It seems that as soon as Halloween is over, we jump right into Christmas, skipping Thanksgiving altogether. While many have a problem with this, there are others that feel it is never too early to start celebrating Christmas. Here's why.

The hope

The hope that accompanies the Christmas season is almost tangible. It is not only the hope for a really great gift or the hope of seeing a loved one, but it's also the hope that mankind will be better. People will smile more, give you a greeting, open the door for you, and take time to visit. It seems this time of year helps people realize that there are more important things than just getting through the day.

The love

Love is in abundance this time of year. It just seems that people are more willing to be loving towards others. We are celebrating the love for a small baby who was born at this time. He grew up to give his life for us, because he loved us. Somehow, Christmas would not be complete without sharing this love for others. People tend to soften their hearts, let go of grudges and embrace family and friends just a little tighter than usual.

The focus on giving

Of course giving goes along with Christmas. We give gifts, goodies, Christmas cards, time, service and love. We don't give out of duty (hopefully) but out of kindness and gratitude for others. It's a way of sharing what we have and letting the receiver know just how special they are to us. Most of us put time and thought into our gifts, thinking about who they're for and remembering why those people are special to us. Seeing someone delight in their gift is precious and makes all the effort worthwhile.

The time with family

It seems Christmastime brings families together through visiting extended family that doesn't live nearby or through simply getting a day off from work to spend at home with loved ones. During this season we are more willing to make time for our families. We plan activities that go along with Christmas, we go to performances and celebrate traditions together. All this time together makes the season special. We make memories that last a lifetime and that we relive every year at this time.

The daily reminder of Jesus

Everywhere you go this time of year you can find reminders of Jesus. The music we hear is full of beautiful messages of the Savior. The lights on the buildings and trees remind us of the star that shown brightly. The beautifully wrapped gifts represent what the wise men brought Him. Even Santa Claus can be a reminder of Jesus because He taught us to give and love one another. Something as simple as walking into a grocery store and passing the Christmas trees lined up outside can remind us of His undying life because just as the evergreen tree stays green all year round, Jesus never dies. Being able to have that reminder of who He is, and what He represents is special this time of year. We can choose to see commercialism, greed, and debt, or we can choose to see Jesus.

These attributes that come with the start of the Christmas season may seem like they start too early, but I for one wish we could have them all year long. It is important to give thanks, to remember our forefathers and the event of Thanksgiving, but why not mix in a little hope, love, and reminders of Jesus? Instead of seeing the start of the holiday season as something to dread, something that represents too many treats, too many parties, and too many gifts to buy, focus on the good it represents instead.

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