Every year, Advent seems more & more overtaken by secular Christmas. And don't get me wrong, it can be so pleasant to walk around the city with lights flickering all around, or to get my Christmas cup at Starbucks, or to hear Christmas music as I walk through Target. All of that gives me the warm & fuzzies. But it's out of place! Because Christmas has not yet come! I've found myself pretty frustrated this year as I scroll through facebook and instagram (weeks ago, by the way) and read captions of "Christmas time is here!"...because it's just untrue. And I try so hard to enter into the silence of Advent (which would be easier if I would simply avoid social media...working on it!).
The first Sunday of Advent we were at Mass back in PA, and the Priest gave a pretty on-point homily about this time of year. Remember last year when a bunch of people went all up in a frenzy that Starbucks was ruining Christmas because of their updated holiday cups? First off, Christmas does not belong to Starbucks. It is a feast for practicing & believing Christians. If you let big franchises and celebrities ruin your holiday, you may need to re-evaluate your own perspective on what Christmas really is.
The Priest's point was: let the world celebrate how they will celebrate. If they want to listen to "Christmas music" and decorate their homes and have parties, let them. But we need to our part in reclaiming the liturgical seasons. Advent will not make a cultural comeback until those of us "in the know" start celebrating it as it ought to be celebrated. We need to witness to the world the beauty of waiting and the reason for which we wait. It doesn't have to mean we shut ourselves off from the world during these four weeks, but it may call for us to discern where to sacrifice.
Let us reclaim Advent within our own little Nazareth's. And may the choice to live the Christian way resound with those around us.