This is our first Christmas without music ministry obligations. That may sound somewhat simple to you. But for me, it means it will be the first Christmas without countless rehearsals, masses, and penance services on top of other holiday singing gigs and my school work. It's the first year that we won't be scrambling to put out the presents at 1:00 am, after doing two Christmas Eve masses. In short, I think it is our first Christmas like normal people.
What does this mean? To be honest, I think it means we will be a little more selfish this year. I know how counterintuitive that sounds, but after years spent making sure everyone else had the perfect holiday mass (while our kids slept on pillows in the choir loft instead of their own beds), I think it's time for us to be a little selfish. And by "selfish," I mean focused on teaching our children the true meaning of the season.
The priest at mass today gave a beautiful homily about the season of Advent. Just as the time change happens gradually, darkness can creep into our minds and lives almost imperceptibly. Before we realize it, it is suddenly dark at 4:30 or 5 pm. Same goes for our mindset: little by little, we can see more darkness than light. It's our job to fight that. I loved this line in particular: "If you complain that Christmas isn't like it used to be, then make it the way it used to be. It's your choice!"
Send out some light this month: little by little, we can make some small difference.