As Catholics in it’s easy to get swept up in the secular idea of Christmas and New Years.
We get distracted by the lights, music, and normal festivities. Focusing on the real reason for
this season is somewhat hard.
Keeping this season holy can be simple though. There are many feasts leading up to
Christmas and the Circumcision of Christ that we can use to help keep this season Godcentered.
The first of many is the feast of Saint Nicholas followed by The Immaculate Conception,
Saint Lucy, and Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Stephen, the first martyr, falls on the day
after Christmas. We can find special ways to honor and remember these saints and feasts that
are so close to God’s heart through novenas and traditional ceremonies or festivities that are
celebrated on or around these days.
In addition to those happy and fun things, we must remember Advent is really meant as
a meditative and preparatory time of year. Liturgically, the First Sunday of Advent is the
“Catholic New Year ”, so we should treat it the same as how we do the calendar New Year
-making resolutions and more importantly keeping those resolutions.
When you were little, Advent was explained to you as the time to prepare your heart for
the coming of the Christ Child. That’s still the easiest way to explain it, even to adults. When we
have a special guest coming into our homes, we clean meticulously. Every surface is dusted,
every corner is swept, and every window is polished. Why would we not then do the same to our
souls, the place where we get to hold the Baby Jesus. In this time, we should make sacrifices,
say extra prayers, and really, truly try to focus on the real purpose of the holiday and season
leading up to it.
Below, I will link my favorite traditions and prayers for December. I hope someone will
find something they can incorporate into their lives during this season.
Happy and Blessed Advent
Advent Prayers and St. Andrew Novena:
Advent and Feast customs and traditions: