This morning I and a few friends made a trip to the local dollar store. The aisles were filled with ornaments for the Christmas season. I was looking for a small pink candle to complete a miniature Advent wreath for my desk. My search was rewarded with a find: a pink candle not exactly like the other three, but close enough. The last Sunday of this month of November will be the first Sunday of the new Liturgical year--or, as some say, the church year.
I was struck by how busy the store seemed compared to my last leisurely trip. More families were looking for Christmas items. I was looking for a miniature Nativity scene. The only religious reference to Jesus' birthday was in the boxes of Christmas cards. At least the Lord's coming as a Baby is depicted on many of the cards. There were some religious paper weights and even plaster crosses. Those of you who are able to visit Pauline Book & Media Centers, St. Pauls bookstores, or the Liturgical Apostolate Centers in the USA and Canada can find many religious Christmas scenes. In Toronto, Canada, the Santa Claus parade is scheduled for Sunday, November 15. It seems Santa has to come earlier in the northern regions. I wonder if there will be any floats with the Bethlehem story.
A help to imbibe the spirit of the coming season, is the DVD "The Nativity Story." New Line Cinema released the film in late Fall of 2006. The opening scenes are accompanied by the ancient Advent music: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Every time I have watched those scenes I felt a deep nostalgia. The music brought back memories of learning the song in Latin and in English many years ago.
In the USA people are making plans for the Thanksgiving holiday. May all who will celebrate this beautiful day enjoy the company of family, and friends as well as a great Thanksgiving meal.