The holiday season can be a time of immense stress for a variety of reasons. There is a lot of planning and preparation for Christmas. Family dynamics can often be a source of stress during this time of year as well.
Do you want a little excitement? Start any visit off with a couple of questions.
1. Are you vaccinated or not?
2. Who is the better president--Joe Biden or Donald Trump?
3. Isn't the mixture of religion and politics the best thing ever?
Okay. Just kidding. Please don't start your family gatherings in that manner.
There are gifts to buy. This can be challenging enough in a good year. In a year of high inflation and uncertainty, it can be even more daunting. I invite you to be prudent in your gift-giving processes.
Some families have lost a loved one during the past year. That empty chair at Christmas can be devastating. Please be gentle with folks who are grieving. If you are one of those grieving, please know of my prayers for you.
Broken relationships can be a delicate situation when the holidays roll around. Extend grace and mercy as much as possible. If necessary, remove yourself from a setting that proves to be too much to handle. Pray for correct discernment in how to cope with the circumstances surrounding you.
Celebrate these final days of Advent well. Allow God's peace to permeate every fiber of your being.
Today is the beginning of the "O Antiphons."
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!