No, it’s not that one visiting uncle who behaves badly after he has had too many spiked eggnogs. Nor is it that salesperson who gives you a snooty look when you try to exchange one of your Christmas gifts.
“Christmas Creep” is a merchandising and retail phenomenon. It is a tendency of retailers to start putting out Christmas stock earlier and earlier. It used to be that stores would begin to put out the Christmas stuff after Thanksgiving – but then the creep began. The seasonal Christmas aisles in the stores would appear by mid-November and even creep into October before Halloween.
Radio stations are guilty of the “Christmas Creep” too as they begin playing Christmas-themed music earlier and earlier.
Catholics, however, are reminded year after year to honor the sacred character of Advent – and that Christmas doesn’t even begin until Christmas Eve. In essence, we are to try to help Christmas to creep in the other direction. While the larger culture is done with Christmas on December 26 and has packed all of the decorations away, we are to try to keep the spirit alive and celebrate Christmas until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord which, this season, falls on Monday, January 9.
So if any of your neighbors complain about you and say, “I can’t believe those people. There are 358 days until Christmas and they already have their decorations out!” – tell them the story of the “Christmas Creep.”
So often I hear parents speak about children, “They grow up so quickly.” It’s true – so try to linger and find blessings with the Child in the manger. So much in our world tries to rob us of the Christmas peace. Don’t give it away.
Thanks for all of the prayers and kindness you have shown to me in this holy time. This is my fifth Christmas season at Nativity of Mary and they keep getting merrier and brighter!