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Advent: A Time for Patient Waiting, Not Holiday Rushing

Posted on November 11, 2019 in: FaithSparks

Advent: A Time for Patient Waiting, Not Holiday Rushing

By Liza Roach

Christmas is right around the corner. Do you feel like I do – behind already?  You have to make sure the house is decorated, the crèche is out for all to see, the Christmas tree is up in all its glory, the wreath on the door looks festive and inviting, and let’s not forget buying presents for everyone you know in the world!  Overwhelmed enough yet?  We can’t forget to take the perfect family picture for the all-important Christmas Card!  If yours looks like mine, the dog is licking my face as I am reaching down to pick up my husband’s Christmas tie!  SNAP, PRINT, it is a torturous moment everyone will unfortunately remember!

Our faith tells us – take a minute, slow down…it is not a time for rushing: Advent is a time for PATIENT WAITING!  We need to remember that this is a season of preparation for the coming of our Lord, and He does not want us to be stressed out. Really, God doesn’t want that for any of His children!  He wants us to carefully and thoughtfully concentrate on the waiting and not the preparing – for in the waiting we will find the peace and joy that is the true gift of Christmas.

How can we as families work on waiting for the coming of Jesus?
  1. Take time to enjoy Advent and put off Christmas decorating. The tradition of decorating for Christmas used to take place on Christmas Eve. The house would stay decorated through the season of Christmas until Epiphany. Move your decorating until later in Advent so the family has a sense that the preparation is leading up to something special – spiritually and visually.
  2. Put an advent wreath in your home before the first weekend of Advent. You can make this with your family or purchase one.  Every time the family gathers, light the candles and say the weekly Advent prayers so together you are moving closer to Christmas day.
  3. Advent is a penitential season, so go to Confession as a family. This tradition helps strengthen faith and family experiences and reminds us to ask for forgiveness for our sins. What a great way to welcome the Newborn King to the world!
  4. Put out the nativity scene without the baby Jesus in it. If you wish, you could use the nativity as an Advent Calendar, each day adding hay you make. The hay should be created by the family to name things you will do each day to help make Christ welcome in your home and life as you prepare for His coming. On Christmas morning, have one family member put the baby Jesus in the crèche as you all sing Happy Birthday to Christ.
  5. Attend Mass and participate in the Eucharistic celebration. The coming of our Lord will be more meaningful if we have prepared our hearts in Mass each week.

Make this year’s Advent a memorable one for you and your family. Begin some new faith traditions that will bring joy to your family for years to come. Have a blessed Advent!

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