Christmas and Advent, blessed seasons of preparation and celebration. In Advent, we await the incarnation, the birth of Christ; preparing room in our hearts to accept this glorious gift of God. At Christmas we rejoice in the “Word made flesh” Jesus. How do we prepare and what is available to help in that preparation?
The first part of preparation is a decision; deciding that you actually want to prepare and will make the time to do so. Action follows this decision. The choice of action will be as individual to each person, but will likely contain an element of prayer and reflection.
As a Catholic store, we are always presenting tools to nurture spiritual growth and help people live more fully their faith in God. Considering Advent’s call to create in each heart a place for Jesus to come and dwell, here are few ideas to get you on your way
Advent Wreath – Using and Advent wreath provides a visual reminder for the family. Each candle lit bring us closer to receiving the light of the world at Christmas.
Catholic Books for Advent – Incorporate daily reading and reflection into your preparation for the birth of Jesus. Publishers have, in recent years, created many different books that provide a springboard for a faith focused Advent. They are accessible, rich tools that can be easily fit into a busy person’s day.
Catholic Children’s Books for Advent – Many people will comment that “Christmas is for children.” Well, how about Advent too. Just like for adults there are numerous books for children that help them to encounter the real meaning of Christmas. Reading these types of books during the advent season is a good way for a child to “prepare”.
Nativity Sets – The nativity scene, introduced by St. Francis as a way to more personally encounter the baby Jesus and the mystery of the Incarnation, should have a central place in any Catholic families Christmas decorations. A nativity set with figures that children can safely play with engages their imagination and allows them to enter through play into the nativity of Jesus.
Faith Based Christmas Gifts – It may seem obvious, but in a time when many of the gifts given during the Christmas season require batteries to be useful, we often forget to consider gifts that require faith to become fully realized. Statues, religious medals and Catholic art are all wonderful Christmas Gifts. consider what faith based or devotional items you could give this year.
Let Advent prepare you so that this Christmas your heart and the hearts of those in your family will be ready to receive the gift of Jesus, God with us.