Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!

We had a wonderful, and relaxing, day yesterday – capped off by sharing a Thanksgiving feast with 16 people seated around our table (well, and three at the kiddie table).  It actually felt like a day of rest, and for an introvert like me that’s a statement when you’re surrounded by people all day.

It also helped that the Eagles finally showed up and won a game.

So, now we’re on to Advent.  In the coming weeks, don’t let yourself be fooled by the news reports about “holiday spending,” the 24/7 “Christmas music” (folks, “Chestnuts roasting on an Open Fire” and “Let is Snow” are not Christmas carols), and the festive lights fool you.  This isn’t the Christmas Season.  Why not be truly counter-cultural this year and spend some time in reflection, or add a spiritual discipline to your routine, during these four weeks.  In doing so, let the presence of the Holy Spirit alleviate the de-humanizing stress that so many people feel during this season so you might be able to experience the Lord’s peace.

For my readers who are still in school, or are teachers, my deepest apologies at how our secular calendar undermines the wisdom of the Church’s rhythm.  Please know that I feel it as well – this is one of the busiest, and stressful, times of the year for pastors.

If you’re planning on practicing a discipline especially during this season, why not post it below so that others might get some ideas?  I might be doing my Lenten discipline of turning off the computer from lunch until after the kids go to bed – though I’m not sure it there’s something else I might end up practicing.


  1. coffeezombie says:

    Sure, and the next thing you’re gonna say is that Jingle Bells and Frosty the Snowman aren’t Christmas carols, either.

  2. Cathi says:

    I guess it depends on the definition of Christmas Carol. Is Christmas song better? And what do you mean by not the Christmas season? What is that definition?

  3. wezlo says:

    No, “winter song” would be better. It’s not really “Christmas” anything – it’s hard to be a “Christmas” song w/o making any reference to the incarnation. Sooooo…

    “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open fire” – winter song.

    “Joy to the World” – Christmas Carol.

    The Christmas season is an actual liturgical season that spans 12 days from what we call “Christmas Day” (the “Christ Mass”) and drawing to a close the day before Epiphany (the arrival of the Magi and also the celebration of Jesus’ dedication in the Temple).

    The “Christmas Season” that’s celebrated now is ripped out of it’s historic and theological roots and has become a shopping fest. It’s only been like this since the early 20th Century – before that Protestants either didn’t really celebrate Christmas (it was “papist”) but if they had taken up the celebration of festivals they would have celebrated Advent the four weeks prior to December 25.

    Just remember, “Christmas” is a religious celebration of the miracle of the Incarnation. “The Christmas Shopping Season” is a secular mammon-fest that just stole a word and replaced Jesus with a guy in red and a bunch of elves. Heck it even stole Jesus’ title, “Chris Kringle” is actually an anglicized expression of the German for “Christ Child.”

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