ADVENT

December is the month of Advent, but what is Advent? Although in the Latin language the word "advent" means "coming", the most common meaning indicates waiting, that is, the liturgical season that is placed before Christmas. In addition to the fir with silver threads, the crib, the illuminated cave, the songs, the echo of the bagpipes and the gifts that are exchanged, Advent is also characterized by the presence of the calendar, where no girls are shown at the door next to it, but many boxes that begin to be opened by children from 1 December.
The first Advent calendar appeared in Germany in the nineteenth century, when the mother of little Gerhard Lang made one consisting of 24 sweets, some in the shape of stars, fixed on a sheet of cardboard. When Lang became an adult, he opened a printing office and produced what became the Advent calendar, with a colorful image for each day of Advent. In addition to knowing what Advent is, you need to know that curiosities are linked to it.
Not everyone is aware, for example, that during the Second World War, Advent calendars were not marketed because paper had to be saved. On the Sundays of Advent it is forbidden to celebrate funeral masses. As regards the beginning of the liturgical period, there are controversies. It is assumed that the Advent season starts from December 1st, in reality it should coincide with the Sunday closest to November 30th. The priests during the various celebrations change the color of the tunic from time to time. During the first two weeks it is purple and blue, on the third Sunday of Advent it is pink, up to white, in preparation for the birth of Christ.
Advent is therefore the period that precedes Christmas in the Christian liturgy and marks the beginning of a new liturgical year of the Western ecclesiastical year. But often for children it is only the period between them and the day when Santa Claus will arrive.


Two types of traditions are widespread: the Roman Advent and the Ambrosian Advent. Roman Advent, the most popular one, lasts 4 Sundays, the four Sundays preceding Christmas. Every Sunday the Gospel readings have precise characteristics and refer to the coming of the Lord at the end of time (I Sunday), to John the Baptist (II and III Sunday), to the immediate background of the birth of the Lord (IV Sunday).
First of all, therefore, if we want to make children understand the true meaning of Advent and wait for the arrival of Christmas with them, we must explain the religious meaning of this period. In order to teach children that waiting for Christmas is not just about waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. Also, if you are religious, you know that this period should be dedicated to prayer and not to shopping. In fact, in the past this period was very important in fact every Sunday of Advent has its own precise meaning:

First Sunday theme: Be careful, stay awake
symbol: an alarm clock
It is the moment of attention, of being awake. Of waking up from sleep: one cannot be found asleep when the lord arrives. The guiding symbol will be the "alarm clock", a sound, a reminder. During the week we need to have our eyes open, be able to notice the needs of the people around us in order to be ready to respond to them.

Second Sunday theme: Prepare the way, straighten the paths.
symbol: a stone
Our gaze, more attentive and aware, discovers that every day is a journey, studded with many opportunities to say "yes", to be sent, sent. But we can also answer with the stones of "no". The guiding symbol will be a stone.

Third Sunday theme: The earth produces vegetation
symbol: a bulb of narcissus
The journey is long and often tiring. In order not to lose courage, one must look at the goal, hope for it to be reached, and foretaste the joy of arrival.

Fourth Sunday theme: Mom awaits the baby
symbol: the heart
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, our attention is turned to the one who first waited for Jesus: his mother, Mary. In fact, Mary is the central figure of the season of Advent, because no one has ever waited and never will wait for Jesus with greater faith and love. A heart-shaped cookie can be eaten as a sign of fraternal communion or it can be hung on the Christmas tree!
The Advent season is a time of hope and humility. If we meditate on Sacred Scripture, we will see how humility is the indispensable requisite for disposing to welcome and listen to God.
Humility means seeing ourselves as we are, without filters, according to truth. Noting our littleness, we will open ourselves to the greatness of God. Mary is a simple and humble girl and she remains so even after becoming the mother of Jesus. Mary never puts herself in front of Jesus but lets her son spread the word of God to everyone. She falls behind because she understands the importance of her son's mission on earth. She does not cry out, she does not adorn herself with jewels, she does not allow herself to be served by anyone, she stays there like everyone else and listens to those precious words understanding the importance of those divine teachings.

