...I know I said the 'St. Damien of Molokai part 2' was coming up, but I'm still in the process of writing it, and I haven't even said anything about Advent and soon it'll be Christmas, and who knows when it'll posted with all the 'hecticness' comes around...
:P OK, I'm aware that that sounded like a "Dear Santa, I can explain!" thing.
But you get the point. I've given up writing excuses because it's a total waste of time since Jesus already knows who's been good or not (He's got the best seat, no? :)
Now, onto Advent...
This is going to be a quick post, ok?
What is Advent? (I'm not going to answer this question, btw)
To a kid, it probably means 'time to prepare for Christmas! time for Mom and Dad to go out and pick out our presents!! Yaayyy...' and on and on. And what about in the Church? 'Everything's purple.' Yep.
I used to think that Advent was kinda like a time when Mom or Dad closes your eyes, or puts on a blindfold, and leads you through the house for a surprise. Your heart's beating fast, and you're super excited to see what clothes Mom picked out for you (well, not for me), and what super cool toy Dad has in store for you now. You already know that you won't be disappointed...or not? I think it depends on how you receive the gift. That's why Advent is so important. It kind of reflects and influences how you feel when Christmas comes. It prepares you for that feeling - that wonderful feeling of peace that floods your soul when everyone comes together, family, friends, and most IMPORTANTLY, HIM. (No! Not Santa! ...ok, maybe a little.)
But sometimes, some kids may think that, 'Christmas is every year. How come we have to celebrate it again and again?"
Battle that first question with this, "Well, you're already born - why do we have to celebrate your birthday?"
Or the other kids may say this, "Who cares?! Christmas is AWESOME!!!" And they have no idea what the purpose of Christmas is, and have no idea what they are talking about.
Why not celebrate Christmas all over again and over again? For us Catholics, we get to celebrate it for 12 days. ...and that boring feeling that we have to spend and 'we did that last year...i'm tired' thing? Stop that. If you received life, shouldn't you be thankful for that? Especially being born into the true light and life. Advent season is the time to be thankful for everything of the year, especially the presence of Jesus.
But it doesn't end there. Advent is a lot like Lent. (Yes! I did just say that!) In what way, you may ask? 'A time of reflection and preparation.' Sounds familiar? And we're supposed to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Easter and Christmas. And we're not supposed to mention 'Alleluia' during Lent, and for Christmas...you know the similarities.
There's a lot more to Lent and Advent than just simply waiting. It's a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Our Lord. And just not our hearts, our souls too. We do many sacrifices during Lent to show how much we love God, but doesn't that go for the entire year? We love God, of course, but it doesn't mean we have to prove it by doing sacrifices one time a year. Advent & Lent = obviously very important if it's about three-five weeks of preparation for Easter/Christmas.
Remember that other reflection that I did for Lent? It was a 'video game analogy' for my young readers :)
K, you know how hard it is to defeat the 'boss' in a video game? All that preparing, leveling up, and stocking up on supplies and upgrading your weapons? Lent & Advent is kinda like that. Sure it's sweet when you're already powerful enough to defeat the boss head on straight, but sometimes that feeling of accomplishment isn't as satisfying if you didn't work hard to get the victory. But that's only half the battle :) You're not comepletely finished yet. After you defeat this 'badguy or whatever,' you get new equipment, tons of experience points, and that awesome sense of accomplishment, you're off to the next challenge, and at the same time you're excited to use whatever you gained because of all that hard work? Again, Lent/Advent is a lot like that.
...and if you didn't work hard, it's a game over :( Total disappointment. Don't let your Easter/Christmas be like that. Nobody likes a sour Christmas.
concerning presents: It's the thought that counts, but I really wish that kids my age (especially my age :P ) would understand this real feeling of peace and true joy. I often see kids my age with cellphones (I don't particularily like cellphones. I think they're totally bothersome somtimes.), expensive uh, thingies...whatever it is they buy, makeup (I think Jesus doesn't want you to think that he created you wrong :( The true beauty is inside of you :), and really really awful/weird/gross/did-I-mention-awful clothes (I'll have to post something about that sometime). How many kids in the world know that the best gift of Christmas is not something that only lasts for two years?? ...And they don't even acknowledge their parents sometimes. Sad. :( That's also what Advent is for. Not just preparing your own heart for Christmas, but everyone else.
Also, isn't this time also called the 'Season of Giving...? That's actually a nice title. We remember during this season that Jesus gave us Himself, all of him, his love, and everything. We try to imitate him by acting super super good this year, and the next, (and the next and the next and the next............) But not for Christmas presents. But I'm sure, if you've been good this year, you'd be able to feel that peace, that joy, and the true meaning of Christmas in your heart - best present of all. One of the priests that says Mass at our parish gave us this very interesting saying, "God is always up to something good." (Jesus wouldn't give you something bad...depending on how you look at it yourself) Who knows? Maybe Jesus has something great in store for you. Keep your eyes peeled, and your heart open!
And if I don't somehow am able to say this on the actual day...
MELE KALIKIMAKA!!! (that's Hawaiian for: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!) :)
You all will be in my prayers during this special time. God bless you all with much joy, blessings, and true peace!!!