Neighbors up the street, as of last night, are ready for Christmas --- me, too (although I usually just light candles on the front steps Christmas Eve through Epiphany and leave it at that; maybe a wreath, too).
Or the holidays, whatever; equinoctial extravaganza maybe. Thanksgiving is upon us and the seasons are about the change.
I'm listening right now to the choirs of St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, performing An Advent Procession based on the Great "O" Antiphons. Great stuff.
In fact, the only thing I don't like about the season is when it ends and everybody turns the bright lights out just when we need them most, yanks down the greens and puts on grim January faces. Just call me Auntie Mame, but a little more Christmas --- year-around --- might be useful.
There's something in the season for everyone, including Scrooges. The "war on Christmas" volume will crank up soon and it won't be long before our Facebook friends are sharing "put the Christ back in Christmas" posts. Others will start complaining that the whole thing is just too commercialized.
I look at it this way: Self-righteousness can be very satisfying, so offering others the opportunity for it can be a gift, too. Happy holidays!
Besides, just because somebody wishes me a happy holiday doesn't mean I can't have a merry Christmas, too. So lighten up. Nor is anyone forcing me to participate in Black Friday madness, although I do think "Black Friday" sounds a little grim. How about Twinkle Time?
If you want to be really Christian about this whole holiday season, how about slipping a little Advent into your personal equation?
The ancient calendar of the church turns a new leaf this weekend as the season after Pentecost ends and Advent launches the new year, pointing toward Christmas in a reflective, quiet and candle-lit way.
The Christmas season, then, begins officially on Christmas Eve and continues 12 days until Epiphany. That's the time for "Merry Christmas." Until then, "Amazing Advent," "Salubrious Solstice," even "Happy Holidays" will do just fine.