And I like it.
Yes, it's Advent. Yes, I know about how early "secularization" decorating for Christmas robs Advent of its meaning, or so some think.
No, it doesn't do that for me. I still observe Advent. I love Advent. Early decorating won't make any difference to me.
Now, I may have written something like this in previous years, but this year it feels different. I realize how much I love lighting displays in this darkest time of the year. I realize that by October, when it's night, and I'm driving in the rain, and I approach the traffic lights and their reflections off the wet road, I feel Christmasy, and I like it. I know that the decorations and lights my neighbors put up today will be gone by Christmas day.
And if I get scroogy about those early lights, if I twist myself into a knot about the violation of Advent, I'll miss entirely something I love. My neighbors won't be celebrating Christmas for twelve days after the 25th. They've already had four weeks of it. So I will enjoy them now.
And so, I'm enjoying the lights. I'm enjoying extending my Christmas joy and mixing it with my Advent anticipation. And today I replied to the first "Merry Christmas", with a Merry Christmas of my own. And yes, we are going to light up a small fir tree in the front yard this week.
Slippery slope? Only if my mind allows it. And it won't. Because I love Advent, and the dark, and lighting small lights in the dark, to remind me of what it is for which I'm waiting.
What are you waiting for this end-of-the-year?