As I related last week, the hardest aspect of the forty days of blogging is not the writing, but the thinking about what to write. In today’s Wall Street Journal (online) there is a comment on a blog written by theologian Stephen Prothero decrying the lengthening of the Christmas season. If you’re like me you noticed Christmas creeping into September. Very subtly, there were isolated aisles of decorations and Christmas “glitch” right next to Halloween costumes.
Why – to sell things, of course! I don’t want to pound a dead horse, but it seems to get earlier each year. I don’t want to be trite and pound the “put the Christ back in Christmas” jingle, but the shorter Christmas season might not be a bad idea. Say forty days…oh goodness, the Church already figured that out. Isn’t it amazing how attuned to human nature the Church is? We do need preparation and time to recover, so it is build into the ecclesiastical calendar. Even the Gospel lessons, offer us an opportunity to think over concepts so that we can prepare for the coming Feasts. Lessons concerning the glory of the Theotokos, the correct perspective towards money, charity to our neighbors, then the fullness of Christ within the “Law and the Prophets” and God’s preparation of humanity for coming of the Christ; all provide spiritual and intellectual opportunities for us to prepare. Do we look at these weeks as a time to spiritually prepare? Or, are we too bogged down with the hype allowing that cynicism to overshadow every chance we have to block out the commercialism and focus on the real gift?