do, I promise that it won’t be hard to remember “the reason for the season.”  

Parker Gilley, Columnist

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