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    Christmas means that God has given us nothing less than himself and his name is Jesus Christ.  Be unwilling next Christmas to settle for anything else.  Don’t order “just a piece of toast” when eggs Benedict are on the menu.  Don’t come with a thimble when God has nothing less to give you then the ocean of himself.  Don’t be contented with a “nice” Christmas when Jesus says “It has pleased my Father to give you the Kingdom.”  Pray, go to work, play Trivial Pursuit, eat banana bread, exchange presents, go caroling, feed the hungry, comfort the lonely, and do all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    -Brennan Manning

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Advent should also be a time of much joy and merry-making.  This season is rightly filled with song, laughter, food, and drink.  It is a good thing to swap gifts and hugs with loved ones.  All does not have to be somber and thoughtful or full of lament because of the sorrow in this world.  Advent leads rightly to joy, for we anticipate the righting of the world one day.

    Adoration of Jesus is very important to keep in perspective in this season, as I have been arguing for in my previous missives. Yes, there is excess in this season (as Advent Conspiracy points out), and we  do need to be conscious of aiding the poor.  However, adoration should lead to celebration.  As two carols point out,

    “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”

    “Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies!”

    Let us rejoice in the birth of Jesus, who reconciled the world and will one day come again in glory!   So come, all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant!  Come and raise your ale, eggnog, cocoa, or drink of choice and make merry, for Christ is triumphant!