Christmas is coming.
We call it the most wonderful time of the year…and the busiest time of the year. In fact, when Christmas is around the corner, we have less time than ever to do the things we want. We have to prepare the house, accomplish a massive amount of shopping, and prepare to travel or to host our loved ones. Of course everyone is stressed! How can we not be? Christmas seems more commercialized and more secularized every year. At the same time, we know deep down that we ought to take a step back from all the busyness and prepare our hearts for Christmas Day. But even when we try to focus on Christ, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Yes, we want a great Christmas. We want a Christmas that isn’t so rushed. We want the joy that only Emmanuel can bring. But how can we do everything we need to do, and still have a holy, peace-filled Christmas?
Advent first. Christmas second.
There is an answer, and it’s this: if you want a great Christmas, you need to have a great Advent first. Advent is crucial because it reminds us of the ultimate purpose of Christmas. It helps us prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus Christ, so that we’re spiritually ready to celebrate, not just ready because we’ve wrapped all the gifts and baked all the cookies and hung all the lights.
But what does it mean to celebrate Advent? How can you, a busy Catholic, work it into your own schedule? You can do so with our new digital series Good Catholic, Great Advent.
Why join this series?
Good Catholic, Great Advent is a 22-day devotional series that begins on the first Sunday of Advent. It provides daily articles, videos, and reflections that can be completed in about 15 minutes a day. It fills in the gaps between the Sundays of Advent and gives you a road to Christmas that makes room for Jesus. You will be taken on a journey that helps you live Advent to the full, and not only that—you will discover beautiful truths that prepare you for Christmas Mass and the celebrations that follow. This is an Advent journey that’s doable, accessible, and flexible enough for a busy schedule.
Instead of finding yourself exhausted and overwhelmed on Christmas Eve, saying, “I’m not ready!” Good Catholic, Great Advent will enable you to say, “I am spiritually ready for Christmas this year.”
Genevieve Cunningham, a native of Pennsylvania, was raised in a large Catholic family of nine children. She studied at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and received spiritual formation from the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration in Hanceville, Alabama. She is an editor, writer, and marketer for Good Catholic; a content writer for The Catholic Company; a blog contributor for Catholic Company Magazine; and a freelance manuscript editor for fiction, non-fiction, and collections of poetry. Her writing has been published by DKA Magazine, Humane Pursuits, and the acclaimed Catholic quarterly Dappled Things.
Father Noah Carter
Fr. Noah Carter was born in western North Carolina, the youngest of three children. Raised Catholic, he knew very young that God was calling him to be a priest. He entered seminary in 2006 for the Diocese of Charlotte at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH. After graduating in 2010 with a B.A. in Philosophy, he entered the University of the Holy Cross in Rome for theological studies. He holds an S.T.B. and S.T.L. (Liturgical Theology) from the same university. In addition to parochial responsibilities, Fr. Carter has taught parish classes in Ecclesiology, Marian Devotion, Lay Participation in the Liturgy, and conducted parish days of recollection for lay ministers. He has also taught Confirmation classes and led RCIA classes. Trained in both forms of the Roman Rite, he regularly fulfills requests to teach other priests how to offer the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
Whitney Hetzel and her husband, James, have been married for thirty-two years. They have nine children ranging in age from ten to thirty. Whitney, who has been homeschooling for twenty-seven years, is an exercise enthusiast who enjoys blogging about health and fitness over at 9 Kid Fitness. But her real passion is discussing faith, family, and the challenges of putting one foot in front of the other on a daily basis, all of which she writes about at Catholic Company Magazine and the Good Catholic blog. Whitney has a B.A. in English and Journalism from Indiana University and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Saint Louis University.