Monday, November 11, 2013

Things They Should Invent: insist on Advent

On November 1, multiple non-retail sources, ranging from Weather Network polls to Reddit alien doodles, turned Christmasmas themed.  As though everyone had collectively decided "It's November, therefore it's time to think about Christmas!"  (In fact, one of the polls or articles on the Weather Network even said this outright.)

This is ridiculous.  It wasn't too long ago that US Thanksgiving was considered the distant early beginning of Christmas shopping and such.  But to stretch it out to very nearly 2 full months?  That will ruin it for everyone, because everyone will be tired of Christmas by the time December rolls around.  And to unquestioningly treat that as baseline human reality?  Unacceptable!

I have a solution: Christians should insist that Advent be respected.

Advent is, in many Christian denominations, a period of anticipation and preparation for the arrival of Christ.  In Western denominations (which includes Catholic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Methodist), it begins four Sundays before Christmas, which ranges from November 27 to December 3 depending on how the calendar falls that year.  That seems like plenty of time for actively getting ready for Christmas.  In fact, it has been decreed to be enough time by the very people who decreed that Christmas is A Thing in the first place!

Appropriately, because Christmas is a Christian holiday, this solution needs to be pushed and promoted and advocated for by Christians. There are people out there who are very insistent that Christmas should be acknowledged in public spaces, going to far as to proclaiming there is a "War on Christmas" if it isn't acknowledge to their satisfaction.

These people, especially, can do an enormous amount of good by also insisting that Advent be acknowledged, and by proclaiming and pre-Advent public display of Christmas paraphernalia to be a War on Advent.

The liturgical calendar exists for a reason.  There are different seasons that reflect the trials and tribulations of the life of Christ and of the human condition.  Christianity - and life itself - are not all trees and presents and food and adorable haloed babies. Advent, too, is there for a reason, and organizations that fail to respect it are failing to respect the complexity of your religion. You should protest this, like you would protest the use of a creche as an Easter decoration.

1 comment:

laura k said...

This non-Christian thinks this is a great idea. It would also prove that Christmas is a Christian holiday. Which of course is why it would never happen. The whole Christimas over-consumption addiction depends on it not being thought of as a religious holiday.