There are so many things moms need to do to get ready for Christmas. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the shopping, baking, decorating, wrapping, mailing and not have time for ourselves and even God in all the rush.
Taking time to read this article probably isn’t a priority due to all the other things that need to get done. Yet this is sometimes just what helps us get through the chaotic Advent season. This is a reminder to slow down, rejuvenate ourselves physically and spiritually, and remember why we do all this work for Christmas Day.
The readings lately in church have been about “prepare the way,” for the celebration of the Lord’s first coming, and the possibility of His second coming any day (Matt: 3:2, Isaiah 40:3 & 48:17). There is always work to be done to prepare our hearts and souls for meeting our Maker, and those preparations have eternal consequences so they should take priority in our busy lives. Having time to listen for God’s nudges to be with Him or help someone in need is so important. Slowing down our days in order to be aware of Christ’s presence in our daily lives and to be that presence for someone else, to work on stopping those bad habits or adding an extra five minutes to our prayer time, and to not be so rushed that we miss opportunities to show kindness to those around us or share what Christmas really means to us.
That’s what it means to really prepare for Christmas. Those are the more important things that need to be accomplished than the cookies and garland.
Ways to keep Christ in your Christmas preparations:
* Read a Christmas reflection or Advent devotional
* Pray at Adoration
* Attend a weekday Mass once during Advent
* Receive Reconciliation
* Write personal notes in Christmas cards that you are praying for them
* Volunteer at a local shelter for an hour
* Donate a gift to Catholic Charities
* Attend your church’s Lessons and Carols
* Make a Jesse Tree
* Have each member of your family add a piece of straw in Jesus’ manger for every kind deed done in December
* Learn a new thing about the Nativity story by reading and meditating on Luke’s rendition before the Christmas Mass (Luke 2:1-21)
* Spend 3 extra minutes in prayer each day, maybe for one person you send or receive a card from
* Journal 1 blessing each day where you have seen God’s hand in your life during Advent
* Download the CatholicMom.com Advent calendar for your family to follow
* Listen to a Christmas hymn closely for a message God might be speaking to you
* Intentionally buy or make a gift to help one person on your shopping list grow spiritually
* Use Christ-oriented tags, cards, and stamps on your cards and packages
* Give something little to your favorite service people (store clerks, doctor, pharmacist, trash collector, hair dresser, school secretary, babysitter, bank teller)
* Spend an hour with an elderly, lonely neighbor or relative
* Bless your tree before you decorate it.
May God bless you and your family this Advent Season!
Copyright 2018 Colleen Mallette