Deflating the Christmas Creep
Have you seen the news about the “Christmas Creep?” No, it’s not the Grinch or the Burgermeister Meisterburger (a toss to classic Christmas cartoons from my childhood). One Orlando Sentinel columnist called the Christmas Creep the “ever-encroaching, Blob-like marketing that threatens one day to make Christmas in July a reality.”
Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable move to incorporate the Christmas season as early in the year as possible. Could it be that the world is just itching to celebrate the birth of the Christ child? Or have we jumped Thanksgiving altogether in favor of something more alluring: Stuff? The faster we can get people thinking about Christmas the faster they will begin to spend their money. So in the midst of the anticipation of the spending holiday, we lose this “old-fashioned,” traditional holiday called Thanksgiving.
But there’s an even more sinister reason that we’re losing Thanksgiving. Sure people are thankful as evidenced by observing the use of social media for a “month of being thankful.” However, the reason we are losing sight of Thanksgiving and jumping straight to the Christmore…er Christmas, is because collectively, we have displaced the subject of our thankfulness.
Listen to what the Psalmist says:
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,” – Psalm 103:2-3
“Give thanks TO the Lord, FOR he is good.” – Psalm 106:1 (emphasis mine)
“Give thanks TO the Lord, FOR he is good.” – Psalm 107:1 (emphasis mine)
Did you see it? When you take away the Giver of the gifts, being thankful for those gifts loses its importance. In order to truly be thankful FOR all that you have and enjoy, you must acknowledge the Giver of those things. Thanksgiving has lost its punch because although we are thankful FOR, we have lost sight of whom we’re thankful TO. (excuse the preposition)
By putting God back in to our conversations about thankfulness we increase Thanksgiving’s value. Because all of a sudden, being thankful doesn’t just mean something to us, the receivers, but it carries value to the One being thanked. With God as the subject of our thankfulness, all of a sudden we realize that we can’t just skim by this holiday. We have to revel in it. We have to celebrate it. We have to honor it because God is honored by our thankful declarations…as long as He remains the subject.
This Thanksgiving try this: instead of saying, “I’m thankful FOR…” and then listing a clichéd group of stuff we really don’t think about during the rest of the year; start with “I’m thankful TO God FOR…” and then be honest. Make God the subject of your thankfulness. Besides, what good is being thankful for a gift if the Giver is never mentioned?