I watch a lot of television and sometimes drive to various stores in Madison and Huntsville. Here is a sampling of what Iíve observed:
There is nothing illegal or immoral about beginning holiday celebrations earlier. However, in America, it is not customary to begin decorating or playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving. And our long-held custom of closing stores during holidays is being ignored by many businesses.
- On Friday, the 15th of November, I heard Christmas music being played in a television commercial.
- On Saturday, the 16th of November, I read an article congratulating a business for allowing its employees off on Thanksgiving Day to be with their families.
- On Monday, the 18th of November, I noticed three houses in my subdivision had already installed their outdoor Christmas lighting.
These changes in tradition are a cause of concern to a lot of people. I donít believe our society is on the verge of crumbling but I believe these cultural changes are indicative of a changing society. I see many in our society who are impatient. Their impatience with the seasons is symptomatic of impatience while living their lives. Many of us are not taking time to ďsmell the roses.Ē That is, we are looking to the future without enjoying the present.
Why have so many people begun running through life instead of taking a more leisurely stroll? I believe the most prevalent reason has been the introduction of technology. Airplanes, telegraph, telephone, television, email, and text messaging are examples of technology which has enabled us to rapidly communicate with people throughout the world.
With rapid communication, we no longer have to wait to hear from someone. Anticipation is gone.
In the Christian community, December is the month of Christian anticipation. Each year, we retell and celebrate the events leading up to and concluding with the birth of Christ.
I challenge each of you to become more aware of anticipation and how some of it may be regained in your lives. Bringing back more anticipation may increase your happiness.
Joe R. East, Jr.