For many North Americans, the season we call Advent is a time of super stress; decorating, baking, shopping, house cleaning, entertaining, and festive parties.

When God sent His Son to be born on Christmas Day, I doubt He ever expected the frenzy that consumerism would bring with the celebration of this event.Source:

Remember the pictures of families gathered around the piano in the parlour, singing Christmas carols? How about those sleigh rides that would be the highlight of farming neighbours gathering to share in the joy of another Christmas Eve?

Yes, it all sounds very old-fashioned, but those were the days when people really paused to remember the reason for the season. Today, some stores don’t even put the word Christmas on any of their advertising. We are supposed to just have Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings.

We Christians must work hard to overcome the 21st century trend towards eliminating the word Christmas from our Advent celebrations. When a store clerk says: “Happy Holidays” to me, I respond with: “Merry Christmas”. We should make an extra effort to find religious cards to share with families and friends, rather than the comical Ho, Ho, Ho varieties or cute kitty cats.

Source: infantjesussisters.orgMary and Joseph had a baby named Jesus on Christmas Day. We should remind people everywhere that His birthday is the focus of our celebration.

And the size of the present will never provide the key to happiness. The loving words we write on the card, or the hugs we share with our children and friends, is the treasure that should be a part of our Christmas. Love is the reason God sent us His Son to be born on Christmas Day. God loved us that much.

May all of us try a little harder this year to make extra time for prayers of thanksgiving for the most precious gift of all, the birth of Jesus Christ.

Happy Advent….let us enjoy the anticipation of the coming of the Christ Child on December 25.

Joan Levy Earle is an author and artist living in Cornwall, Ontario. She is the former Associate Editor of the Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart magazine.

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