OPINION

Is it too early to decorate for Christmas?

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley

I can't believe it, but it is almost time for the Hallmark Christmas movie marathon to begin. Along with it, I have seen some social media posts that show people starting to decorate for Christmas. 

Social media apps are already flooded with Christmas music and recipes and decorating tips. And trick or treating is still more than a week away.

In years past, I might have been inclined to rant against the early onslaught of Christmas. But considering the year that this has been, I think many of us might just need all of the merry and bright thoughts, feelings and trappings that we can get our hands on this year. 

Who cares if Tom Turkey is still getting fat out on the farm? Who even knows if we will all be able to get together on that famous Thursday in November? Besides, if that turkey didn't want to get looked over, he should have signed up a better public relations firm decades ago. He doesn't even have any music to play for the celebration. 

If Christmas lights and shiny baubles give people even a fraction of cheer this year, then I say bring it on. The stores are already filled with Christmas decorations and trees. And one already is playing Christmas music as people shop. 

My hope is that all of the trappings of Christmas will actually make people remember the true spirit of Christmas. Maybe this year, people will be more like Scrooge at the end of the book than the miserly fellow at the beginning. Of course, I don't mean miserly in the sense of money. Christmas is not about money. It is about generosity of spirit. It is about loving as openly and unreservedly as God loved the world. 

Generosity of spirit is something that is severely lacking in this country right now. Thankfully, it doesn't seem to be so lacking here in our area as it is in other parts of the country. It seems as though our removal from major metropolitan areas has insulated us from some of that ... I don't even know what to call it. The despair that seems to have festered into contempt for everything and everyone.

I understand that this year has featured many, many people who have fought hard for their rights and the rights of others and I am not referring to those who are involved in that struggle. I am referring to the people who incite and fan the flames of hatred rather than trying to be of any sort of help at all. 

Wouldn't it be great if all of those people could get a visit from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future? Maybe if we all decorate early, it will happen. Maybe hearts will heal and people will look at each other with the love embodied by Christmas and remember that while it is OK to disagree, we don't have to be disagreeable. We can concentrate on the things we share in common rather than our differences. After all, don't we all want the same things? Don't we all want happy childhoods for our children, peaceful and happy retirements for our parents and honest work and fair compensation for those of us in the middle? 

So, if starting Christmas early gets us all one inch closer to that, then break out the lights, the baubles and even the Hallmark movie marathons.  

Happy birthday to Stephen Bennett, Ed Vaught, Betty Martin and Derricka Harris, all of Sherman; Norman Gordon of Denison; and Dustin Northern of Bells.