The Grinch who Stole advent is a nice little article on ALPB online about when to put up the Christmas trees in the parish. Ah, very familiar to me. Probably to alot of us.
Decent article (here is just a bit)
Maybe I should blame all of this on the liturgical color revisions spearheaded by the Anglo-Catholics and taken from their Sarum Rite, for when they popularized changing the color of Advent from violet to blue, they allowed a shift from the more traditional medieval (and hence Lutheran) emphasis upon contrition for sins to the more ancient and patristic emphasis upon the expectation of Jesus’ coming.
The stated reason for the revision of color in the Advent season, of course, was to underscore the sense of hopefulness and anticipation with which the Prophets of Israel awaited the first Advent and so too should we eagerly await the return of Our Lord promised at His Ascension and confessed in the creeds. This is not a bad thing of course and no doubt Lutherans of all people should welcome such a dual sense of hopefulness and anticipation.
But that shift away from contrition to expectation, when combined with the festivity of the marketplace in the late fall months and the rampant commercialism of the season, leads good parishioners to misidentify Advent with the celebration of Jesus’ birth and not the patient, reflective wait for the coming Messiah of Israel. The hopeful tone of Advent melds together with the exclamatory tone of Christmas, ringing no different to the ear and seeming no less congruent than O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing do on a Christmas CD found in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.