One of my favorite Advent traditions is the Advent Calendar, which helps me keep tuned in to the spirit of the season, of awaiting and preparing for new life in Jesus the Christ. Though when younger I was more fond of the Advent calendars that had chocolate surprises each day, I am now into online interactive Advent calendars (plus they don’t have as many calories).
On Christmas Eve, I went to mass with my family in the small town where my mom lives. There was only one mass, at 4:00 p.m.—the children’s mass. It was action-packed, and I had a great time! Throughout mass, children were singing at random, laughing, crying, shouting, and springing up and down. Miraculously, the baby in the pew in front of me slept the entire time.
It's popular to talk about what we're doing for Lent -- we commiserate with our friends who have given up chocolate or coffee, we admire our friends who choose daily Mass or extra prayer time -- but we don't often delve deeper into the whys behind our Lenten practices.