I went in to my local Starbucks today. While I was standing in line, trying to choose between the “Christmas Blend” and the “Christmas Blonde” that they had available, the Peppermint Mocha and the Gingerbread Latte, while looking at all the festive colors and the cheerful, smiling baristas, and listening to “It’s Christmas Time” blaring on the speakers, I made a decision:
I am boycotting Christmas.
We are barely a week away from Halloween, still two and a half weeks until Thanksgiving, and here you are, Starbucks, trying to push your Christmas blends and your Christmas decorations and your special Christmas drinks on me, and, well, I am having nothing of it. I refuse to celebrate Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. And since REI is even taking that day off, I refuse to celebrate Christmas until Saturday, November 28.
Wait. That’s my wife’s birthday. Scratch that. I refuse to celebrate Christmas until Sunday, November 29, and you can’t make me do it any sooner, Starbucks! So stop trying to tempt me with your red cups and your music and your decorations and your themed drinks, because I will not order them! Stop trying to shove Christmas down my throat before Thanksgiving, Starbucks!
And while I’m at it, I’m going to encourage people who follow Jesus to boycott something else: let’s please boycott boycotting around anything to do with Christmas.
Let’s boycott giving our responsibility to businesses to share the good news of the birth of Jesus by saying “Merry Christmas.” Let’s boycott berating underpaid retail workers, many of whom are simply trying to make ends meet, for saying “happy holidays.” Let’s boycott being upset if a mall decides to have a glacier display for Santa rather than a display with Christmas trees.
Instead of boycotting, let’s do some joycotting. Is that even a word? I don’t care if it is, let’s do it anyway. Let’s joycott all over the place. Let’s start a viral movement of spreading joy at every possible opportunity. If you find yourself with an opportunity to joycott, don’t you dare pass it up! What if we decided to put Christ in Christmas by filling our hearts with joy, our mouths with words of love and grace, our homes with peace and hospitality, and our actions with hope no matter what the situation or circumstance?
In the Gospel of Luke, when John the Baptist announces the appearance of Jesus and when the people ask how they should prepare for his arrival, he says to them,
“Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same. Don’t collect any more money than you are required to. Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely.”