Advent anxiety?

Are you dealing with Advent anxiety?  Fr. John Bartunek over at Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction has some very helpful and practical things to say.  Here’s a snippet.  If you want to read the whole article, go here.

There is a beautiful, true story about one woman who re-discovered this active Christian spirit not during the four weeks of Advent, but two days after Christmas. The heroine of our story lived decades ago in the Midwest. She was the owner of a news-stand and novelty shop in small town. One year, shortly before Christmas, she fell sick and spent the whole holiday confined to bed. She felt rather gloomy and even somewhat bitter about missing Midnight Mass and the other Christmas celebrations. But when she re-opened her store two days after Christmas she had an idea: “Why not make today my lost Christmas?” She carried out her plan by putting the spirit of Christmas into the whole day. She smiled more frequently and more warmly than usual. She tried to be extra accommodating and friendly with her clients. She even gave spontaneous discounts to customers who were low on cash. After closing the store for the day, she took some small presents to several home-bound neighbors. And she also visited some poor families to give candy to the children. By the time she came home, she was so full of joy and the spirit of Christmas that she had never felt happier in her life. She decided from then on to keep the spirit of Christmas as long as she possibly could.