Stop Dreading Christmas.

Christmas is upon us – a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. In the Catholic Church, this current season is called Advent, which comes from the Latic word meaning “coming;” it is a time to prepare ourselves for Christ’s arrival.

Jesus’s humble birth story amazes me more and more every year. Possibly because I’ve added a kid or two over the years but it’s just so humbling to hear Jesus’s beginnings – from the Angel Gabriel to the search for a safe birth place for Mary and Joseph. I just love everything about it.

Here’s the thing that is increasingly frustrating to me: too often I come across individuals who tell me how much they dread Christmas.

Perhaps they are dreading the Christmas shopping, or the crazy decorations, or the commercialization of the holiday. For whatever reason, they dread it.

While I agree about the commercialization of this time of year, that’s not what this is about. This is about being cognizant of verbiage. This is about remembering what Christmas is all about.

This is about looking forward to Christmas. This is about anticipating Christ’s birth.

Christmas is just about giving as it is receiving. Give yourself the gift of a new outlook, give your loved ones the gift of a new outlook – an altered way of thinking and talking about Christmas.

The cliche phrase, “reason for the season,” rings true here.

Remember the reason we “celebrate” – Christ’s humble birth and beginnings in this world.

She gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. [2 Luke 7]

Can you imagine? Some of can’t even imagine bringing a baby into this world without a proper baby shower, without everything perfectly washed and folded while waiting for baby’s arrive (guilty). Seriously, every time I hear this story it makes my heart ache more and more for a young pregnant Mary.

Remember the reason we “celebrate” – Mary’s yes and obedience to God. Mary’s yes is so redeeming for us.

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son…He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High.” [1 Luke 30-32]

If you are dreading Christmas for one reason or another, I encourage you to shift your focus. I encourage you to try to remember what Christmas is and why we should prepare our hearts for this season.

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