How to find Advent in the Christmas chaos, part one

You won’t hear Christmas carols in church during the Advent season, but you will hear them everywhere else. How do we keep Advent a time of quiet preparation in the midst of a world that started singing “Joy to the World” the day after Thanksgiving?

One answer is to pull out your own Advent from the Christmas pieces that surround you. Slow down and be present to what you are hearing, and allow the truth in the messages to ready your soul and lead you to find your family’s Advent in the midst of this busy season.

The Little Drummer Boy: If the drummer boy can play a drum for Jesus and be satisfied with that, we can be happy with what we’re doing, too. Am I a faultless mom? A perfect employee? Are these potatoes going to be the most delicious my guests will ever taste? Certainly not, on all three counts. But by and large, I do my best for him. I play my life for him. Pah-rum-pah-pah-pum. “The Little Drummer Boy” can remind us that this Advent, whatever we offer is enough.

O Come All Ye Faithful: Triumphant is an outstanding word. Try saying triumphant without straightening your shoulders a bit. Seldom are we invited to the feeling of triumph. It seems a word reserved for winning the Kentucky Derby. Yet this song dares to begin, “O Come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant.” This song tells us that we’re welcome to feel joyful and triumphant simply because we’re faithful. This Advent, I’ll take it. And now I’ll write 17 more Christmas cards even though it’s already 11 p.m.          …continued next week               by Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the 2010 General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association. Here’s a sample issue.

We offer very low rates for parish use, as well as our free Moms’ Night Out monthly discussion guides.

And don’t miss our popular single-page parish handouts on handing on the faith, helping kids understand the Mass, Lent, and Advent.

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New! Check out our editors’ picks for great saint books for kids–and their parents

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