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Advent pasts…

If I were able to pick my favorite Holiday (which I think most of my friends could easily guess), Christmas by far would be my favorite holiday.  But it wasn’t until this weekend that I figured it all out.  I think Advent is really my favorite “holiday”, as it’s comprised of several weeks of time for the preparation of the coming of the little Baby.  I really spend a lot of time during advent reflecting on my life and the blessings that surround me.  It sets me in some very weird mood swings sometimes.  I’m far from perfect and so close to mastering the art of hypocrisy.  Remembering  that puts me in a humble state.

While growing up there are so many memories that run through my head around Christmastime.  I was ‘born and raised’ with the understanding that Christmas was about our Savior, and not about all the worldly items that surround us daily.  Christmas is about how a man of flesh and blood began the road to our salvation.  It started in a manger, dirty and anything but what we would consider fit for a King.  It’s about a Man that set a lifelong example for others to follow.  It’s about how one Man gave his entire life and devoted himself to give to others.  It makes me wonder what I have devoted my life for.  I draw a blank.  It makes me wonder (as I’m sure many a mothers and fathers wonder) why my children so easily say “I want this, that, and this for Christmas”, and “How much are you going to spend on us this Christmas”.  I hear “We need…” quite a bit and too many times do I feel they are let down when we discuss Christ and the real reason of Christmas.  I know my mom would say I was no different growing up.  Probably made my parents feel the same way at the time as I do now!lol!lol!.  If anything I can consider that a blessing as I have the knowledge that I can share to my children as my family did for me.  That’s part of what Christmas is to me.  It’s sharing and the understanding that it’s all but what is required of our worldly needs.

I’m no better, nor was I growing up.  If you were to ask me what Christmas was about in elementary, I would have told you it’s about getting the candy bag from usher Rene after the evening Christmas story play we would do at Chapel of the Cross!  Can you believe there were peanuts (in the shell) and those great Brach’s Jelly Nougats in that bag?  Christmas was about spending the Eve at Grandma and Grandpa Bremers.   Eating a great big meal, opening presents, and then going to evening Christmas Eve service at Calvary Church (how do I love the candlelight service and singing Silent Night).  On the way home Christmas Eve, I would sit in the back seat, staring intently in the moon lit sky looking everywhere for Santa’s sleigh.  But once I’d get home and mom and dad put us in bed, I remember thinking about the Christmas story, about how Mary and Joseph must have felt that night, and dreamt of the three wise men and their moon lit trek via the Christmas star.  I can only imagine the dialog between the three wise men throughout  their trek. And since I’m recalling random memories, when I was younger, I always believed it was snowing throughout the real Christmas story.

So once again, Christmastime has started.  For me, I try to believe it never stops.  But alas, Christmas comes and goes, and I for sure always look forward to the next merry one.  So for all the few people that dare to read, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

 

 

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Martinstag, St. Martin’s Day, Advent…

I’ll use any reason to start the Christmas Season sooner! In early days Advent lasted from November 11, the feast of St. Martin, until Christmas Day. “St. Martin started out as a Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and became a monk. It is understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and simple life. The most famous legend of his life is that he once cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the beggar from dying of the cold. That night he dreamed that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: “Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptized; he has clothed me.cited from Wikipedia

Yep -it’s that time of the year again. KUDL is already playing Christmas music, and the shopping centers have had the Christmas Trees on display now for over a month! Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and that’s when I know it’s time to stay away from the store’s mad rush of holiday shoppers!!!

As most know Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite times of the year. It seems that as soon as Thanksgiving and Christmas come and go, I can’t wait for them to come again. I think I’m so fond of these Holidays because of the tradition and upbringing my parents and Grandparents instilled. For most, unfortunately, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are more of a ‘have-to-do’ holiday, than a sacred holiday. As soon as some people hear the Christmas music on KUDL, they feel the anxiety of the holiday rush. I, rather, feel the love and greatest gift that anyone could ever want. The gift that God gave us that Christmas morning; not so long ago. For that,… we have much to be Thankful for!

Thanksgiving couldn’t come at a better time; with Christmas following. Last year around this time I came up with a short Christmas lesson for my kids to get them in the Spirit. The very first question I presented to them was, “What kind of things do you think of first when you hear the word ‘Christmas’?”. They all paused for a moment, with the older kids realizing that this might be a ‘trick’ question. The younger kids were about to spout off the latest X-BOX game when one of the older kids shouted, “Jesus!” Then the younger kids followed suit mentioning things like the manger, Joseph and Mary, and other items as such. As far as I was concerned, the question didn’t have a right or wrong answer. My point wasn’t to catch them saying something wrong, but rather keep the true meaning in their minds. Obviously kids will associate gifts with Christmas, but it’s our job to keep the truth with them. Without subtle reminders like the one above, it may become very easy for them to fall in the ‘have-to-do’ Christmas Spirit when they get older.

So my whole point? This is my subtle reminder that Thanksgiving and Christmas go hand-in-hand, so we might not succumb to the mad holiday rush. Now is the time to give thanks, and keep the true meaning of Christmas close to our hearts. Advent is the time to prepare for the celebration of the coming. Prepare your hearts and remember what is true. We should treat every day of our lives as if Thanksgiving and Christmas were in the midst. We have too much to be thankful for. The fact that you are reading this page means you are alive and well; be thankful for it! My only request from you is that you take a moment today or tonight to pray for this Holiday season. Thank Him for all you have, and for what we have yet to be given. Thank Him for your problems, as problems are our way of learning how to deal with tough times. Thank Him for your children, as they are our heirs and mirrors of who we are in life. Pray that we don’t succumb ourselves to the mad holiday rush. And most of all, thank him for our Savior and that he stays close to our heart,…the reason we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas!

posted by phoxes in advent,christmas,phox thoughts and have No Comments