Luke 21: 34-38 from Mary Hostenske
How are you going to feel on Christmas morning when you look back on the Advent season? Will you remember that your focus was on spreading the hope, love, and joy of Christ’s coming birth from your heart? Or will you remember being “weighed down” by the shopping, decorating, and celebrating that you tried to cram into the four weeks of the Advent season?
I love the traditions of the Advent season: baking, making or shopping for gifts, decorating, and singing along with the Christmas music radio station. However, I often feel like I am in danger of losing sight of the real reason for the season: Jesus Christ’s birth.
As a child one of my favorite Christmas books was “An Early American Christmas,” written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. The book describes a colonial immigrant family from Germany as they make preparations for Christmas, including making special candles to go in their windows, gathering evergreens and a tree, baking specially shaped cookies, and carving a new figure for their manger scene. Tomie daPaola’s words and illustrations do an excellent job of portraying the waiting, the preparations, and finally the flurry of excitement that the family feels as they light the way for the Christ Child on Christmas Eve. It is easy to see the symbolism of colonial family’s traditions that is sleeping today under our similar modern Christmas traditions.
This season, as you enjoy all of your Advent traditions, “stay awake” and keep your heart open to seeing and sharing Christ’s love.