I am a tempted man.
I feel like Anakin standing between the Emperor and Mace Windu, tempted to choose between good and evil.
I feel like Frodo standing within Mount Doom, holding the ring above the flames but not ready to drop it in.
I feel like Joseph standing before Potiphar’s wife, with her giving me the eye and that “come hither” look.
I’m not being tempted to kill a mentor. I’m not being tempted to doom Middle-earth. I’m not even being tempted towards infidelity against my wife. I’m being tempted towards infidelity against my own standards and principles.
Over the past few years I have clearly defined my personal standard on when it’s appropriate to begin listening to Christmas music. There is a certain season for Christmas music, which begins after Thanksgiving dinner and continues through Christmas day. Outside of that time period, Christmas music should not be played and it should be avoided at all costs.
Not only have I laid down this standard for my life, but I have also been very vocal about it.
I have shared these views with our youth group.
I have looked disapprovingly at friends who were listening to Christmas music in August.
I have attempted to proselytize those I don’t know with my views.
I have loudly ranted against the practice of playing Christmas music too early when I hear it the day after Halloween.
However, even though I have taken this firm stand, I am being tempted to listen to Christmas music early.
I want to make a Genius playlist based off of “Little Drummer Boy”.
I want to download and listen to David Crowder Band’s Christmas album.
I want to hear Old Blue Eyes sing “The Christmas Song”.
I want to pretend not to like “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey but secretly listen to it in my truck.
Alas, it’s only November 8 and Thanksgiving is 16 days away. So even though I’m being tempted, almost beyond what I can bear, I need to stay strong.
I could fire up my iPod, plug in my headphones, get lost in my own personal winter wonderland and no one would know. I could compromise my standards, abandon my principles and begin listening to Christmas music right now. But like any sin, if I give early Christmas music listening that foothold in my life, who knows where I’ll end up? It starts with “Last Christmas” on November 8 but ends with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in the middle of July.
When do you start listening to Christmas music?