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"A seasonal song for you" by Charlene Rack (CatholicMom.com) Copyright 2018 Charlene Rack. All rights reserved.[/caption] This time of year, some of us are walking on eggshells, wondering if we are “allowed” to wish people a “Merry Christmas.” Is it more proper to say “Season’s Greetings,” or “Happy Holidays,” or perhaps, “Bah, humbug!”? I got news for ya, folks. If it weren’t for Christmas, there would be no seasonal greetings needed, and also no holidays to be happy about. Yeah, maybe we’d still have New Year’s Day, but … who cares about that?! This lowly holiday gets top billing only because it happens to come a week after Christmas, which is the holiday, and the reason for the “season!” Historically, people have been using those different seasonal greetings for years, and they all refer mainly to Christmas, followed by that humble holiday which just happens to be lucky enough to tag along with the Star of the show. When folks use those salutations of Season’s Greetings and/or Happy Holidays, they are, in fact, wishing you a Merry Christmas … they just don’t realize it. Here’s what it boils down to – you can say whatever you prefer, and I will sincerely thank you, and then wish you a Merry Christmas, BUT, I will only say that when Christmas is really here. Because here’s the next big surprise  … Christmas starts at midnight on Christmas Eve! It didn’t start shortly after Halloween, when the stores immediately clearanced the left-over Trick-or-Treat candy and set out the Christmas sweets, decorations, gift bags, Santa hats, Christmas socks, etc, etc. And it didn’t start on Black Friday, when people got up hours before the sunrise and started the mad rush to buy gifts for everyone on their list. Nope! Christmas starts on the anniversary (or at least the date that has been agreed upon by scholarly historians and years of tradition as the most likely anniversary) of the birth of our Lord and Savior. So, while you’re all biting your tongue wondering what greeting to offer, I ask you to consider this new approach. Greet people within the confines of the correct season. I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to be doing. When someone tosses any of the above mentioned good wishes my way (or offers a greeting for any other holiday of their choosing), I am going to respond with this gem, “Thank you very much, and a blessed Advent to you!” I don’t know why I didn’t think of this years ago, but that little idea finally found a way to get my attention, and I am groovin’ on this ingenious concept! I no longer have to worry about whether or not to say Merry Christmas, because IT’S ADVENT!! I have spent the past few days standing in front of the mirror, practicing this response, and I think I have it down pat now. “A blessed Advent to you!” I even made up a little song, just for fun, and in the spirit of the season, I’m sharing it with you.

I Wish You a Blessed Advent

(sung to the tune of, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”) (refrain) I wish you a bless-ed Advent, I wish you a bless-ed Advent, I wish you a bless-ed Advent, ‘Cause it’s not Christmas yet. Slow down and take time To truly employ, The gift of a holy Advent And the coming of Joy! (repeat refrain) That was my early Christmas gift to you and, yes, I am still allowed to say the word Christmas -- I’m not being a tyrannical Scrooge, here! If you go Christmas caroling during Advent, go ahead and sing the word Christmas at the top of your lungs, but just keep in mind, we’re still waiting for Christmas to arrive. Once it does, I’ll be wishing people a Merry Christmas for at least a couple of weeks, maybe even until Epiphany, and folks will look at me like I’ve lost my marbles, not even realizing that they have been liturgically incorrect by packing the Christmas albums away the day after Christmas! At any rate, right now, in December, we should all be preparing our hearts to genuinely rejoice and celebrate the birthday of Jesus, at the proper time. And that, my friends, is what this season of Advent is all about – not shopping, not parties, not gift exchanges, not decking the halls … just waiting, and watching, in the still of the night, as though we were lowly shepherds in the field, longing with all our hearts for our Savior, and always on the alert for the sound of angel voices. They always come when you least expect them. So …, while there’s still time, find your own quiet place to wait, pray, and embrace the holy and blessed season of Advent!
Copyright 2018 Charlene Rack