Christmas in the Halloween Aisle
I've written of it before, but the great time poem of Ecclesiastes 3 continues to be so relevant it bears quoting here in its entirety:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecc. 3:1-8)
Why, you ask, would this passage remain on my mind? Because. Because stores and shopkeeps across the nation have entirely failed to read this chapter -- nay, have expunged it from the written record of Holy Writ altogether. "Surely God didn't mean that everything has a specific season," they say. "If that's true, why, we'd have to wait and put out merchandise for each holiday in turn! Preposterous!"
For years, I have (mostly) silently borne this infernal commingling of holidays. But I can bear it no longer. This year, I saw Christmas decorations out mere days after Labor Day. Even now, in countless stores across America, Christmas trees share space with Halloween candy, and the Christ Child looks up from his manger at the neckbolts of Frankenstein's creature. Will the madness not end? Can we not have isolated, independent Halloweens, Thanksgivings, and Christmases?
Please, keep proper seasons. Give them their due, but in order, in the right time. Put an end to the reindeer of Halloween, the turkeys bedecked with tinsel. Hold the clear teaching of Ecclesiastes 3 close to your heart and boldly declare, "NO CHRISTMAS UNTIL AFTER THANKSGIVING!"