CONFIDENT GIRL

Did you realize that what you do is never enough? That nothing is ever enough? Have you noticed that even when you give everything to someone it always seems too little? That it is not enough to be kind, it is not enough to really believe in it, it is not enough to love without any restraint. It takes a plan, it takes a bit of organization even with people. It takes a tactic, a bit of logic and let alone if I can do it, under these conditions. It is obvious that I come out in a bad way from every day, as if in the evening I was removed from a washing machine that lasted about ten hours, with the spinning set at maximum power, and then they laid me in the cold, all wrinkled. It is simply that I have always thought “if I smile sooner or later they will smile at me”, “if I love sooner or later they will love me”, “if I do something with my heart sooner or later they will notice it”. And yet it is not said, and this is the most atrocious truth in front of which I have found myself bending. Love does not always generate love. Sometimes it generates anger, turmoil, and even hatred. My one hundred percent is worth less than zero to someone and there is very little to do. I would like to give up, sometimes, lately almost always, then I care about the world. I care about the music, I care about the poetry, I care about the sound of the rain. I was fooled by that child who told me the other day “of course I believe in Santa Claus, why shouldn’t I?”. And indeed, why shouldn’t you? Desires fool me, that two or three still resist; the kisses steal me, the memories of the days when I dragged myself unhurriedly from the beach to the sea, convinced that I had all the time in the world. I am fooled by the people who sometimes notice me, under my stage costume, and tell me “I see you strange”. They fool me because they see me, and it already seems a lot to me
I’ve always been a confident girl in the people around her. From an early age, every time, I noticed the good side of people. I was naive, yes, but a child always has that fragility and naivety that characterizes her. It is always based on the kind and caring part of people. Now that little girl has grown over the years, but slowly she had to change her mind about what she had seen in people. About what he had discovered about the world and the men who lived there. He had discovered so many fake smiles; many gentle but violent deeds; so many words of encouragement thrown to the wind just to be said; so many actions done with coldness without putting your heart into it. She was disappointed, shocked, saddened. Because the world she had imagined was not at all like the one her dark eyes saw around it. It was all more real, more violent, more serious. As if the eyes of that little girl from years ago had only seen the best part of everything. While now he saw only what little was left of it, after its impact with true reality. He had had to learn to adapt. To force her too to suppress the urge to scream at those who offended her just because she was different. Smile even at those who did not deserve. To be reduced to loving people only through words on a screen. Protect yourself with bitter words in an attempt not to get burned. But maybe he would have made it. Sooner or later, she would be able to bring out what was in the world. Maybe she really could have left a tiny mark that would have screamed at the world “Hey, she did this!” . Who knows, maybe that sign is already doing it. Who knows, maybe it’s just these words that remind you of the past a little bit that have left it to you.

DEAR SANTA CLAUS

Dear Santa Claus,

I know I'm pretty early to ask you for a gift already, but if I start now maybe you can organize yourself better.
What I want this year for Christmas are not the usual things: an end to war, hunger and poverty. Those are ailments treatable by man, with a little good will.
No, what I am asking of you is much simpler: make every landline or mobile phone, computer and television suddenly stop working on Christmas day.
I'm not talking about the mobile phones of people who are far away and need to hear each other because they can't see each other, touch each other.
I am talking about those who are close and have stopped looking at each other to stay attached to an electronic device, without feelings. I'm talking about those people who do not look at the sky because they no longer leave their room, too busy with the keys
of a PC or the engaging sound of TV.
I'm talking about those who when they are together with friends, girlfriend, husband, relatives, children cannot detach themselves from that damned phone and lose the best moments of life: those that last a second and then pass.
Because life is an eternal Present and whoever wastes it on a small or large screen loses the infinitesimal joys, the little lights that make a soul brighter: a laugh from the heart, a look in love, the sunset that falls on the water. or among the burnished leaves of a tree in autumn, a caress, a kiss, the breath of the wind, the voice of silence.
It can happen to everyone to read a message on the mobile phone, when you are with someone else, but dear Santa Claus there are people who do not detach from that mobile phone for a second: you can forget your car keys, house keys, your wallet, the scarf, the umbrella. Head too! But the cell phone, no. That is never forgotten.
It is like an additional limb that keeps us connected with the world and on the world.
Except where we are at that moment. And with the people we are with.
See dear Santa, how much can electronics do? This is why I ask you to make sure that this year, at Christmas, people find themselves in front of a cell phone, a PC, a TV completely dead.
Maybe so they will begin to look up at the people next to them and notice how many beautiful little things had escaped from their eyes because "they never noticed", because they hadn't paid attention.
Maybe this way people will leave the house and start chatting with each other, rather than with a cold screen.
If you do this dear Santa Claus, maybe this year we will live one less day of electronics and one more day of Light.
Thank you.

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