The Christmas tree lots are set up. Carols are playing on the radio. By Halloween this year, many stores already had Christmas decorations up and I saw the first Christmas commercial on TV in the first week of November. The malls are demanding our attention and people are beginning to ask a question that makes me cringe: "What do you want for Christmas?" (My answer of donations to my favorite charities is rarely a satisfying answer to that question, but really. . . I have too much stuff already.)
With all the commercial sales hype and social pressure, this can be a difficult time of year to stay focused on the real “reason for the season.” There have been many cries from the church about the evils of consumerism and putting the “Christ back in Christmas.” How do we get back to the real meaning of Christmas? How do we redeem December and make it a holy time? This is where the church’s traditional celebration of Advent can really make a difference.
While the malls and commercials are already well into what they call “The Christmas Season,” the Church walks through a time of waiting and of exploring our deep need for a Messiah. The day after Christmas, the stores mark down all the Christmas merchandise and the holiday commercials end and that’s when we just get the celebration started! In remembering the sacred season of Advent, we can take a stand against the commercialization of Christmas and in celebrating the holy season of Christmastide after the malls have had their heyday, we can begin to revitalize the real “reason for the season.” What a great opportunity to shine the light of Christ and the joy of our faith in the world around us!
There are some great resources out there for reclaiming the spirit of Advent and Christmastide and I highly recommend you check some of them out:
How you can celebrate Advent in your home:
- http://www.adventconspiracy.org (I love this website/organization. Like. . . SO MUCH.)