Christmas Creep


Oh boy.

December 1st today… and it feels like Christmas should be tomorrow, judging by the number of commercials I have seen, Christmas displays I have noticed and radio stations playing non-stop carols.

Okay- I’m a priest.  I happen to like Advent.  But our culture says… Hurry Up!  Finish Your Halloween Candy so we can GET ON with Christmas!

I found it amusing that last week, I sat at my sister’s house eating turkey for dinner, snitching Butterfingers out of my niece’s plastic jack o’lantern for dessert, and watching Christmas movies on TV…

PARENTS:  how are you managing the excitement level at your house with your kids?

How do you temper the craziness of the season… and maintain a sense of routine, which we know is an essential part of helping our children negotiate this crazy world?

What works? 


ho ho ho and more soon-


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One Comment on “Christmas Creep”

  1. My friend Liz writes: Liz wrote: “If anyone tries to rush the holiday on me I just tell ’em: “My Pastor says Christmas STARTS on the 25th…not ends. Runs right through the Epiphany, if you want to get technical.” For our adult children, we do our best to remain flexible, our holiday family mantra is: “Nobody’s punching any clocks around here.” They have blended families, difficult work schedules, small children…they’ll get here when they can (and hopefully, when they WANT to be here.) I also believe that the fact that we’re all together nearly every week for family dinner (our house) that it dramatically lessens the pressure to make those perfect “Hallmark” holiday moments. For the grandchildren we have an abundance of rituals and traditions pretty much designed to make any ORDINARY day EXTRAordinary! We have our Advent wreath, which somehow morphed into Jesus’ birthday cake..such a pure joy blowing out the candle(s) after the brief reading and singing: “Oh, Come, O Come Emmanuel”! There’s also the Santa Count-down calendar: my ‘headshot’ drawing of Santa, with circles numbered in his beard that fills in with cotton balls until the final puff goes on the tip of his hat. And I don’t even know how to describe our Nativity: eclectic would be kind, or maybe: child-friendly. The Holy Family has welcomed some interesting guests…when our boys were little there were Ninja Turtles and Wrestling ‘Action figures” (not dolls!)…and now my grand-daughters have included Barbies and My Little Ponies, and there have always been snowmen and Santas and animals probably NOT found in a stall in Bethlehem! I allow pretty free reign with everything BUT the Christ Child: He is kept reverently well out of reach until Christmas Eve, when the youngest children wait excitedly for the moment during Grampa’s reading of Luke for the high sign from Gramma (me!) that he can be respectfully placed between Mary and Joseph. I have other traditions with my ‘family of origin’ and my in-laws, our ‘larger’ family circles. But, as we became empty-nesters I found having ‘just’ my husband and I read the Advent reading nightly, and our attending church together weekly, holding hands during Mass…these, too, are quiet ways to build toward the holiday. I was thinking the other day about the differences between Advent and Lent…which both have their measures of sorrow and joy…but Christmas has the songs and games and stories and presents AND a baby!!! I don’t know if my ideas or intentions can help anyone else to de-stress their celebrations. It’s been years of effort on my part, as I’m more Martha than Mary by nature (and upbringing!). But I feel very strongly that we CAN do both: worship the Lord, and put out a lovely knosh for our guests.

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