A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Christmas Is Something More

Posted on: December 24, 2012

Christmas tree angel

The angel on our Christmas tree

As I write this, I’ve just cleared what seemed like a mountain of snow in my driveway. Twice. But I love a white Christmas, so the snow removal was just part of my preparations for the big day.

I’m looking forward to spending Christmas Day with my family (including all our pets), wishing family “Merry Christmas!” on the phone, and having dinner with my parents. And of course, enjoying Christmas dinner and exchanging gifts.

Before all that, I’m looking forward to attending Mass tonight, on Christmas Eve. And remembering the point of all the festivities: the celebration of Jesus’ birth as God-with-us, Emmanuel.

On one of my Christmas albums is a song by Taylor Swift, “Christmas Must Be Something More,” that really captures this idea in its chorus:

You’d see that today holds something special

Something holy, not superficial

So here’s to the birthday boy who saved our lives

The first time I heard this song in December 2010, it really struck a chord with me. I’d been enjoying the Christmas hustle and bustle less and less and wanted this holiday to be about much more than the trappings.

Over the past few weeks, while writing this blog and thinking a lot about the season, I’ve tried to experience Advent rather than rush through it to get to Christmas. I’ve enjoyed lighting the candles on the Advent ring and saying the prayers each Sunday at dinner; attending Advent services; and taking the wrapping, decorating and other tasks at a much slower pace. And now the anticipation is nearly over—tomorrow is Christmas!

For those who are travelling, I pray that you will be safe. For those who are expecting guests, I pray that you will be welcoming hosts. And for all of us, I pray that we will keep the reason for the season first in our hearts.

To quote “This is Christmas” by Luther Vandross, “Hallelujah! This is Christmas!”

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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