The Pope is now on Twitter. He has not posted any tweets (or rather, his staff has not posted anything yet on his behalf), but you can follow him at this link.
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This is the first week of Advent. Some people have had Christmas decorations up since the day after Thanksgiving (or even before), but at our house we always try to keep Christmas in the Christmas Season and allow Advent it's own space. So our Advent wreath is out, and later this week I plan on hanging a few pieces of garland, and of course we have an Advent calendar on the wall...but that's about it. If it were up to me, I would keep the decorating sparse like this up until the last few days before December 25. But as a compromise with the kids (who see decorations around town and wish we could do the same) we have set December 6, Saint Nicholas Day, as the signal for Christmas decorating. The arrival of St. Nick is a convenient date for Christmas preparation, as he is the origin of Santa Claus and so he ushers in a greater anticipation for Christmas day. We actually don't do the decorating on the feast day itself, but we use it as a signal to start hauling out the tree and other decorations and we then put everything out over the course of the following week or so.
I know, I know... Gaudete Sunday would be a better and more liturgically sound date to use as it truly does signal a dawning of new light nearer to Christmas. But hey, at least St. Nicholas Day is a liturgical feast and so we are not using secular cues to shape our holiday. It's not exactly what I would do if it were entirely up to me, but it is a compromise. And I do like seeing the tree decorated for an extra week or two.
...And we do not play Christmas music until Christmas.
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I saw this image posted by Ignatius Press on Facebook, and thought I would share since it was such a great quote: