Four months ago, when I was enjoying my summer vacation, the radio, TV, print and digital press reminded me every day that I could already buy a Christmas lottery number because: "What if it comes here, in my summer vacation spot?
Three months ago, when I had not yet had time to put away my bathing suit, the bakery in my neighborhood began to display in its windows the typical Christmas sweets: mantecados, polvorones, roscos de vino...
Two months ago, when here in Malaga, my city, we were still wearing short sleeves, the first workers began to install Christmas trees, decorations and lights in the main streets and squares of the capital.
A month ago, when we went to the cemeteries to honor the deceased as is traditional, the campaign of the shopping malls with special offers for Christmas time began.
We are looking forward to Christmas, and that's great, but if we anticipate it so much, when it finally arrives, what we want is for it to be over as soon as possible.
To avoid Christmas fatigue, and to really live these holidays, I impose at home the rule of zero traditions until the first Sunday of Advent. Once that limit has been crossed, the ban on sweets, visits to the center to see the lighting, the first suggestions for letters to the kings, etc., gradually opens.
And no, I am not going to go into the hackneyed discourse that Christmas has been commercialized and that it is the holiday of consumerism, because I am not ashamed to say that I, at Christmas, consume much more than at any other time of the year. Of course I do!
Of course consumption is not the meaning of Christmas, of course the Nativity of the Lord brings us a message of closeness to the poor, of simplicity, and of course there is nothing further from charity than squandering when others are in need, but beware of falling into puritanism.
Feasts are an essential part of humanity and it is even a commandment to sanctify them. We are not only made to work and lament for living in this valley of tears, we are made for heaven, for the great celestial banquet. Eating something that we can only afford from time to time, giving a gift that we know someone else is looking forward to, or entertaining family and friends with the best we have are ways of living our faith in a festive spirit, because the bridegroom is with us. The days of fasting and penance will come, but Christmas?
As a good son of the Mediterranean culture, Jesus was very much given to feasting and, for this reason, was much criticized; he was branded as an eater, a drinker and a spendthrift. And this is precisely the mystery of the Incarnation that we are going to celebrate: that God becomes man just like you and me, that he enjoys the same things as you and me, that he eats, drinks, laughs, sings... A God who does not live in the clouds, but who comes at Christmas to sit at our table. Are we going to put a little lettuce so that he does not get indigestion?
As a recommendation for this Advent season, the film that Pope Francis quotes in Amoris Laetitia: "Babette's Feast" (PrimeVideo). It will help us to see the importance that we Catholics give to the feast. Because now, yes, it is time to prepare for the feast.
Journalist. Graduate in Communication Sciences and Bachelor in Religious Sciences. He works in the Diocesan Delegation of Media in Malaga. His numerous "threads" on Twitter about faith and daily life have a great popularity.