I have been thinking about this blog a lot lately. I realized that I haven’t written anything since this whole pandemic thing started. Then I wondered why.
I’m pretty sure I did what a lot of us ended up doing, and that is hiding away hoping it would end soon. I had to learn how much work I could actually get done from home. I had to find how much I was willing to go out in public and risk exposure. I had to re-think how I did a lot of things.
Many are still trying to figure this out. I know the longer it goes on, the more challenges we will face and how we deal with it now will determine how we handle it later.
Advent, like Lent is a time of expectation. Christ is coming and how we deal with it now will determine how we handle it later. This is His first appearance to us as the fully human being who has come to redeem us. Since activities are limited, how can we reign in the eager anticipation of the coming holidays to a form that fits in the world today? There are five suggestions below that are super easy, free and applicable to anyone.
- Unplug from your tech. Make whatever time works for you and just spend some quiet time to yourself. What you do with this time should be completely individual to you. Maybe you set up, research, and begin lighting an Advent wreath, or read the Nativity story from the Gospels. Perhaps you just spend time playing with your kids, or sitting with your spouse.
- Don’t unplug from your tech. Instead, use it to help you prepare for Christmas beyond online shopping. There are apps out there that will show you readings for any upcoming Masses, or daily reflections for all of Advent. If you can not attend Mass regularly, have you tried watching one? When in a store, or watching television and you see one of the myriad ads for “Holiday shopping bargains” - use that as a reminder that Christ(mas) is coming and say a quick prayer.
- When the Christmas lights turn on, take a moment and thank God for the electricity you have to make your homes/neighborhoods beautiful.
- When wrapping gifts, pray for the person while wrapping their gift. Same if you send Christmas cards - pray for the people to whom you are sending the card while filling them out and addressing the envelopes.
- Always, always keep in mind that we are celebrating Christ’s coming and allow commercialism to serve a grander purpose and be a reminder to pray and be thankful for what you have.
So, as the preparatory period we call Advent moves into full swing, I will keep all of you in my prayers as I write this blog, or receive comments. These prayers come with best wishes for peace in your lives, and the happiest Advent season!