Do you have room?

In case you haven't seen a calendar, looked at people's front yards, or watched enough of those ridiculous cars-with-huge-ribbons-on-them commercials (because most people we know regularly get a Lexus for Christmas) . . . Christmas is coming soon.

The Church celebrates Advent – a time of preparation – for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. I never really used to get into Advent; it seemed like an unnecessary reminder when we already have radio stations playing Christmas music, Christmas episodes of our favorite TV shows, and those red Starbucks cups to let us know that Jesus' birth is just around the corner.

Do you have room?

In case you haven't seen a calendar, looked at people's front yards, or watched enough of those ridiculous cars-with-huge-ribbons-on-them commercials (because most people we know regularly get a Lexus for Christmas) . . . Christmas is coming soon.

The Church celebrates Advent – a time of preparation – for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. I never really used to get into Advent; it seemed like an unnecessary reminder when we already have radio stations playing Christmas music, Christmas episodes of our favorite TV shows, and those red Starbucks cups to let us know that Jesus' birth is just around the corner.

Do You Believe in Santa?: The Real Story of St. Nicholas

Nicholas was known for his generosity. As tradition goes, he was so selfless that (although he, too, was poor) he helped his likewise poor neighbor support and pay for his daughters' weddings. Nicholas snuck up to his neighbor's house at night and dropped a handful of gold coins through the open window so that the eldest daughter could afford to get married. He would later repeat the generous act two more times. From there, the Santa legend grew into what we now know today – stockings, chimneys, a belly like jelly and all that good stuff.

Barbies and the Baby Jesus: A History of the Nativity Set

We have four Nativity sets in my house: not out of overindulgence but out of sheer necessity. One set is for my five year old, who likes to take a more 'interactive' approach to the Nativity, including putting Disney princesses and Barbies into the Biblical narrative. Last year when I asked why the baby Jesus was in Barbie's convertible, she responded, 'Barbie is baby-sitting, Daddy… the trip to Bethlehem left Mary and Joseph very tired.'

You may have a Nativity set beneath your Christmas tree or on a table inside your house. You almost certainly have one on display somewhere around your local Church…

What is Advent?

To God everything is exposed: all of our faults, imperfections, personal secrets but also all of our talents, traits, successes and achievements … that's the good news. The even better news is that God is always seeking you and me.

Advent: Waiting (for right NOW).

It's a good thing I go to Mass, because that seems to be where God always tells me what blog about. And the question that's weighed on my heart so far this week is this: 'Am I eagerly awaiting Christ?'

Waiting…

So it's almost Advent – a time of preparation. In other words, a time of waiting. I don't know about you, but whenever I have to wait around somewhere for a while, I start to notice things I'd never see otherwise. Whether it's the doctor's office or a train station, when we are forced to sit and wait – we can see an entirely different world. Sometimes it's just noticing the quiet of nature, or the subtle sounds of what's going on around us.