This past weekend was filled with wonderful fall weather. The skies were blue with a few puffy clouds floating by and temperatures near 60 degrees. A good guess might be that Saturday and Sunday were the last such days until spring. Maybe so or maybe not. In any event, several of our neighbors took advantage of the fair weather to put up Christmas lights and other seasonal decorations – an inflatable Grinch and Christmas tree among them.
Sunday was November 5. There’s something not quite right about Christmas decorations up before Veterans Day.
This is not going to be some tired rehash about putting Christ back in Christmas or the commercialization of the sacred. Those battles, even if they were worth fighting, are long since lost.
This is about, Romans 1 if you need a proof text, things that should be plain to all people, things we deny without excuse: Christmas lights should not be turned on until after Thanksgiving. Perhaps, but only perhaps, a case can be made for the pragmatic decision to string the lights along your eaves on a warm weekend before Veterans Day, but there is simply no case to be made for switching them on before the Halloween candy has been sorted, let alone eaten. Contrary to nature, Paul says, in an otherwise controversial passage.
I am sure the Freudians have an explanation, all I know is that I have a deeply embedded sense of what is right and wrong that goes beyond morals and ethics, politics or theology. A rightly ordered universe includes some very important things that are “supposed to be” and some that are “not supposed to be.” Christmas lights lit (and the Grinch inflated) before Thanksgiving fall well into the category of “not supposed to.”
It’s a bit early for any accuracy in the forecast for Thanksgiving weekend. One long range forecast has highs in the 40s while another includes freezing temperatures and a little snow. No matter, numb fingers and all, Becky and I will string our Christmas lights after Thanksgiving – the way it is supposed to be.