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Christmas Décor for the Soul

On the first week of December, my wife would start to tell me to bring out the Christmas tree and its decorations from the garage and to put it up. Getting the huge box of the Christmas tree and the ten huge boxes of Christmas decorations requires the supervision of a safety manager to safely retrieve the boxes from the garage shelves and carry them into the house.

Once the boxes are inside the house, putting up the Christmas tree requires the services of a project manager. The tree itself has to be assembled, then the Christmas lights have to be installed, and finally the shiny Christmas balls and glittering trimmings have to be put up. Aside from the Christmas tree, of course, we would be putting up a Belen, depicting the night of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. All these decorations are lit up by kilometers of flashing Christmas lights.

I am sure that this process of Christmas decorating is replicated in countless households in Canada. Houses all over have elaborate, shiny and flashing decorations to remind us that it is Christmas time. However, in our parish churches, there is one Christmas item (I would not call it a décor) that seems to be out of place… the Advent wreath. It is not shiny, nor is it flashing with Christmas lights, nor is it noisily spewing out Christmas carols. It is only a simple wreath with five candles on it.

It is a very simple Christmas item but it is a summary of the full meaning of Christmas. There are five candles and each one is lighted at each Sunday during Advent. The first candle represents Hope in the coming of Jesus as the Saviour. The second candle represents Love as manifested by God the Father giving us Jesus Christ, while the third candle represents Joy as what the Shepherds felt on seeing Jesus in a manger. The fourth candle represents Peace, a fruit of Christ' coming. The fifth candle in the center of the wreath represents Jesus, and reminds us that Christ is the center of Christmas. The circular garland represents eternity, while as a whole, the candles together represent the coming of the LIGHT of JESUS.

And so being members of the Light of Jesus Community, the Advent wreath should have a special meaning for us. In the last few days of Christmas time, just like the Advent wreath, let us light up our own inner candles of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace to warm and uplift our hearts and souls during this cold and maybe dark winter of our lives, and bring the same Hope, Love, Joy and Peace to our spouses, families, friends and community.

"Blessed are you, O Lord our God, king of the universe. You sent your Son to be the Light of the world and to spread His light of love to all." (From the Prayer of the Blessing of the Advent Wreath)

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