"Just Calm Down"

It was good advice. 

I heard the wife say to her husband “just calm down.” They were leaving the aisles of the electrical department in a big box hardware store on a fall Sunday afternoon.

Since October, we have been moving into the time of the year when retailers work consumers into a frenzy.

Days before Halloween, some ginormous retailers without a blink rollout their Christmas displays. This move agitates me. I must remember “just calm down.”

Next, with Thanksgiving on the horizon, advertising related to Christmas shopping is popping up on television. My old brain senses these ads are running much earlier.

 By the time Christmas arrives, these ads will have a repetitive nuisance factor like political ads. This pre-Christmas advertising will make me bonkers. Thank goodness for the mute button on the remote control. “Just calm down.”

Early in November, my wife told me that a local radio station had started playing Christmas music. I love Christmas music, but it was November. I even heard Christmas music being played in the big box hardware store. Now for sure, I am approaching the edge of madness. “Just calm down.”

This early rushing of Christmas drives me crazy. Why all of this rush, rush, rush to thrust Christmas upon us? 

I know the answer, it is all about sales, sales, sales. 

Even at our church the staff is jostled into a somewhat controlled chaos. Planning Advent and Christmas events, some new, some traditional is coming down to the final details. 

Will we be ready? What is our communication plan? Can we give some of those very predictable Advent and Christmas traditions a new twist, a new angle? Can we offer something for everyone?

We started work on our Advent devotional book in the middle of the summer. 

You know Richmond summers— 90 plus degree days are common. Bermuda highs lock down off the North Carolina coast holding the heat in place. The humidity created is as miserable as a combination of Scrooge and the Grinch. Why don’t we work on this book in the middle of winter instead?

Why does this pre-Christmas lunacy do this to me?

The answer is quite simple—I let it.

Every Christmas, I am internally very well intentioned in my self-talk. But, I let the beast, the noise, the roar consume me. I fail.

I wonder what God thinks about all of this hoopla? 

I wonder if he is able to “just calm down”?

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