The Problem with Christmas Jumper Days!

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As a mother of two girls aged seven and nine, the build up to Christmas at home is magical. Over the last few weeks, the anticipation of Christmas has been quite something. Don’t get me wrong, we always ensure that we observe Advent in our house and contextualise the waiting for Christmas in the Advent narrative. While we cannot escape—nor do we entirely want to—the Christmas music; the premature decorations; the early gift exchanging; chocolate money and mince pie eating; and all of the usual associated Christmas activities, I’m pretty confident that my girls know that Advent is a very special season marking the start of the new Church year and that this important time has its own liturgical focus, colours, feel, message, scriptural figures and so on. The girls are fortunate that their grandparents ensured that Advent was appropriately observed, and that this tradition has passed from generation to generation—a testimony to the faith commitment of the girls’ ancestors (although I can’t imagine that dancing around the house singing Gaudete’ at full volume on the third Sunday of Advent is part of that legacy—yes, that does actually happen!) December is a particularly special time in our household, and we are thankful for that.  

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Advent Retreat: Watching, Waiting, Hoping

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Last week the St Andrew’s Foundation held its annual Advent Retreat, which this year was led by the wonderful Fr Ed Hone CSsR, Dean of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge. Fr Ed invited us to reflect on Advent as a time of ‘Watching, Waiting and Hoping – together in Faith’ in which we await the coming of Our Lord. Though Advent is often seen as a time to prepare for Christmas, Fr Ed reminded us that Advent is also a time to look towards the future; indeed, the very word ‘Advent’ is derived from the Lord’s Prayer in which we proclaim ‘Adveniat regnum tuum’, ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. It is a time in which we prepare ourselves for the coming of God’s Kingdom, and trust in the promises that God has made to us that all will be restored to Him.

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