For my entire life, Christmas began the day after Thanksgiving, and then in the weeks ahead, life was a blur, much like Mooseltoe who bakes, shops, wraps, plans, and tirelessly works the entire month through to give his family the perfect Christmas. And just like Mooseltoe, who forgets, of all things, the Christmas tree, I would also forget/ignore something quite important in all this – Jesus.
(Not to impart too much meaning into a children’s book, but isn’t it something that the moose forgets the tree in all his rushing about? The tree is a symbol for the cross. And boy, does that sound like the times we live in today!)
To properly celebrate Christ’s arrival, we’re called to join ourselves to the historical Hebrews who waited many centuries for the Messiah to arrive. And so, we too are to wait, to prepare and pray. Not, despite what the general retail environment will tell us, begin celebrating Christmas before the Thanksgiving bird has even gone cold.
If you are an all-in early bird when it comes to al things Christmas, the idea of waiting til December 25th to celebrate may feel too much to bear, but just remember! If you observe Advent and begin celebrating Christmas on December 25th, you still have weeks of Christmas to enjoy! Christmas is not just one day but many. It is time that the Church knows we need. Because the magnitude of what Christmas means – that our Savior is finally come – requires more than just one single day to celebrate and understand. We need days, even weeks, to process this truth and rejoice in it.
To learn more about how to observe Advent like a Catholic, give a listen to this episode of The Catholic Mama podcast. You can also listen to it on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or iHeartRadio.
Here are some great resources that I mentioned on the show to use for your own Advent planning:
Kendra Tierney’s Catholic All Year (her book, The Catholic All Year Compendium is a treasury of liturgical living. Highly recommend!)
Katie Bogner’s Look to Him and Be Radiant (a teacher and lifelong Catholic, Katie is the real deal 🙂 and she was on the podcast last year!)
Lazy Liturgical (Both this and Katie’s blog have great and uncomplicated resources for homeschool families)
Christmas Novena (a long family prayer to be prayed nightly from December 16 through December 24):
St. Andrew Novena (a short prayer to be prayed 15 times a day throughout Advent):
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