From the time I was a little girl, yesterday’s gospel from Mark in which Jesus tells his disciples, “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come,” scared the hell out of me. I want to know what my future holds, thank you very much.
And yet, that same gospel always gave me comfort when various zealots and/or nuts would say the end was coming on such and such a date. When I would fret, Bill would always remind me that Jesus himself said no one knows when the world will end. Both St. Matthew and St. Mark tell us that very thing in their gospels.
But our pastor put it all into perspective when he reminded us that as we prepare for the birth of Christ during this Advent season, we should be mindful that we should always be preparing for Christ’s coming. It’s an absolute cliché to say that we forget the real meaning of Christmas, but alas, it’s all too true.
The Christmas hub bub seemed to come really early this year. Earlier than other years, it seemed. Perhaps that’s because Thanksgiving was so late. But Christmas music was playing on the Phoenix easy listening station even before we returned to Denver on November 18, and Christmas decorations collided with Halloween decorations this year. Never even mind Thanksgiving.
Both of my sisters have been telling me that they are almost finished with their Christmas shopping. That absolutely FU-REAKED ME OUT! I have had to remind myself that it wasn’t even December yet.
The Christmas season really has expanded in the recent years. I remember when we used to put up our Christmas tree on my birthday in mid-December. Now it’s hard to wait even until Thanksgiving. This year I put my angel tree up the Sunday before Thanksgiving because I wanted my grandkids to help, and some of them were going to be out of town this past week. That, and the fact that we leave for Arizona on Christmas day, which requires that we dismantle Christmas on December 24 – just like the Grinch.
Anyway, all of this is to say that I am going to try and remember that the Advent season is upon us. Advent gives us the chance to prepare not only for the commercial Christmas, but also for the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
By the way, yesterday after doing a bit of Christmas shopping and feeling pretty snappy that I was finally making some progress, I got into my car, turned on KOSI 101 to listen to Christmas music. What I heard was Auld Lang Syne. Yikes. Now I need to worry that I’m not prepared for New Year’s!
I served this blueberry coffee cake on Thanksgiving morning. It was absolutely delicious. It comes from Betty Crocker.