“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store…”

Jacqueline Cantu holding rosary

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a bit more!”

 I think to myself, “Finally! A weekend to relax and recover from the previous weekend that was Thanksgiving and watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas on replay.” Then in that same moment I realize Christmas is right around the corner; then comes New Year’s Eve, then the new year begins… There is no time to relax! Ok start planning. What am I going to get my family and friends for Christmas? How many people are showing up for dinner that night…? The list goes on.

It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We are quickly consumed with planning and preparing. Whether it is getting ready for a house full of visitors and preparing the Christmas dinner or tracking down the perfect gifts for under the tree, we get so mixed up in the chaos that we forget to take a step back and remind ourselves what it is to “celebrate” Christmas.

Today is December 3, and the Advent Season has begun. Yes, this month is a time of preparation; not only to enjoy family, food, and gifts, but mostly to prepare our hearts for the most important guest this world has ever hosted.

Recently, Pope Francis reminded us that Advent should encourage us to reflect on the final visit of our Lord when Jesus “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” While the end of the world is definitely something I do not want to think about during “the most wonderful time of the year,” it absolutely is something we need to be reminded of.

Pope Francis challenges us to “open our horizons” and give meaning to everyday life. He invites us to “sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world.”

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It is completely true that often times I get caught up in the pretty colors and lights that this time of year brings and lose sight of what is really important. So, this year instead of worrying about what to add to our wish list, maybe we can challenge ourselves to go to confession, attend Mass more than we usually would, pray with a friend, forgive, and love deeper than we ever imagined we could; to truly prepare our heart and be an example to those around us of the true meaning of Christmas, the advent of Jesus.

– Jacqueline Cantu/ My Saint My Hero Guest Blogger


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