In my local grocery store, the Christmas items were stocked and displayed from the day after Halloween. Now, the day after Christmas, they are gone without a trace. It was just merchandise to them. In my home, the Christmas decorations are still here; when their time is past there will still be signs of the one who was born. The celebration is of an event that matters.
In worship this morning, the gospel reading focused on people who had waited a long time. Mary traded nine months of waiting for the reality of being a mother. At the Temple in Jerusalem, Simeon and Anna traded a lifetime of waiting for a chance to see Mary and Joseph present Jesus. But even for most people in Israel, it was another thirty years before they realized something important had happened. Simeon and Anna were paying closer attention to God's promises. They were watching, they were waiting, so they saw it sooner. Those who are paying attention to God's promises get "spoilers" about the future: that he has not left us, that he is with us, that he is acting for us even now. They enjoyed the hope and the celebration that others missed. The watching and waiting are not for God's benefit -- it is for ours.