Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love December. I love the "Christmas season" - although, let's get this straight. It's Advent and Christmas starts on December 25th and goes until the Wise Men come in January. But to the rest of the world, it's the Christmas season right now. As a youth minister, it's my job to explain to others (especially the youth) what Advent really is and to tell them to focus on Advent and preparing themselves for the real meaning of Christmas. I don't think this means doing away with all the holiday festivities though.

Some people get so upset about how commercialized Christmas has become and how everyone has Christmas decorations up already. Calm down people. I happen to like it, and I'm going to attempt to explain why!

While it is annoying that stores begin putting out Christmas stuff right after Halloween and all throughout November, once it's the Friday after Thanksgiving, I say go all out! Turn up that Christmas music, get those lights out on the house, deck the halls and trim the tree. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus. God came into our world, incarnate, 2,000 years ago, it is certainly a time to celebrate! Even though he wasn't actually born on December 25th, today we consider it his birthday. And what do we do for birthdays? We decorate, we buy gifts, we go all out for the ones we love. Whose to say God doesn't love all the decorations we put up!? Some even put manger scenes up in the yards (go you!). This time of year is also about the "Spirit of Christmas." My mom is huge on that. And the Church, herself, offers so many wonderful opportunities to celebrate this "spirit," such as St. Nicholas day, the Immaculate Conception, 4 weeks of Advent, our Lady of Guadalupe, and many more. It is definitely a stressful time, but it's also a joyful time. It's a month to really cherish time with family and friends and the many traditions you have or are creating. It's a month to remind you of childhood excitement and wonder and awe. It's a month to admire the beauty of what is around us (lights, decorations, love). It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

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