I have to take my hat off to Nordstrom’s this year. To be sure, we have all seen displays in the stores already touting the Christmas season. Or I suppose, to be politically correct, I should call it the holiday season. But, you know what? Forget that – we’re coming up on the Christmas season and that’s all there is to it – whether or not Starbuck’s put snowflakes and other emblems on their red cups this year. And Nordstrom’s has come out strong – saying that they are only going to celebrate one holiday at a time and don’t expect to see any Christmas decorations in their stores until after Thanksgiving. I guess that also means that they held off on Thanksgiving decorations until Halloween was over – and that’s exactly as it should be.
Janet and I are firm believers in this practice. Even though Christmas is Janet’s favorite season, and we decorate for it, believe me, we don’t believe in putting up any decorations until after Thanksgiving – usually beginning the day after Turkey Day – also referred to as Black Friday. In fact, we don’t shop on Black Friday – we would rather start on the house. In our former homes, by the time we were done with several trees, outside lights and garland coming downstairs from the second floor balcony, it used to take us at least four days to get everything around the house prepared for Christmas. To be sure, the older we get, the more difficult it gets to work the hours that we need to put in to get it all done.
And then, of course, there is taking everything down before New Year’s Day. That’s because our daughter Jill has a New Year’s Day birthday and when she was growing up, she didn’t want us spending our time working on her birthday. Who can blame her for that? I remember as a child that Mom and Dad took down the decorations on New Year’s Day, but back then we lived in a smaller house with one tree and relatively few decorations. That’s not the case any more!
So, by the time you are done reading this tonight, you my be laughing out loud… or you may admit that you have done the same thing we did today. Yep, I am ashamed to admit that we put up our first tree today – in the lower level of the house. I say that because we aren’t decorating the main part of the house until after Thanksgiving but we can’t say that we held off until after Turkey Day. I guess I could try and defend our actions by letting you now that we are having work done around the house and with all the other things we are involved in, we won’t have enough time later in the month to decorate the house.
We always have the option of cutting down on the decorations for the house but that sure isn’t our first choice. And since this is only our second year in this home, we are still getting used to how our stuff fits in the new place. All that doesn’t change the fact that we succumbed to the calendar and started way ahead of the curve to get a tree up. And yes, I thought about not letting you in on this secret, but since this blog is all about truth and confession, there you have it – let me say it again – WE PUT A CHRISTMAS TREE UP TODAY!!! Oh, the shame of it all…
Except for one thing… and that’s a verse from the Scripture. Paul, who wrote the book of Romans that explains the intellectual doctrine of the faith, we are told, in Romans 10:11, “As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
Where does the Scripture say that? Back in the Old Testament – in the Psalms. We are told, in Psalm 31:1, “In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.” My encouragement this evening is that God doesn’t want His people to experience shame. Shame is generally reserved for those who are not trying to be righteous. My prayer is that you will always honor the Lord and trust in Him when times get tough. As as we grow closer to celebrating the day that we remember as the birth of the Savior of the world, from our house to yours, Janet and I would like to be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas – and there’s no shame in that! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…