5 Tips To Prepare For Christmas this Advent

Wow, this year Advent started much earlier. Advent started on 1 December which happened to be the first Sunday AFTER the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Honestly, since it was so soon after Thanksgiving, it really caught me off guard. As we are still in the first week of the Advent season, I’m reminded of the importance of being prepared and ready. Always.

And I’m not ready or prepared. Yet. Our (artificial) tree is up, though not decorated yet. The lights are up outside (my husband was ever grateful for a 47-degree day last week) Our home is slowly getting cleaned. (It usually takes me 2.5 full days to deep clean my home). I made some Black Friday and Cyber purchases online. But am I truly ready, am I truly preparing?

As I sat in Mass this past Sunday, I felt at ease and at peace. Knowing that the decorating of the home presents purchased and wrapped ultimately didn’t matter in comparison to being truly prepared and ready as we wait for the King of glory to return.

5 Tips to prepare for christmas this advent

Reflecting on Advent(ure)

I reflected on how the word Adventure stems from the word Advent. I began to prepare my heart for an “Adventure” in this season of Advent. I reflected on how Jesus isn’t a boring person, and how my relationship with Him brings me joy and a feeling of adventure and wonderment.

But yet, by Sunday afternoon, as I cleaned and started the process of getting our home ready, I started to feel “caught off guard” again and struggled with the idea that I wasn’t spiritually ready if Jesus was to come over for a visit. Can you tell me that I have some insecurities about being a tad ADD and disorganized? I asked my husband, my Dad and Stepmom to join me in praying a Rosary. Putting Christ at the center of this Advent season and Christmas is the only way I can feel that peace and joy. Does Jesus even care if my linen closet is clutter-free?

5 Tips To Prepare for Christmas This Advent

  1. Pray. Meditate on the Mysteries of the Rosary. A prayer is a spiritual form of working out. It’s a form of communication and petition. When you are able to focus on the miracle of the incarnation of Jesus Christ and how God was able to use a young faithful engaged couple for Him to become human, you might be filled with awe at how marvelous this gift was. Make time daily during this season of Advent to pray. Especially during moments of overwhelming anxiety.
  2. Keep A Journal. Keeping a journal will allow you to write down all of your reflections, cares, worries, and thoughts. Writing down 3 things you are grateful for each morning will help you reflect on all the gifts you get throughout each day and can help you be on the lookout for blessings God is giving you during this season.
  3. Seek (And Schedule) Out A Daily Quiet Break To Welcome Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy time alone. Every day. Whether it’s the time in your car, shower, or out for a walk or run. I turn off my phone, radio, close my laptop and I use that time to welcome Jesus more into my life. Perhaps in the quiet you will hear or be impressed with something He is asking of you. I’ve done this and this is part of the reason I am restarting this blog. If you can’t escape from everyone who is asking you for your time. Use a calendar and BLOCK out that time now. Just as you would if you had a meeting with a client or doctor appointment. This is time alone with yourself to center your mind on Christ. Besides, just 15 minutes each day without ANY distractions can help improve your life in so many ways.
  4. Learn That You Can’t Do All The Things. Accept FOMO. This year I’m not even taking out my baking gear. Yes, I know! SAD. But I usually bake around 10-15 dozen cookies during this season of Advent. This year. I’ve decided that given the timeline I simply will need to cut one thing out. Baking. My husband and grandson don’t know it yet as of the writing of this post. But I will be delivering the sad news to them that they will be lucky to get 1 dozen home-baked cookies. And that is totally okay. Advent is going to be minimal this year.
  5. Read a Scripture Outloud Each Morning. I’d like to invite you to join me in Advent: The Journey To Christmas via the YouVersion Bible.app. Each morning of Advent, over the next 25 days read just one verse or two from the Gospel of St. Luke and from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah.
5 Tips to prepare for Christmas this advent

December 25th will come whether we are ready or not. Jesus will also come back again someday, whether we are ready or not. Will I get caught off guard yet again? Or will I know that I need to prepare my heart to be joyful and peaceful no matter what is happening in the physical realm? A messy, cookieless house and all.

As we enter this Advent Season, what are some ways you are preparing your heart to be peaceful and joyful despite all the ACTION and BUSYNESS that seem to take over?

Miracle Of Easter

Wow! He’s Risen! I can’t stop proclaiming this truth in my heart! I continue to sing the hymn we sang at the Easter Vigil Mass all day! Christ Has Risen from grave…death has no sting!

The angel told the women be not afraid, Christ has gone to Galilee.  As I ponder on today’s holy Gospel I am reminded that we aren’t to be fearful. God has done what He promised. He rose His son in the third day.  I try to picture myself there in Jerusalem 2000 years ago and I’m almost certain that if I had gone to the tomb to care for the body of my beloved friend I too would have had fear, worry and panic as well if I didn’t find him.  It’s only natural for anyone in that moment of fear and shock to forget a promise that was made.

I need to remember that the person making that promise was not just any person. He was the same person who turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. He was the same person who fed 5000 people with 12 loaves and a few fish.  That promise to Rise from the grave and come back to life was a miracle.

Fast forward to present time and there have been miracles throughout my own life that I’ve witnessed. The miracles I encounter each day. And the huge miracles that draw us from a state of fear and panic to a state of pure joy and thanksgiving, like when my brother overcame and beat leukemia or when my marriage was almost over and by the grace of God we overcame and fought for the love we had.

Maybe you’re still looking for that miracle or perhaps it comes in a way that isn’t what you expected. Just remember that Jesus Christ is with you through it.
This Easter I hope you found miracles. I hope you have already had miracles that you could look back upon where you might have started out fearful but soon enough the promise was remembered. I hope you find miracles in each day.