Advent season is right around the corner!
And, I don’t feel prepared at all.
Advent is a time of preparation. Specifically, preparation to celebrate the birth of Christ. In an increasingly secular world, there is a push to have Christmas decorations out before Thanksgiving – in a couple stores, there were Christmas decorations out the week before Halloween!
If Advent is a time of preparation, how can I truly prepare when everyone around me is ready to celebrate the secular meaning of Christmas?
A couple years ago, I stumbled upon some great books at one of the stores run by the Daughters of St. Paul. Being a
good proud bibliophile, these books came home.
For the past two Advent seasons, I have had every intention of using the daily Gospel reflections to build upon my spiritual preparation for the celebration of Christmas. However, I have not gotten around to using this book in particular. This year, I want my resolution to remain steadfast.
In order to truly prepare for something, one must plan accordingly. Therefore, I am going to break out my calendar, and pencil in time to devote, perhaps not daily, but several times a week, to reading Advent Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections.
Great! So, I’ve got a plan for myself. How do I put it into practice with my children?!
Honestly, I am still trying to figure this out. The first Advent we owned our wreath, my son made a game out of stealing the candles and hiding them. That was his extent of participation. But, he was only two, so he got a pass. Last year, he was excited to help me add the correct candles on the Sunday, and the wreath was out of sight, out of mind the rest of the week.
Some other Catholic moms have talked about decorating for Christmas, but leaving the manger scene devoid of Baby Jesus – so, I’ve incorporated that idea, although then it required me to remember where I put the Baby Jesus doll before Christmas Eve.
This year, just like my own spiritual preparation takes planning, I think I need a plan of action for preparing my son for Christmas.
Perhaps the preparation can come in the form of books, yet unboxed, stored away in our Christmas gear. Perhaps the preparation is having him assist in placing the candles on the wreath. Perhaps the preparation will be in discussing the true meaning of Christmas with him on a daily basis.
Or, perhaps, I need to scale back a notch, and continue to focus on teaching him the basics – teaching him his “simple” prayers of the “Glory Be” and “Our Father.” Perhaps I need to ask God’s guidance in recognizing natural moments to share the meaning of Christmas, but not knock him over the head with everything on a continual basis. And, while we do that, the Advent wreath can remain in sight, but up high on our mantle, where “helpful” little fingers can’t reach.
Because I am learning a couple things as I navigate the waters of religion with my children:
Evangelizing to your children is hard!
I need to cut myself some slack!
I am joining the CWBN Blog Hop, in which a group of bloggers will post about a pre-set topic once each month. Today’s post was regarding Advent, and the preparations we are making this year. Head over to the landing page to see the other fabulous writers and contributors for this project! Take a moment to read through, comment, and share articles that touch you. Your support for those of us who write is invaluable.
How are you “Keeping Advent, Advent,” and preparing your heart and home for Christmas among the hustle, bustle, and preparation of the secular world for Christmas?