Can Hustle and Bustle = Advent?

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This time of year is always an anticipated time of year for me.  I love the joy and fun during the Holiday Season.  However, this time of year is also ALWAYS filled with a lot of hustle and bustle.  We run ourselves ragged trying to get everything done.  Shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, seeing family and friends, and attending parties and festivities that never seem to end.  It’s like one, big party from Thanksgiving through New Year’s.  It is not even December, and I am exhausted just organizing our family calendar. 

 Christmas Pageant here, Choir concert there, and don’t forget the band concert too!  I truly love all of these events and I really LOVE the holiday season, but within these weeks leading up to the great feast of Christmas, I MUST make sure that Christ is the King of my life and the King of my family.  I want my children to be filled with the joy and wonder of this magical season, while making sure that their hearts are ready to receive the greatest gift they will ever receive.  

The Church in her wisdom gives us the beautiful season of Advent for us to be able to do this well!  We spend four weeks preparing our hearts and lives for the beautiful gift of Jesus.  However, our world does NOT encourage the faithful to Advent well, does it?  Each year I make a vow, a real honest vow, to live Advent in Advent and not to move into Christmas before due time.  I have spent much time in prayer about this upcoming Advent season because I really want to make an honest effort to stay present to the Advent season.  I have come up with a theme for this Advent…Live Simply!  I have nobody to impress, but Jesus…and I NEED to remember that!  My cookie baking doesn’t matter, how beautiful my wrapping is truly doesn’t matter (the wrap gets ripped and thrown away anyway!), and buying the perfect gift is just not as important is me truly being present to those who I am blessed to spend the season with. 

I need to reorganize my thoughts and mind, in order that I may truly Advent well.  All of the concerts that I need to attend (because I have several children, and each has a special concert) can be looked at as preparation for the Christmas feast.  The baking and present buying can be a preparation for the special day where we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  The parties and festivities can lead me to the wonder of the beautiful gift that this season really is.  Advent is all about preparing our hearts for the birth of Jesus and if we use the “things” we need to do as a preparation, instead of a “task” we must accomplish, then we can spend time working on our hearts, instead of checking off tasks from our list. 

I have given up on making this season less busy, instead I have accepted that the season will be busy and how I respond to the hustle and bustle is within my control.  Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy are the pillars of Advent, so all that I do must reflect those four themes.  Am I attending these concerts in joy?  Am I allowing the concerts to bring my soul peace?  Do I attend the parties by offering love to those around me?  This is my goal this year…to live simply and to offer hope, peace, love, and joy to all those I encounter. 

May you enter this next liturgical and cultural season with much anticipation and wonder!  May you grow in your ability to offer hope, peace, love, and joy!  My prayers for us all is that this Advent is the best Advent yet,  and may you find simplicity in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives!  

Wishing You and Yours a Blessed Thanksgiving!
A Thanksgiving to Remember

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