The so-called Christmas Season for many can be weeks of anxiety, guilt, gluttony, depression, and all-around hectic atmosphere. Have you asked yourself why it has to be this way? The answer is simple yet profound. We normally spend the weeks leading up to Christmas shopping, cleaning, decorating, going over our ‘to do lists’ and in a constant state of panic that we won’t get everything accomplished in time for Christmas (at this point) a WHOLE TWO WEEKS away.
We’re never quite sure if we can get everything done, so when the Church asks us to spend EVEN MORE time reading Scriptures, coming to Church, helping the poor, and on top of all that, the Church tells us we should be FASTING?! Is the Church kidding? You may even think the Church is “out of touch” with the reality of Christmas. And this doesn’t even begin to express the general atmosphere of exhaustion of Christmas Day when the Church ACTUALLY THINKS we can be in Church Christmas morning when we have ALL THAT cooking to do.
So what’s the answer?......S L O W D O W N!
MAKE TIME for prayer. Make time for reading Scripture. Make time for helping the poor. PLAN to fast. Tell some friends you can’t make their party Saturday night because you’re going to spend some quiet family time at Church. Schedule to have Holy Confession for Christmas. And when you are decorating your home for Christmas, don’t forget to include some Orthodox decorations like some Icons which will help you remember what you are actually preparing for.
The busy ‘preparations’ won’t prepare your soul. YOU have to do that! Something to think about during the remaining two weeks of the Christmas Fast.