Advent is Here

Mario Sormann (Creative Commons)


While waiting for a dinner reservation last night, I overheard a conversation about Christmas trees.  We all know there’s been a civil war of sorts over real vs artificial Christmas trees.  I heard of one adorable little girl who argued that her fake tree was real (and not imaginary as she thought her parents were suggesting.)  It’s that time of year when halls are literally being decked out, radio stations are playing religious and secular Christmas songs, and we too are preparing to celebrate Christmas with our loved ones – whether making travel plans or purchasing gifts to be given to those most dear.

Like you I have heard many voices blast their opinions about when decorating for Christmas should be allowed to begin, when Christmas music should be allowed to be played on the radio, when advertisements should be allowed to be mailed, commercials on television allowed to be played.  I too would prefer not to hear Christmas music until at least the day after Thanksgiving; and it does sort of bug me that we see Christmas stuff displayed at the mall prior to even Halloween.  But, I decided many years ago to go with the flow, to avoid places that jump the gun, to turn the channel when I hear some premature Christmas music. Then, after Thanksgiving I slowly begin to embrace the season and choose to hear the music and see the decorations as the world around us – and we all as well –  prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ child again. We all have a choice, right?  None of can control what happens to us in life – but we can control how we respond to what life brings to us.  We can be a Grinch about the season around us or choose to see Jesus all around us.

As we begin to celebrate the Season of Advent this Sunday, December 2nd, I hope you have a wonderful season of preparation.  May the music, the Advent wreaths, the evergreens hung on the door, the Charlie Brown trees, the lights, the commercials, even those huge blow-up lawn ornaments … may they all serve as  an opportunity for us to take what the world gives us and turn it all into a prayer of thanksgiving for Christ in our lives.

Just for fun, if you’d like to, please post a comment and share with us a memory you have about Christmas – either leading up to it, celebrating it or remembering it.

Happy Advent, everyone.

Peace friends,



  • Janet says:

    I recall Dad waiting until Christmas Eve to cruise the tree lots looking for a deal! We often got “Charlie Brown” trees, as that was all that was left. Dad would then have to drill holes in the trunk, saw off branches and redistribute the branches! Haha!
    For awhile I had real trees, and savored the smell of the tree, of the piece of forest, I had in my home.

    But now, I can’t have a real tree—not after seeing just in my lifetime alone how so many forests have been cleared and the dwindling places for our wildlife to live. Never thought of myself as an environmentalist, but to cut a tree just to have for about a month, doesn’t sit well with me anymore.

    So I compromise: I have an indoor artificial tree and also decorate an outdoor tree! For the real tree smell indoors, I go through the forested areas and trim the dead fall for branches to have in the house for decorating!

  • Barbara says:

    My serious comment is one that I cannot speak of without choking up. My first Midnight Mass at Good Shepherd celebrated in the Hall in 1973 was an epiphany moment for me. For the Communion Meditation, our Youth Group came through the doors wearing Newspaper Bags over their clothes crying: “Extra, Extra, baby born in a trailer court on Route One, having no place else to go”, waving special Printed Newspapers citing the many unfulfilled needs. I had seen the trailer courts of course but the underserved and overlooked poor of Route One had no impact on my life until that moment. Today our Social Justice outreach at Good Shepherd impacts the lives of those who still live in those trailers. While I am grateful for all that is done, the needs are greater than ever.

  • Barbara says:

    When our youngest son was in Pre-School, 33 years ago, I was carpooling he and a friend home and the boys began talking about Christmas. The other boy announced that he and his father were going out into the woods the next day to chop down their Christmas tree. Our son quickly replied, you don’t go to the woods for your tree, you go to the attic and get the box down and put it together.
    There ensued quite a discussion until I finally intervened telling them that both were right. Now years later, many have come over to the idea of artificial and pre-lighted trees. Guess we were just ahead of our time.

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