Waiting for Advent

Nov 28, 2018 by

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I’ve discovered there are two kinds of people in the world, and it’s one of the deep social divides polarizing the world.

On the one hand are the people who put up Christmas trees and decorations on Nov. 1, right after Halloween.

On the other hand are the people who are absolutely appalled by the this practice, insisting that Christmas stuff shouldn’t go up until after Thanksgiving.

As always, I find myself caught in the middle of this debate. At our house we wait for Advent put up Christmas stuff. But let me defend the Nov. 1 Christmas people for a minute.

First, Allhallowtide is a Christian holiday. Thanksgiving is an American holiday. So I don’t see why a Christian should wait on an American holiday. After Allhallowtide the next big Christian festival is Christmas, so I don’t see why getting ready for that is a big deal. I don’t think Christian celebrations and preparations need to wait on national holidays. Global Christianity isn’t celebrating Thanksgiving. This waiting on Thanksgiving is an American thing.

But the real reason I’m defending the Nov. 1 Christmas people is this: Oh, how I can’t wait for Advent! I know it’s weird to wait on a season of waiting, but I adore Advent. Absolutely adore it. Advent and Christmas are my favorite seasons of the liturgical year.

All that to say, I’m sympathetic to the early Christmas people. For weeks I’ve been waiting and anticipating Advent. So I get the impulse to want it all to start earlier rather than later.

Regardless, Thanksgiving is now behind us. So it’s time to lay down our swords, come together, and unify.

The waiting for the waiting is almost over.

Advent will soon be upon us.

Richard Beck is professor and department chair of psychology at Abilene Christian University. He blogs at Experimental Theology, where this post originally appeared.

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