I read this article this morning, vis a vis Fr. Dwight Longenecker's blog.
Fr. Dwight is one of the few married priests in the Roman Catholic Church,
having been an Anglican priest first. Combine that with his healthy Anglophilia which resonates with my love of Tolkien and Lewis and Chesterton and what is often perceived as dryness or stodginess or some other -ness, I've enjoyed his blog for quite some time.
At any rate, I read that article's pitiful attempt at calling American Christians to task for not celebrating all of the elements of the liturgical season and thought, "Hey man, I call your bluff. Thanks for reminding me of all of the things I can celebrate. Let's bring all of the old celebrations back."
For my part, I'm trying by celebrating Advent, but I want to grow in my appreciation for all of the deep history in celebrating the birth of Our Lord, and His life.
So yeah, let's not take the Mass out of Christmas, but seriously, is that deficiency a basis for not wanting to focus on Christ in this time?
It's true that consistent Protestantism might lead to a full rejection of Christmas trees and December 25th as a special day, but I can say from first-hand experience that trying to do this consistently is an utterly pitiful process. Last year, when I knew that it was inevitable that I'd become Catholic, I looked at this time of year with the first ray of hope that I could embrace the traditions and my faith simultaneously. That was the start of something grand. I still have a lot of the Grinch's attitude in my heart from cynicism and self-righteous notions of consistency, but now that I'm Catholic I think I would much rather see some inconsistency in my Protestant brethren than a world of no Christmas.
With that being said, it's Advent-the time of joyfully awaiting Christmas. Today I hope to incorporate a tradition that the whiny atheist who provoked my thoughts this morning seems to be missing--the O Antiphons. In our 7 last days before Christmas, Advent is especially hopeful, and by praying these seven prayers I hope to see that hope grow in my own soul, and yours as well.
Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!
O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.