Christmas in July

Christmas in July

By Steven J. Callis

While some credit The Byrds in their 1965 recording, others will remember that Pete Seeger actually penned the lyrics in 1959 and recorded his version of Turn, Turn, Turn (to everything there is a season) in 1962.  Still others correctly understand that these lyrics were adapted entirely from the Book of Ecclesiastes, traditionally ascribed to King Solomon.

In one of our local stores last week I was taken by surprise as three aisles of Independence Day decorations and supplies were followed by several aisles and displays of Christmas decorations!  I checked my Daytimer to verify that it truly is July.  There were hundreds of ornaments, boxes of lights, candles, crafts, and other decorations to remind me that Christmas in only – – well, about 6 months away!  What happened to “to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven?”

I thought in contrast to this store about another store owner who told his pastor, “On December 26 my job is to rid the store of Christmas in one day.”  The pastor replied, “My job is to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in the hearts of people all year long!”

Robert Mantzke composed a children’s musical titled, “365 Days of Christmas.”  As the songs take the audience through various holidays celebrated in America, the children find ways and reasons to demonstrate the love of Jesus no matter the occasion.  The children convince themselves that it is possible to have Christmas all year long.  Suddenly one of the children realizes a huge problem: will the adults go along with this idea?  The musical ends with a challenge to the adult audience who is asked to repeat a vow of promise that they will do their best to keep the spirit of Christmas alive 365 days each year.

Were the children expecting to wake up every day to wrapped gifts overflowing a decorated tree?  Were they expecting every day to be a holiday?  Of course not; they simply realized that the real gift of Christmas is demonstrating love and kindness to others as a reflection of Jesus’ love for us (John 3:16).

So as the fireworks were being beautifully displayed across the skies in honor and celebration of Independence Day for the United States of America, I wanted to break out in song: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.  Let earth receive her King.  Let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing.”

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