November 15, 2008 – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like …

We have gotten to that time of year where I have to check my calendar and realize that we have still not reached the Thanksgiving holiday, yet the signs of Christmas are everywhere.  The city workers are putting up decorations around town, the stores are chucked full with Christmas merchandise, and there’s even Christmas music already on some radio stations.  I can understand, especially this year, that stores want to get the Christmas season going as soon as they can because this is their “make or break” time of year.  But the other stuff?  Doesn’t it seem that Christmas has lost some of its “innocence”?

I am not bashful to say that the holiday season is my favorite time of year.  There is a festive spirit in the air, and plenty of a couple of my favorite things – food and football!  But the last few years it just doesn’t seem that Christmas has the same feel that it had in the past.  I’m trying to figure out if it’s because I’m just getting older and the spirit of the season has changed for me, or if it’s because of the over-commercialization of the season, or if it’s just because that it is now just drug out for too long.  I am convincing myself that it is the latter.  I thought there was always something special about waking up on Christmas morning and listening to Christmas music to really set the mood for the holiday.  But when you have heard “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” 100 times on the radio already, somehow it loses its luster.

I suppose that if we want to restore the lost innocence of the Christmas season, we need to dedicate ourselves to focusing on what the season was originally intended for – to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  To make Advent a true time of preparation.  To keep the Christmas spirit flowing and the lights on even the day AFTER Christmas – maybe even through Epiphany.  So there is my 2 cents worth.  Now realizing that I have spent 3 paragraphs talking about Christmas on November 15, let’s move on.

I came across a really cool website this past week – www.mycatholic.com.  This website is full of information from Catholic sources as well as other news and information sources.  You can find reflections, scripture readings, news, information on the saints, and a ton of other stuff.  The really cool part is that at the top of the homepage you can go to a link where you can customize the website to your interests.  You can choose what news, reflections, etc. that you would like on the homepage.  I highly recommend this website as it is kind of a “one stop shop” for Catholic information.

I promised a while back that I was going to re-organize the links page on our website and make some additions and subtractions.  Well as yu noticed I haven’t gotten to that yet.  Hopefully this weekend I’ll have a chance to do some work on it.  Nonetheless, I hope you continue to use our website, www.maryhoc.org, and inform other folks about it.  I’m on there at least 2-3 times per week updating and adding things.  Let me know if you have any suggestions or would like to see something added to our website.

Here are some prayer intentions for the coming week – for President-elect Obama as he continues to prepare for the coming inauguration, for our country – especially those who have lost their job due to the slumping economy, for those serving in our military here and abroad, for Fr. Gene and his family, for the deer hunters that they stay safe, and on a light-hearted note: for the Cardinals that they sign a few free agents and make a trade or two and overtake the Cubs once again!

Stay warm.  Peace.

 

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