I’m going to make a feather-ruffling, potentially unpopular, and highly controversial statement. It’s probably the most polarizing thing I’ve ever said at (in)courage. Hang on to your hats.
I’ve been watching Christmas movies for weeks.
While finishing my kids’ Halloween costumes, eating their candy, and planning my Thanksgiving menu, holiday movies have been on in the background. I’ve been discussing these movies with my bestie Mary every week on her podcast too (you can listen here!) and working on a second edition of my Advent book, which have also all led to tuning in to my favorite Christmas playlist.
That’s right. I’ve also been rockin’ around the (musical) Christmas tree.
You know what else? Last week, I had my first red cup drink at Starbucks. It was a skim one-pump chestnut praline latte, and I loved every calorie-laden sip.
I bought a carton of egg nog this week, too. I’ve been diffusing a combination of cinnamon, orange, and clove essential oils nonstop. My mantle currently has both a Thanksgiving-y banner that says gather and a collection of bottlebrush trees, and will soon be full-on Christmas. We are putting up the tree this weekend. It’s pre-lit, so we’ll enjoy the glow without decorations for now, and then the day after Thanksgiving, we will trim it! But yeah, it’s going up. And tomorrow night, we’re going to visit Santa.
I hear a thousand of you inhaling sharply.
I also believe I may hear a thousand of you clapping. I know I’m not actually alone in my stretch-out-the-celebrations-as-long-as-possible style.
If you know me, you know I love me some holiday season-ing. (Yes, I made it a verb.) I’ve written two holiday books and countless social posts about holiday-ing with my family. We try to go all in, whole hearts out there, and we try to squeeze every drop of joy out of each one. Throw in my kids’ Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter birthdays, and our family festivity motto is ‘celebrate big’!
It seems that often, when people express their holiday joy outside of December, they’re met with scoffs and scowls and general Scrooge-iness, and I always wonder why. I understand letting each holiday breathe on its own, giving each its own space and time to be enjoyed, but it just seems that really, what in the world warrants actual anger at someone simply enjoying a holiday or celebration that brings them deep joy? Can’t ‘tis the season mean just that — this is a season filled with opportunities for celebrating?
The God we celebrate and praise created each of us with unique hearts, and likes, and things that bring us joy, and I’m pretty sure He wants us to lean into them. Irenaeus’s famous quote, “The glory of God is man fully alive,” resonates with my (year-round, Christmas-loving) heart because loving and celebrating holidays both big and small is part of who He made me to be. I hope it brings Him glory when I lean into that, operating in who I am by His design.
Friend, when it comes to celebrations, you do you. It doesn’t matter one bit when you jump into the holidays. October? November? Christmas Eve? Not at all? All Thanksgiving all the time? Put up the tree tonight or keep it tucked away til Christmas Eve? Game on! Throw a party on a Tuesday night? Invite your pals over for a holiday movie marathon and cookie swap in November? Have a Friendsgiving in January? Go for it! You get to celebrate in the way that’s most meaningful for you, and no one gets to tell you there’s a better or different or right way to do that.
Earlier this fall, my family celebrated my mom’s twentieth year of being breast cancer free.
We celebrated every one of the gifted-to-us days from those last twenty years with pink everything, loud laughter, tearful stories, and being together. The week before our party, I attended the funeral of a friend who punched metastatic breast cancer in the face for eight years, right up until the end. Hundreds of us gathered to celebrate her life through our tears. With such a different kind of celebration so fresh in my mind, the celebration for my mom was even deeper and more meaningful than I’d expected it to be.
We have today, which means we have a chance to celebrate.
So do it. Celebrate — whatever you want, whenever you want. Put up all the autumn decorations. Eat the cake. Throw the party. Put up your Christmas tree. Lean into celebration whenever you can because there is extraordinary in every single one of our plain old everydays, and each one of them deserves to be celebrated.
Whatever brings you joy and God glory, do that — during the holidays and all your days.
Whatever brings you joy and God glory, do that -- during the holidays and all your days. - @annaerendell: Click To Tweet