On the First Day of Christmas...

Christmas season is here again! Because it's hubby's favorite time of the year, we enjoy it all the more! It's a great time to reflect blessings of the past year, as well as gain a renewed appreciation of the graces of wonderful friends and family.

My goal his Christmas season is to post every day! The 24 days leading up to Christmas go by so fast and I hope with my daily posts, I can share the spirit of the season in each one. Let's hope I can keep up!

Some of you who know me personally know that I grew up not celebrating Christmas. It was not a part of the religious practices of the church I grew up in. Yet, as I got married and had children, my husband and I decided to raise our children Catholic.

Today I share a message Father Anthony Saroki of Our Lady of Mount Carmel shared in mass this morning. The theme of his homily was about "Lighting Candles". The symbolism of the light can include the light of the "good word" and doing good deeds as well as "the work of the light". As the season of Advent begins, he shared several things families can do to honor the meaning of the season.

To honor the light of God's good word, we can light candles together as a family along with reading scripture. To enact good deeds during the Advent season, Father Anthony encouraged the parish members to show discretion on Christmas gifts. Instead of extravagant gifts, simple gifts are good, along with charitable donations to organizations meaningful to each individual family. The important piece of this deed is to engage in conversations with our children about the "good deeds" we are to do, not only during Christmas season, but all year long.

We hope to start these traditions with our two little boys! Today we started with the candles with a little talk asking our boys what they remembered from the homily at church today. We talked about the symbolism of the light and to remember to be thankful for our blessings.

So, although I grew up not celebrating Christmas, I did grow up understanding the "light" of God's word in everything I do. I also grew up knowing that the light of "good deeds" is ultimately what God wants for all of us. So as the holiday season begins, let's take time out of the hustle and bustle and remember the meaning of the season!

What do you do to celebrate the true meaning of the season?