This is what I know:
Mid-September is much, much, much too early to start thinking about Christmas. Especially when you’re a fall-lover like me.
But a friend of mine popped into a toy store a month or so ago – just after the school year began – and was accosted greeted by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, his friend Hermey (you know, the elf who dreams of becoming a dentist), and the Abominable Snow Monster.
Before the temperatures cool and the air becomes crisp?
Before the apples turn ripe and the pie is warmed?
Before the rhythm and routine of school and football begin?
Too early to start thinking about?
Too early to start preparing for?
I’m really not a Scrooge. I love Christmas. I love the love and the laughter and the memory making. I love the gifts and the giving and the stockings being hung by the chimney with care. And – oh, the horrors! – I love turning up the Christmas music before my Thanksgiving turkey.
Too early? Maybe.
But I also know this:
It won’t be long before it is literally zero degrees here in Grand Rapids, with a wind chill that makes me feel like it’s thirty below. It won’t be long before the snow flies and the wind howls and there’s talk of an artic blast or snowpocalypse. And it won’t be long before more than 300 people – including more than 60 kids – seek shelter and food and grace in our downtown Mission.
That’s certainly something to start thinking about.
That’s certainly something to start preparing for.
Our shelter is busy year-round, but on the coldest, darkest nights of the year our beds are full. That’s why we start thinking about Christmas now. That’s why we start preparing for Christmas now. And we hope that you’ll join us. Over the next several weeks we will explore what it’s like to spend the holidays at the Mission and how you can help us feed the hungry, lift the fallen, restore the broken, and heal the hurting.
Even if it is a little early.