I have nothing against supporting companies that support Christmas and I have nothing against boycotts. But I have to ask, in doing so, what are we supporting / boycotting?
When I’m strolling through the mall as Christmas approaches, my senses are bombarded with…. Christmas or commercialism?
I see Santa Claus, reindeer too. I hear “Deck the Halls” and “I’ll Have a Blue…” And I say to myself…
What a wonderful world, but where’s Jesus?
None of this is new, but here’s the thing. I’m not sure any “Naughty or Nice” blacklist really does anything to remind or ensure people that Jesus is the reason for the season, because whether or not Hallmark or Walmart appeases its customers with Christmas Greetings rather than “Happy Holidays” really doesn’t make a difference. For them and for many shoppers Christmas just is a commercial holiday.
To be sure, just listen to the music played in these stores at Christmas time. They are not religious carols. You never hear the names Jesus and Mary. Maybe you’ll be surprised with an occasional “Silent Night.” Actually, you are more likely to hear John Lennon’s “And So This Is Xmas… And What Have You Done?” with Yoko’s banshee howling in the background.
Not the way I want to get ready for Christ’s coming to live among us this year.
Advent Begins Tomorrow
Tomorrow night, the Church celebrates the Vespers and Vigil Mass for the First Sunday of Advent.
Instead of praising Kroger or shaming Barnes and Noble over their Christmas friend or unfriendly commercial campaign, there is a better way to prepare our hearts and souls for Christmas. Celebrate Advent intensely.
Here are a few tips to start preparing Jesus a humble home in your hearth on Christmas Day.
- Buy a new Advent wreath and light it every night during advent.
- Sing one or two Christmas Carols as a family at the lighting of the wreath each night.
- Decorate your home for Christmas slowly (because Advent is a period of expectation); add just one decoration each day or night with your family, and get the whole family involved.
- Make a special effort to attend daily Mass during this time.
- Pray as a family more frequently during Advent.
- Consider praying some of the Liturgy of the Hours. The readings, psalms, and prayers during this season are specifically chosen for enkindling a growing love for Christ in our hearts, as we await his coming at Christmas.
- Finally, don’t sweat the commercialism. Let your light shine where ever you go and bring the true spirit of Christmas with you.
Many of you probably already do a lot of these things suggested above. I would be more than happy if you would share some of your family’s Advent traditions with us here.
Have a Blessed Advent, Everyone!