Advent is a time of anticipation and preparing to open your heart for the coming of Jesus.
We all know the stories of God’s messengers coming to see Zechariah, Mary and Joseph and how they trusted the messages they were given. In our family, our messenger was Grandma. Besides our parents, our Grandma (who lived with us) was our great teacher of the faith; our spiritual leader. For us, we knew the excitement of getting ready for Christmas began after we watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and of course, the March of the Wooden Soldiers. Our house took on a new dimension. Special preparations and special new aromas courtesy of Grandma.
We had the usual Advent calendar from school, but we had the real teaching from Grandma. Grandma never talked about Advent as Advent, but she taught us all about it without ever saying that word. We knew about the saints and the holy days during Advent. The Immaculate Conception, December 8th, a special day when we went to Mass with her besides every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. We learned of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her favorite, Saint Lucy, whose feast is December 13th. She taught us about St. Lucy – the saint for the eyes and the special grain that she ate every year on this day. All these things came very natural to us every year and we were so well taught, we never had any questions.
Still to this day, I remember the message of Advent and the weeks leading up to Christmas from Grandma and for me that means everything. Thank you Grandma.