The weekend after Thanksgiving is a special time in our household. It is the time

that we decorate for Christmas. This has been a tradition and a means for preparing for the Advent-Christmas season.

The first step is to give the house a thorough cleaning, getting things in order for the holiday décor. When Josh and JoAnna were younger, we mounted the attic steps and brought out lights, ornaments, tinsel and wreaths. Each item was then carefully placed. The room was accented in red and green, silver and gold. Our Advent calendar was hung and the move toward Christmas began. This process was eagerly anticipated by the younger members of the household.

Each year Josh and JoAnna became more involved in the preparation, adding new touches. They enjoyed seeing the rooms transformed and knowing they were part of the process. Now a new generation of children are emerging and hoping to participate.

As I consider the decorating procedure, I’m touched by the spiritual parallels. The Sunday after Thanksgiving is an important day in the Church year. It is the first day of Advent and marks the beginning of a spiritual journey toward the day acknowledging Christ’s birth. The initial aspect of this process ideally involves cleansing, allowing God to examine our hearts and remove any spiritual clutter.

Advent is a season of preparation. Just as we prepare our homes for the season, we hopefully allow God to prepare our hearts. Each ornament and decoration has spiritual connotations if we allow our “eyes to see.” The red of Christ’s blood and the green of everlasting life represent Christ’s ultimate mission and reason for His entry on this earth. The angels on the tree remind us of the divine messenger who announced Jesus’ coming. The lights that are delicately hung urge us to open our hearts to the true Light.

Just as Josh and JoAnna were able to become more involved in the external preparation each year and now Joseph, James and Isabel are following suit, I trust God is “growing them spiritually” and preparing them to experience Christ’s presence in a deeper way each year.

We are entering a special time of year. May God prepare our hearts as we prepare our homes.

Be sure to check out this article in our full newsletter from December 2020 - Click Here!