Maybe this will be the year that I start to like Christmas. I’ve learned, since becoming Catholic, that the weeks before Christmas are NOT the Christmas season. They are, instead, a time of penance and preparation for the joyous season, the Birth of our Savior.
How can we prepare for this? I offer a few suggestions this week, some of which you might not be able to put into action. I’m still sharing them, though, in the hopes that, like me, you can begin to think ahead for next year (or the year beyond).
First, do your shopping (or at least plan what you’re buying) before Advent begins. As the master procrastinator and someone with a loathing for all shopping, I don’t suggest this lightly. I know it’s not easy. But I can’t wait to sit in the silence of Advent knowing that the large list of gifts is already purchased.
Second, plan a special observance during Advent. Maybe you’re going to pray a special prayer during the season. Maybe you’ll refrain from eating a favorite food.
Third, don’t forget to observe the special graces of the season by going to confession. I always put off going to confession, but I always find myself so renewed when I finally do it. Will you join me in the line to receive forgiveness straight from Jesus’ mouth?
Advent is not the same as Christmas. That’s the beauty of it. May you also discover the blessings of this season this year!
I can’t believe it is only two weeks until Advent – where does the time go! I don’t know that I can manage your plan – but it definitely is food for thought!
Good words, all. In recent years, my preaching and my prayerful wish is for a ‘new’ coming of the Christ child into our hearts and lives. So may it be. Blessings. dt
“Plan a special observance during Advent” is great advice because it’s a positive way to focus energy away from the commercial distractions. The challenge for parishes is that the season is often a time for church fundraising (“these make great Christmas gifts!”) at the same time we encourage parishioners to take a more spiritual focus.
if you need a song to inspire you….Come Now Our King by Chris August or You’re Here by Francesca Battistelli
I’m going to look those up right now!