In the temple, Mary and Joseph presented turtle doves out of their poverty. Yet, in actuality, they presented a lamb with unprecedented value, brought forth from their wellspring of faith.

If I were to present a child in the temple, I too would have only turtle doves to offer. Do I then spend my time trying to build material wealth or do I put my energy into activities that reap a spiritual reward? Am I building a wellspring of faith that provides a wealth beyond measure?

No season challenges this balance in my life quite like Christmas. While I desire to focus my efforts on the aspects of Christmas which leads to my best offering to God; I usually end up overwhelmed by the secularism of the holiday.

I tried once to postpone Christmas activities until December 24th; longing to bask in the waiting of Advent. The clash of this desire against the cultural Christmas season was most evident by the response to my sending Christmas cards during the Octave of Christmas. Many people commented on the tardiness of my card. One person declared it went directly into her trash upon opening because she’d already undecorated her home.

When did Advent cease to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and Christmas not extend until the Baptism of the Lord? Why would we not want to extend this joyous time for as long as we could? When did the world shift their hearts from preparation for eight glorious days of Christmas to only one day? A day sadly, many people fatigued by shopping and their to-do lists, barely actually enjoy.

In the hopes of building a storehouse of heavenly treasure, I will keep my decoration up until the Epiphany and truly celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior.

Allison Gingras shares the beauty of the Catholic Faith with honesty, laughter, and relatable examples from everyday, ordinary life. She has created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (Gracewatch.Media/Connected), which includes her book, The Gift of Invitation: 7 Ways Jesus Invites Us into a Life of Grace. Her podcast A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras distributed through (and is recorded Mondays at 12:30 pm on FB Live). This and more:


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