One of the students in my Journalism class is writing an opinion article about how the focus of Christmas is almost strictly about “the stuff” and not about the true meaning of Christmas. While this isn’t anything revolutionary, it gave me the opportunity to talk to her (and the students around her) about the missed opportunity of society for the season of Advent.
After explaining Advent, I told this student about how Christmas means so much more when you go through the waiting process. I’m not going so far as to say that you have to put up your tree on Christmas morning or that you should pelt carolers with the old nubs of your Advent wreath candles. But, I think you should wait until much after Thanksgiving to start decorating for Christmas. We keep our tree up until the feast of the Epiphany (as my family did and still does) in order to celebrate the whole season of Christmas.
I compared the waiting period of Advent to that of a pregnant mother (having just been pregnant, it wasn’t a difficult analogy for me to make). I pointed out that when I found out I was pregnant, Little Man didn’t come to the next day. Instead, I had nine (ten) whole months to prepare for him to come! Slowly, we chose furniture for the nursery and painted it, I made sure to eat good person-growing foods, and we bought a bunch of diapers. But, it took a long time and I was SO GLAD when Little Man finally got here — I had time to prepare!
And, so it should be with Christmas. We should go through that waiting period in order to ready ourselves for the birth of Jesus. Then, when He does come on Christmas, we will be that much more ready to receive Him.