The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Almost

I don’t know about your neighborhood, but in mine, Christmas decorations are starting to appear.

The orange Halloween lights and spooky lawn displays that decorated lawns all through the month of October have given way—already, just in mid-November—to the green trees and red-and-white Santas of Christmastime. We’re sliding seamlessly to the next color palate, the next celebration.

I don’t mean to be a Scrooge. Believe me, I love tuning into a Christmas radio station as much as the next person!

It’s just that this holiday-to-holiday pattern, without a break, reveals a widespread cultural impatience, a need for distraction. We’ve lost rhythms and seasons, the purpose of the fallow that follows planting. Without anticipation and quiet in between the parties, the uniqueness of each celebration gets muddied, and the year tends to flatten out. The colors mix together into brown.

So let me just say it—thank God we’re Catholic!  We have an entirely different way to mark the year.

Here at Catholic Exchange, we don’t blur the lines. We enter with you into each and every distinct liturgical season, with its own focus and sentiment, character and color. We’re not just “Easter people” as the phrase goes. We are also Lent people, Pentecost people, Christmas people—and right now, Advent people.

That’s right—for the coming weeks we will be in Advent, a wonderful season of its own (with its own color—purple).  This is a meaningful time of penitential, reflective, and patient preparation for the beautiful Feast of the Incarnation (which we’ll get to savor for days and days after the neighbors have taken down their decorations and put up, I don’t know, maybe lighted Valentine’s hearts, or effigies of presidents).

We don’t want to miss it.  But we need support to keep a holy Advent.

When you need to draw yourself back into the Church year, to refocus amid the secularized, commercialized landscape, Catholic Exchange is here for you. When you need to regain a Catholic perspective on life, and to share thoughtful, inspiring insights with your family and friends, Catholic Exchange is here for you.

That is…if you can help us today.

We are a powerful and popular but very humble operation over here.  We aren’t so much a media outlet—we’re an apostolate.

And if we’re going to continue to provide our faith-focused content to our half-million readers (and ideally more in 2023), we need your help to pay our bills through the end of this year and into the next. Our lean budget covers the basics of running our online platform, funding necessary business expenses, and paying our writers. We do a lot with a little!

To keep us enriching a world that needs it, will you please make a tax-deductible gift to Catholic Exchange today? Can you donate $250 or $500, or $1,000? Or could you give $25, $50, or $100? No gift is too small—or too large!

On behalf of the many readers who would give if only they could, will you make a gift to continue Catholic Exchange so that you—and so many others—can continue to be blessed with edifying and uplifting Catholic writing found nowhere else?  

Will you support us on behalf of those readers whose faith will be sparked by an article someone sends them today?

As a loyal reader of Catholic Exchange, I hope you will join me in communicating the unique beauty of each and every season of the year. Please prayerfully consider a generous gift to our work today.

Kristen Van Uden

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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Catholic Exchange seeks to enable all to be enriched and strengthened in their Christian faith as proclaimed by the Catholic Church. By offering accessible articles and helpful tools for spiritual growth, we seek to make saints in our own time — especially among those who live busy lives but still seek to grow in friendship with Christ.

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