Thursday, November 30, 2006

What does Miss Piggy have to do with Advent?

(This post is pulled from last year's Advent archives, but since I had very few readers last year at this time, I thought you wouldn't mind a rerun? I hope?)

Unexpectedly, Miss Piggy became a part of our Advent traditions about ten years ago. When Anne-with-an-e was quite young, my mother gave her an Advent calendar that included little books to be read each day of the season. It was a secular calendar that had Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog bringing the O. Henry story, The Gift of the Magi, to humorous life. My daughter delighted in the story and looked forward each year to the daily books, which we read, then hung by their decorative little ribbons on the tree.

One year, before my husband came into the Catholic Church, I worried that I shouldn't include anything secular in our Advent traditions. I was alone in trying to impress upon the kids what the season was really all about, and I was trying hard to be sure that my children were focused on Jesus. Though well-intentioned, I was wrong.

That year, at the very beginning of Advent, Anne immediately requested the Muppet Advent Calendar and my heart was immediately softened. It was, I saw finally and clearly, a beautiful way to include my mother (who is not a Christian) in our Advent preparation. She lives far away and we see little enough of her ... wasn't this, in a lovely way, making her part of our focus on Jesus? I let go of any worries about the little secular traditions that we include in Advent. The few secularities we cling to, that are part of our family history, connect us to those in our family who are not connected to Jesus.

And, who am I to say that God can't work through a Muppet?

7 comments:

Jennifer said...

Whew. OK, I'll admit now that our Advent calendar is Peanuts. It was also a gift and we love everything Peanuts. Except for acutal peanuts, of course. :) But thanks to Linus, my daughter has the Nativity passage memorized. I can see the Muppets one being really funny.

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Karen, I can honestly say that I don't mind re-reading anything you've written.

Karen E. said...

Jennifer,
We love Peanuts, too, and especially love the Christmas special. "All things work for good to those who love God," even Peanuts and Miss Piggy. :-)

Margaret, thank you. You are, as always, too kind.

Alice said...

Karen, this is such a beautiful point that you make.

Jill said...

I just love that last line. I am sitting here giggling about it. Thanks for the cute reflection.

Suzanne Temple said...

Karen, I cannot agree more. I think a little acceptance of the secular is a sure sign of spiritual maturity, especially when it is done to stay connected to those God gave us to love (family). I'm so glad you reran this post.

Karen E. said...

Thanks so much, Alice, Jill, and Suzanne!