Only 7 more shopping days left until Christmas!
It's your last chance to qualify for free shipping / 50% off all double-priced items / complimentary gift wrapping / an extra tote bag (for all of our stuff!) / $10 in-store credit so that you'll buy more stuff!
It's not too late!
Truly, it isn't.
It's not too late to push aside the message of our world that Santa's presents bring happiness and instead embrace the reality that God's presence ensures JOY!
It's not too late to reject the hectic pace - cards, cookies, decorations, parties, gifts, cleaning, wrapping - and instead reveal in the expectant JOY of Christ's coming into our world, into our hearts, and again at the end of all time.
It's not too late to prepare for Christmas.
Truly, it isn't.
I hope and pray that you have taken time to pray throughout Advent with more fervor and frequency. I hope and pray that in the midst of all of the snowmen and reindeer and jingle bells that you have found space in your homes for Advent wreaths and manger scenes. If you haven't, it's not too late - Consider attending a weekday Mass, or on the weekend if that isn't already a part of your Ordinary Time routine. Attend one of the many Reconciliation services planned throughout the diocese. Pray. Ask God for the strength, patience, guidance, wisdom to receive JOY that can only come from Him.
It's not too late - pray.
I hope and pray that you have realized that more stuff doesn't lead to more happiness and that it is our extreme excess that deceives us into wanting more. In a world filled with choices, nothing satisfies. Consider embracing "Waste Not, Want Not" as a mantra during these last few days of Advent - especially as it pertains to your consumption of food. Try it for a day. Try it for a meal. Vow to see even the most mundane of choices as the blessing that it truly is. Make a point to not waste food, or water, or time and watch how God blesses these efforts by making you feel more satisfied.
It's not too late - waste not, want not.
I hope and pray that you have sought out others to serve this holiday season. Perhaps it takes the form of direct service. Maybe it's more fully engaging your wife or husband or kids. Maybe it's cleaning out your closet. Maybe it's adopting a family who will go without this Christmas and making sure that they go with something. Out of your abundance, offer up just one gift to give to those in need. Offer up just one day of service to the less fortunate. Out of many, give one. Again, God will bless these efforts and you will have more space for Him, with less space being consumed by stuff.
It's not too late - serve.
I hope and pray that you can come to recognize that the best days of your lives had nothing to do with things and everything to do with people. Reflect on what the best days of your life have been. I hope that this simple reflection, which will most likely be incredibly easy, demonstrates to you the importance of relationships in your lives. I hope that during this season you may choose to give yourself to those whom you love, realizing that the memories of being together sustain much longer than the things purchased out of obligation. It's not too late, if you haven't already brainstormed ways to more fully connect with others, extend an invitation to a friend, co-worker or family member to GO do something together and be open to accepting that invitation to connect to someone else. God will bless this participation in the mystery of the Trinity - He is three persons in one! He is, by nature, relational!
It's not too late - engage.
Finally, I hope and pray that you will, through these efforts, feel the true Spirit of Christmas.
Be blessed. Be bold. Fight for JOY!
It's not too late...truly, it isn't.