This Advent, let's not be afraid to fail at telling the Christmas story. Let's be afraid not to live it.
First things first…
I may say something that offends your understanding and traditions of Advent. I would like to not apologize for that. Actually, my goal is to upset our thinking.
The point of Advent isn’t Advent
I must admit I’m starting to get past being entertained and now being annoyed at the debate between being too hardcore or hipster when it comes to Advent. We rant on the differences of Christmas and Advent appropriate music (there is a difference, but that’s not the point). Other times we rant about when to decorate the tree or allow the presence of Santa in family traditions. Often we spend more time yelling about the evils of Black Friday then we do praying as a family. Honestly, I don’t care if a Christmas tree goes up Dec. 1st, 15th, or Christmas Eve. I’m sure one can make a great case for whatever you do for Advent quoting the Bible, the Catechism, and 2000 years of tradition. The point of Advent isn’t what we do or don’t do for Advent. The point is that Christ is kept as the focus and we do something.
Dinosaurs WERE at the Nativity
So parents read the scriptures to your children after dinner for 3 minutes. Ask them to retell the nativity for story time and if they include a parrot, fairies, or dinosaur; give them a high five! Try to do some simple devotion each night, and if you forget, celebrate the days you do.
Youth Ministry leaders, don’t call your December party an “Advent” party. No one has a party for Advent… that’s ridiculous. You’re having a Christmas party in a politically correct way. Celebrate and teach the story about St. Nicolas, or how about going to deliver hampers or watch a movie instead?
Sure, choose to hold back on that Christmas playlist on Songza, but don’t freak out on someone if you hear them playing joy to the world a few days early. Let’s not worry how to correctly celebrate Gaudete Sunday, but rather try living out the joy it calls us to have. I hear the Pope thinks joy is important too. Let’s pay attention to our disposition as we prepare for Christmas.
For the fact that we engage families and young people in the process of understanding the great gift of God’s son for our salvation is our sole objective. For youth to know, love, and serve Christ. That is our threefold criteria to judge your experience of Advent that you are creating for yourself, young people, and our families.
-ColmFootnote: Am I the only one excited Advent actually is on December 1st??? It makes the countdown so much easier!! Feel free to take advantage and share the reflections and videos Xt3.com shares with their online Advent Calendar. Busted Halo has one too! Also, join the #PinkSunday2013 movement!