Gearing up for Christmas


Christmas mood: Choo (left) and her husband Ivan Filmer setting up a nativity set at their home in Sungai Ara, Penang. Joining them are their grandchildren (left to right) Luke, Hailey and Adam Chong.

GEORGE TOWN: Churches all over the country have started preparations for Christmas with the beginning of the Advent season last Sunday.

Stemming from the Latin word adventus, that means “coming” or “arrival”, Advent is a four-week period of preparations leading up to Christmas.

In many churches, Advent wreaths were brought out bearing four candles in the colours of pink and purple to mark the four weeks.

Reflecting on the theme of “hope” that marks the first week, Church of Divine Mercy parish priest Fr Michael Raymond urged parishioners to be bearers of good news to the world.

“No one can listen if no news is sent out. To be a messenger of hope, you have to inculcate and live the flesh of the message first; to be able to listen to the message and bring that message of hope to others.

“It’s about passing the flame to one another, ” Fr Michael said in his Sunday homily that was broadcast online as public masses in Catholic churches remain suspended in most states amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

In homes, Christmas trees have also begun coming up along with other festive decorations.

While last-minute preparations often accompany every festival, many families are being conscientious with Christmas this year to counter the gloom of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“I want to feel Christmas and fill our house with the feeling of hope.

“There’s a beautiful poem going around that has reminded me that Christmas hasn’t been cancelled.

“So many things have been cancelled this year but nothing can cancel Christmas, ” said retired lecturer Choo Voon Mooi.

The grandmother of three admitted that her family had procrastinated in certain aspects of Christmas preparations before, with the Christmas tree going up only on Christmas Eve last year.

“This year, we need to hold on to hope for the future. In these times, hope is something we can’t let go of, ” she said.

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