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Patience, Preparation and Plating for Christmas

Posted: December 02, 2015 | Author: Fr. Leo

Click here for details on Advent Dinner for The Table Foundation on December 14, 2015 in Ellicott City, MD in case you're interested in joining me for a fine evening of food, faith, and friends. 

With Thanksgiving behind us we now go full force into Christmas preparations.  But please WAIT!  I'm not trying to be a Grinch, but I recommend that while you might go crazy with Christmas preparations and decorations that you realize it's not yet Christmas.   Do something, no matter how slight, to remind yourself we're in a completely different season and we ought to celebrate the Advent season with more gusto!

For example, practice the Advent Wreath and candle lighting ceremony for your family. Don't put the star on the tree or the baby Jesus figurine in the manger until December 25th. Plan some of your Christmas parties during the Christmas season (remember we have 12 Days of it after the presents are all opened). 

By holding off on the full symbols of Christmas we fight off the temptation to "rush" the coming of Jesus.  Remember, Advent is a time of patiently waiting.  Maybe this is a good season for us to embrace and develop that virtue in our lives.  One way we can do that is by making sure our Christmas preparations also include some time to make a good sacramental confession or take on an extra spiritual practice like a daily Rosary or reading more scripture. Or, simply listen to more sacred Christmas songs in a meditative way. These little practices can help us patiently prepare for Christmas.

As for the food reference of "plating" we all know that simply means the way we "present" our dish.  So, here's my spiritual food recommendation: make Advent at time to present ourselves as joyful, loving, patient, generous people excitedly waiting for the Savior.  Let's admit, this time of the year can make us crazy, cranky, cheap, or just depressed.  But this season is one of the biggest "selling points" on why it's great to be a Christian!  The Christian celebration of Christmas means an opportunity to care for the poor and needy, a time for families to come together and reconcile, and Christmas gifts certainly help the economy as well!  Plating the best version of ourselves at this time of the year preaches the Gospel message in powerful ways. Our good example evangelizes people with an invitation to that same type of Holiday (Holy Day) Joy!

Joyful workers serving those in need, Toledo's Helping Hands Center.

Let us Pray: Father in heaven, during this holy season of Advent help us to prepare our hearts, present the best version of ourselves to others in need of Good News and teach us to patiently develop the virtue of patience in our own lives.  Keep our families safe, protect us from all evils, and console those who experience challenges during this time of the year.  We ask this through Christ Jesus, the Lord who is to come. Amen.

Gifts for the Holidays

Visit for great holiday gifts for your family members. Even get a personal dedication from me if you order by December 13, 2015.


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