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Keeping Christmas in Christmas 

Happy new year! With the beginning of Advent, we start a new liturgical year of grace as we await the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  And around this time of year we usually start to hear the familiar slogan “keep Christ in Christmas”.  It’s given as an invitation to not forget that Jesus is the reason for the season, to celebrate more intentionally the birth of the Savior of the world than an over-commercialized cultural event.

It’s a fine slogan, a truly needed reminder, and the Catholic season of Advent is primed to help us do just that.  But in order for Advent to be effective as a season of preparation, we have to keep Christmas in Christmas.

Go anywhere these days and you’ll already hear Christmas playlists and get inundated with advertisements to buy stuff now.  We all have seen the Christmas decorations on sale in the big box stores since September.  So by the time Christmas actually comes around, so many people are Christmassed out.  How sad is it to see Christmas trees in the garbage pile on the 26th or 27th, when Christmas itself is an eight-day celebration, and the Christmas season lasts to the Baptism of the Lord in mid-January.

Advent is a most delightful and meaningful season when, like a good wine, we give it room to breathe.  And as an added benefit, the celebration of Christmas will take on much more meaning, since we waited and prepared for it.

Let’s use these next few weeks of bulletin articles to make the most of this great season, keeping Christmas in Christmas by celebrating Advent.

As a start, as we begin decorating our homes, how about ensuring we have or make an Advent wreath?  Not only is its simple design a reminder of the poverty Our Lord was born into, but it is a wonderful tradition to light the candles and offer the meal blessing when the family comes together to eat.  My nieces and nephews once made one out of a pizza box, and their excitement about using it is exactly the fruit the Advent season seeks to bear within us!

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

All you holy saints of God, pray for us!

In Christ,
Fr. Michael