Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Advent: Hazardous Road Conditions, Holiday Shopping, and More

Advent starts next Sunday.

It's an important time of the year, in several different ways.

Here in central Minnesota, it's the time of year when thunderstorm watches and tornado warnings give way to blizzard warnings and winter weather watches. We've got a Winter Weather Advisory tomorrow, by the way: no big deal; just sleet, freezing rain, and snow.

Where was I? Advent. It's important. Right.

Here in America "black Friday" is an 1869 financial catastrophe - that happened in September of that year. It's also what quite a few folks call the Friday after Thanksgiving - I thought it was because it was when retail businesses tended to start showing profit for the calendar year. Turns out, a Philadelphia businessman says Philadelphians invented the term to describe bad traffic. I've gotten off-topic again.

If this Advent season goes like many others, we'll be counting down the shopping days left until Christmas. Which is culturally and financially important - but isn't what the Holy See is primarily concerned with just now.

It's not that the Pope is against capitalism. Quite. (July 17, 2009)

Advent (finally I get to the point) is the season when Christians get ready for Christmas. That's what we're supposed to be doing, anyway.

Catholics can get some help with Advent, online:I haven't decided what my plans for Advent are - apart from shaking this cold, or whatever it is I have. There's an Advent booklet that the Christian Mothers in our parish made available. I've glanced at it - and it looks promising.

I'm pretty sure we won't have an Advent wreath in our household. I've nothing against the things - it's just that it's not part of what we do. There will be a Nativity scene, though.

What's important, if I understand this correctly, is to get ready for Christmas: when Christians celebrate the birth or our Lord.

Which may not have happened at or near the winter solstice. That I may write a post about, before the year is up.

I may even do a rant against crass commercialization and media distortions of whatever. Not that I think there's anything intrinsically wrong with tinsel and bright colors.

The fact is, I sort of like glitz. Or, to be more hoity-toity, I go for baroque: I even dig rococo.

And I've gotten off-topic again.

Beyond the pre-Christmas sales, the charities sending out personalized stickers, and Minnesota's winter weather, there's an act of generosity that got this whole Christmas thing going:
"For God so loved the world that he gave 7 his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."
(John 3:16)
Not-quite-unrelated posts:


Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Here in "sunny" California, our mountain passes (the Sierras) just became nigh onto impassible today. People are slipping, sliding, and getting stuck -- a reminder of the fate of the Donner party in the early settlement days and hopes that no one will ever suffer that fate, thanks to all the media warnings and updates.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Brigid said...

Ah so? "That I may write post about"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Elizabeth Mahlou,

Your state has a wonderful array of climates and landforms. And, on occasion, really challenging travel conditions.

One would think people would learn: to listen and think, in this case.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


So! I keep neglecting indefinite article. Sometimes definite also. This will I fix.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Yes, one would think...many don't, though. Happy Thanksgiving!

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Elizabeth Mahlou,

And a Happy Thanksgiving (a trifle belated by now) to you, too!

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.