Sarah Hart —  November 7, 2013

Thankfulness Three days after Halloween this year, I went shopping at Target, just for a few half-off skeletons and light-up pumpkins at 75% off…though by next year I’ll probably forget where I put them. Anyway, the Christmas decorations were up already, and I overheard the lament of someone an aisle over; “CHRISTMAS! Come on, I hate this! It’s not even Thanksgiving!” I feel like I’ve heard that lament a lot recently. I even noticed that Nordstrom’s had a special advertisement this year that, in the “spirit of the holidays”, Christmas decorations would not be put up until after Thanksgiving.

My thought…. “Why not?”

I’ve been thinking a lot about this; this strange protest that people have in waiting until after Thanksgiving to begin to put up Christmas decorations. OK, so maybe November 3 is not exactly anywhere near Christmas, or even the beginning of Advent for that matter. Still, to me at least, our humble wreathes and Evergreens, ornaments and candles, and yes, even those giant paper candy canes hanging from the ceilings at Target, point to the miracle that is about to take place; Christ will come. To me at least, the decorations are not – nor will they ever be – about mere merchandising. The decorations are a reminder for me, for my family, for all those who will gather with us, of a miraculous expectation; they invoke a sense of comfort, warmth, light, and charity.

And, perhaps above everything….thankfulness.

What is there to be more thankful for than the coming of our God; the divine Love made humble, condescending Himself, to walk with us so that he could rescue us. The love that reveals and leads us all to our belonging…I for one am happy to be reminded of that at Thanksgiving.

So, though Thanksgiving is not exactly what anyone would refer to as a “Holy Day” (unless you might count Football as sacred somehow), please don’t hold it against me if I set the gravy and cranberry sauce on the table between my light-up ceramic tree and my mismatched angel collection, and give thanks a little early for the Love that knows no season.

Sarah Hart

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Sarah just released Above Earth’s Lamentation in September, her eighth album as a solo artist. This collection of songs, captured with Nashville producer Paul Moak, comes during a fruitful songwriting season for Hart. Amy Grant, Celtic Woman, Matt Maher, Jason Crabb and The Newsboys are among those who’ve recently recorded her songs, and Grant's recording of "Better Than a Hallelujah" (for 2010's Somewhere Down the Road) earned Hart a Best Gospel Song Grammy nomination in 2010. She has also had several song placements in film and television, and her songs appear in hymnals all across the world.

3 responses to Thankfulness

  1. Yes, it is a refreshing way to look at it, but in the grand scheme of things Christmas stuff being put out so early is for companies to thrive off people to make money. I agree that Christmas decorations shouldnt be put out so early. I am thankful and know the meaning of why we celebrate the Lord, but a majority of children and adults dont. I feel less Christmas decorations and more of the Word should be pushed out in the stores. Yes, I sound like the Grinch, but its upsetting hearing people keep talking about how to decorate this year what kind of tree instead of children being tought the true meaning of the special day. Also people taking out the Christ in Christmas and putting X. What next just teaching the children Christmas is only about Christmas music, presents, and decorations.
    I hope I didnt sound to much like a Grinch just didnt agree totally about this message posted.

  2. This is a refreshing and positive way to look at all the early Xmas decorations. Many thanks for sharing!

  3. What a refreshing way to think of all the Christmas decorating. My daughter and I met you in Boise Idaho, bought 4 of your CDs and are thoroughly enjoying them. Tina and I love Christmas and all the outward signs of the season, music, decorations etc. we are currently busy working with her choir preparing for Christmas Mass. Thank you for your insite.