Let me tell you a secret...
I celebrate Christmas AND Thanksgiving all year long!
No, I don’t have my Christmas tree up in June, nor do I have fall decorations out in February, but I celebrate nonetheless.
I celebrate each morning by thanking God for my family and friends, my health, and the many blessings He gives me.
I celebrate as I teach children about the importance of being thankful.
I celebrate as I teach them about Jesus, and the importance of His birth.
I promise I’m not skipping over Thanksgiving by listening to “O Holy Night” in early November.
My tree may be up before Thanksgiving, but the thankfulness hasn’t been overlooked.
For me, it’s impossible to not get excited about Christmas in November; to not want to hear “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
I think the season of Thanksgiving prepares our hearts for the true story of Christmas.
When I start listing the many things I’m thankful for, Jesus is at the top of the list.
It excites me to think about Christmas; a time where His story is shared more than any other time of the year!
I think about how thankful I am for my family. I think about how much more time I get to spend with them during Christmas. I think of all the family get-togethers. And again...I’m excited for Christmas.
It’s easier to outwardly celebrate Christmas with the lights, the trees, the music...but the truth is, I celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas throughout the year.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks.”
Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition WITH THANKSGIVING, present your request to God.”
I try to live by these verses.
I also try to live by 1 Thessalonians 5:16, “Always be joyful.”
Proverbs 10:28 says, “The prospect (the hope, the expectation) of the righteous is joy.”
My joy is in Jesus. The One who came to save us from the hurt of this world. The Savior who promises us life forever, if we just put our faith in Him.
Micah 7:7 says, “But as for me, I will look expectantly for the Lord and with confidence in Him I will keep watch.”
I’m looking for Jesus. And by the time November gets here, and I am even more focused on thanking Him for all He’s done for me, I just can’t contain the excitement for His story.
Jesus isn’t just the reason for the Christmas season, He is the reason for every season. He is the reason for everything.
If you don’t put your tree up until December because you want to focus on Thanksgiving, that’s great!
If you want to put your tree up and turn on the Christmas songs November 1st, go for it!
If you don’t put up a tree or one single decoration, that’s o.k. too.
Because when everything is stripped away, no fall decor; no “give thanks” signs; no Christmas lights or wise men figurines; I am still so very thankful for Jesus. He is worthy of praise. And my thankfulness makes me want to sing that precious Christmas hymn, “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus:”
“Born Thy people to deliver, Born a child and yet a King, Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring. By Thine own eternal Spirit Rule in all our hearts alone; By Thine all sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne.”
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