Updated: Nov 28, 2022
The Reason for the Obsession
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Ah, I'm so excited.
I can't wait. Ehh, well maybe, it's more - I couldn't wait.
And I can't help it. Christmas music starts playing the first of November and I get into the spirit and get inspired to try new recipes and bake and bake and bake some more. Then, next thing you know, the house is...
Gosh, I was really trying to be patient this year. Thanksgiving is wonderful. I love fall. I love that we are intentional to gather together (physically or virtually) and be thankful, spending time with people who mean the most to us.
I also love the nap after lunch. Give me a roll (okay, maybe two or three), a generous scoop of mashed potatoes, Granny Ann's chocolate sheet cake, and don't forget the brisket! (Only in Texas is it lawful to serve brisket for Thanksgiving, y'all... It may be new to the menu, but I'm perfectly fine with this becoming a new family tradition.)
Give me a place on the couch to curl up for a nap, and I'm a happy girl.
But like I was saying, even with my best intentions of waiting, I couldn't help myself.
It's true. It's like I'm living in the children's book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff.
Except I'm not a mouse. But it may as well be a cookie. I'm always up for a good cookie.
This version, though, of the beloved tale is about a girl named Candace who gets caught up in the holiday tinsel. And just like the mouse, we can't blame her. I mean it all started so innocently...
If You Give Candace a Task
If you give Candace a task, she's going to need to run an errand.
As she gets into her car to run that errand, she's going to want to listen to music.
As she turns on the radio, she's going to hear a Christmas song and she'll start to sing along.
After hearing one song, she'll hear another. She'll sing along again.
She'll run into the store for a quick purchase and notice the holiday baking aisle.
She'll remember the new recipe she pinned and she'll be inspired to try it.
She'll drive home with a car full of groceries and, of course, another Christmas song comes on.
So, she'll sing along again.
She'll play Christmas music as she's mixing and pouring and sifting.
While the deliciousness is baking in the oven, she'll think of the Christmas tea towels stored away.
She has a few minutes, so she'll go get the box.
As she looks through the box, she comes across the wreaths and ornaments and wooden reindeer and and and.
...And she can't help it.
Y'all, before she rests her head on the pillow that night, the house is completely decorated.
Like I said, I can't help it. I'm drawn to it. I love everything cozy. I get it from my Momma. She gets it from her Momma, and she got it from her Momma. It's in our blood.
And we're not the only ones. Why do I know this?
Well, because stores like Hobby Lobby start stocking shelves with ornaments and bells and wreaths and ribbon and dishes and party ware in August! It's still 100 degrees outside, and that's not even taking humidity into account.
But, the temperature doesn't matter. We need decor and we need it now.
So yeah, it's clear we live in a culture that is obsessed with decorating our homes for Christmas.
Why? Where does this obsession come from? Why do we feel the need (yes, truly we see it as a need) to decorate our homes?
Well, the obvious reason is commercialism. Why do they keep selling ornaments? Because we need new ones. Last year's are no longer good enough. Or, we still like those but we want to add more to our collection. Just look at all the choices! How could we settle on just one?
But, I think this goes deeper than cultural consumerism.
Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays - we read it on cards, doormats, wall decor, plates, napkins, pillows and frames. It's on movies and shows and commercials.
How can four little words strike such an emotional chord within us? Why does this little phrase have so much power?
Because it reveals something about us. Something deep inside us. Something that echoes through the chambers of our hearts and exists in the very fiber of our beings.
It's a longing for home.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon poses a great big question. A massive question. A question we've probably asked, too.
What is the meaning of life?
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after the wind. - Ecclesiastes 1:14
You may be thinking, "Okay...but what does this have to do with being home for the holidays?" Stay with me. We're getting there.
He goes on to tell us that in this life, we will experience a time for everything.
He describes a time for birthing and dying, a time for planting and uprooting, a time for killing and healing, a time for tearing down and building, a time for weeping and laughing, a time for mourning and dancing, a time for scattering and gathering, a time for embracing and refraining, a time for searching and giving up, a time for keeping and throwing away, a time for tearing and mending, a time for loving and hating, a time for war and peace.
Yeah, I need a breather after that one, too...
Before he ends that thought, he tells us that God
...has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart... - Ecclesiastes 3:11
In this life on earth, we will have seasons. We will have seasons of plenty and seasons of drought. We will have seasons of sickness and seasons of health.
All highlighting the things of this earth are temporary.
But, we are not temporary.
Our bodies are temporary, but our souls are not. God has placed eternity in our hearts. He's written His love on our innermost beings.
Out of all of His creation, He says, "You. Yes, you. You're mine. I'm drawing you, home."
We long for home because we long for Him. We're created with this longing. It's natural. It's ordained. It's part of us.
I believe we relish the concept of home for the holidays because deep down - deep, deep down - we long for love, joy, hope and peace this world can't give.
Over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, I think we can begin to look into these decorations we place around our home - the things we prep, primp, purchase and place in our homes - and see how even then, we're drawn to something greater.
Let us find strength in Solomon's wisdom. Let us find joy in seasons of life - accepting the good and the bad as they come - while holding on to the peace that God is above these seasons. He set it in motion as a purposeful reminder that this world is temporary. Let us find rest in the promise of eternity written on our hearts.
Yes, my friend, let us experience home for the holidays this Christmas - the home our souls long for.
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!