Matthew 5:17 – Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
One of the sources of a non-profit society which survives solely on donations and fundraisers, is a Christmas Bazaar. And a popular place to hold them now is in a large mall, with other non-profit societies. This gives the customer a wide range of choices, gives the non-profit society access to a larger number of potential customers, and is a drawing card to get those customers into the mall. So, it's a "win-win" situation from a financial point of view.
The Christmas Bazaar used to be scheduled around the first week of December, but gradually crept back and back into November, then to just before Halloween. "Too early!" most would cry.
This year, the mall's Bazaar was scheduled for the Thanksgiving Weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving, October 9, 10 and 11). "Christmas Bizarre!" we all called it. Fingers had to fly faster over the knitting needles. Half finished projects had to be hastily made whole. Scheduling people was a headache because we're all volunteers and most people either go away or have a housefull. At any rate, who's thinking of Christmas at Canadian Thanksgiving?
Well, perhaps that's exactly the point. Why should our thoughts of Christmas, the real meaning of Christmas, be scheduled into a certain time slot a certain number of weeks or days before the actual day?
Perhaps this is the perfect time to have the bazaar, when people are in a "thankful train of thought", when they're not yet hurried or harried trying to make ends meet, while still getting the gifts we all think we need; so that it becomes a "hassle", a "chore", a "bother". Perhaps this is the perfect time for us to gently remind ourselves and each other what Christmas really means, no matter when we hold our Christmas Bazaars.
Perhaps rather than see the earliness as destroying the beauty and meaning of Christmas, we can seize it as an opportunity to keep the beauty and meaning of it with us all a little longer.
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for the birth of your son, Jesus. May we keep our focus on the true meaning of Christmas as the commercialization of Christmas continues to creep into our lives earlier and earlier each year. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.