Christmas is coming – we feel it in the air, especially if we have young children or grandchildren, or if you happen to find yourself in a mall!
Advent literally means that something is coming. For children it is Santa and presents. Hopefully, for adults, we are anticipating the celebration of the Birth of Jesus, God coming to us in human form, to transform our world by teaching us about holiness, forgiveness, and sacrifice. But, we anticipate this holiday with joy because we know the outcome of the story – Jesus died for our sins and rose to new life, allowing us to be reconciled with God who loves us more than we can comprehend.
How can we keep Christ in Christmas? Remember our Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and you will discover that there are a lot of practical ways to celebrate this season:
- Bring a plate of cookies or Christmas treats to someone who can’t bake any longer (feed the hungry)
- Invite someone who will be alone on Christmas to share in your Christmas meal (feed the hungry)
- Find out if someone in your neighborhood needs help with housework or yardwork and offer your help (without expecting anything in return) (visit the imprisoned)
- Send a card to someone you have lost touch with – in this electronic age, we forget about how happy we feel to get a piece of mail with a special hand-written message (comfort the afflicted, forgive offenses)
- Get a group of family or friends or neighbors together to sing Christmas Carols at a local nursing home – you will brighten their day more than you know (visit the sick or imprisoned)
- Donate a toy or clothing to a reputable charity (clothe the naked)
- Donate a blanket or toiletry items or clothing or food to a homeless shelter (shelter the homeless, feed the hungry)
- Pray – spend some time every day just talking to God, and include in those prayers not just your thanks or your needs, but remember others who may not know God or have fallen away from their faith (counsel the doubtful, pray for the living & the dead)
When you are thinking about others and putting others first, you will find that your happiness is multiplied!