Every year Fr. Steven Voss, our pastor, and his sisters have a “Christmas decorations contest” to see who can find Christmas decorations in a store first. Fr. Steven always “cheats” and goes to Kohl’s because he knows he’ll find Christmas decorations in September. He snaps the photo and texts it to his sisters saying, “I win. Ha, ha, ha.” Fr. Steven concludes that retail stores put out Christmas so early because it takes a long time to convince people they need “stuff” to make them happy at Christmas.
‘No real ax to grind with Christmas presents’
“I have no real ax to grind with presents,” says Fr. Steven, who being of limited means, saves money by shopping early, “but here’s the reality: If your present is the biggest thing that someone remembers about you this Christmas … then I would say return it.” However, if that present reminds the recipient of what truly matters at Christmas, then keep it and give it away. Listen to Fr. Steven’s 3rd Sunday of Advent homily to find out what makes a Christmas present a keeper. If you cannot see the video above, click this link.
Help Fr. Steven spread the good news:
The crowds asked John the Baptist,
“What should we do?”
He said to them in reply,
“Whoever has two cloaks
should share with the person who has none.
And whoever has food should do likewise.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,
“Teacher, what should we do?”
He answered them,
“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”
Soldiers also asked him,
“And what is it that we should do?”
He told them,
“Do not practice extortion,
do not falsely accuse anyone,
and be satisfied with your wages.”
— LK 3:10-18