Acts of Christmas Kindness

Dear Parishioners,

The Advent season is upon us and what a wonderful time of year to prepare us for the joyful season of Christmas.

One of my favorite childhood memories is the day after Thanksgiving. My Dad would go up into the attic and bring down all the Christmas décor – the Nativity set, the garlands, the Christmas lights, the ornaments. As children, we would have fun decorating the house both inside and out, which brought with it an indescribable sense of joy as we awaited the celebration of the Christmas Season. Of all the Christmas décor, what sat prominently in our house during Advent were the Crèche and the Advent Wreath.

For our family, the Advent Wreath was a daily reminder of how to joyfully prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. Each day during the four weeks of Advent my parents would gather us before dinner to light the Advent candle, and to reflect on the daily prayers that helped prepare us for Christmas.

♦ The first week of Advent the purple candle was lit, and we reflected on the Christmas theme of Hope.

♦ The second week of Advent we got to light two purple candles as we reflected on the Christmas theme of Peace.

♦ The Third week of Advent we lit the two purple candles and the Rose-colored Candle which represents the Christmas theme of Joy.

♦ Finally on the fourth week of Advent we lit all four candles as we reflected on the Christmas theme of Love.

Our daily Advent prayer reflections would be accompanied with Acts of Christmas Kindness. These random acts were simple, yet profound – Say uplifting words to someone to make them smile; help someone do a chore or other job; donate part of your allowance to charity; donate toys for a child in need; donate canned goods for a family in need, write a get-well card, clean your room… Each Act of Christmas Kindness helped us to grow in our “love for one another as Christ has loved us,” preparing us to celebrate the Christmas Season with a deeper sense of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.

May the blessings of this Advent Season bring us to a more intimate and loving encounter with Jesus Christ so that we may share the authentic Christmas gifts of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love with others through our Acts of Christmas Kindness throughout the Christmas Season and the New Year.

Advent Blessings,
Rev. John L. Poncini