Last Minute Preparations

22 Dec

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

Christmas never seemed to come easy in our family. My oldest brother was born on December 18. So, we would wait to celebrate his birthday and then deck the house for Christmas. That last week was the crazy and chaotic finish to the month.

My mom was really big into Christmas. The beginning of the month of December would bring the writing of the Christmas cards. She had oodles that she sent every year and she tried to write something personal in each card. Once the cards were finished, the Christmas baking began. My mom baked for a few different families and there would be nut rolls, poppy seed rolls, Christmas cookies of all varieties, fudge, and other homemade creations coming from the kitchen. If we dared set foot in the kitchen, we would be put to work.

Of course, in between all the cards and baking, there was the house cleaning. We had to make sure that the living room was cleared for the tree to be put up and that the house would be cleaned for family and friends who would visit.

As Christmas got closer, that final week, there was a level of tension and excitement that could not be described but it sure could be felt. It was always capped by going to Mass, usually the Midnight Mass of Christmas, and then unwrapping gifts on Christmas morn.

I’m reliving the anxiety and excitement of it even as I type this. I’m getting tired thinking of all the activity that went into the last days before Christmas. That is the place that we are at today. There might still be much to do and we might all be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Make your house fair, trim the trees, do the decorating and baking; but, remember to prepare for the most precious gift of all: the birthday celebration of Christ, the Lord.

FAITH ACTION: Make time the next few days to prepare yourself spiritually for the celebration of Christmas on Friday.