I love Christmas!
I start my shopping in July, I plan Christmas events in September. If I could skip right over Halloween and set up my Nativity set in October, I would! (Honestly, I have actually done that last one). When they start advertising the 25 days before the twenty-five days of Christmas (television specials) and the new Hallmark Christmas movies, well, I squeal like a little girl!
Every Advent season I read all the wonderful Catholic posts from those who remind us to cherish the actual Christmas season and to keep the Catholic spirituality in the Liturgical time of year.* I agree with the spiritual aspects of this, but I have another point of view.
We are living in the Advent of our lives all the time. Advent comes from the Latin adventus which means ‘arrival’ or ‘approach’ Everyday, we are preparing ourselves for Christ’s arrival, either to the world or at the end of our own lives. As Catholic Christians, we are called to prepare the way of the Lord everyday!
We are on a lifelong Advent journey, constantly preparing, so if preparing for Christmas in September, October or November reminds me of the preparation my heart needs for Jesus, I think that can be a positive thing. Thinking of Christmas brings me joy. Planning decorations, cards and gifts for love ones increases in me a desire to be loving. Contemplating Christ in the manager encourages my devotion of the Eucharist and anticipating Christ’s arrival during the consecration. If the message is love and reconciliation, and getting ready for Christmas early reminds me of that in a new, poignant way, then what is wrong with that?!
There are things I wait for: setting up our Advent wreath, taking out the advent calendar, and getting ready for the Feast of St. Nicholas, but as for the other stuff, let’s just say …Merry Christmas!!
*For a great article on the celebrating Christmas in a Catholic way http://catholicmom.com/2012/12/09/celebrating-christmas-like-catholics/by Gretchen Filz.