Wait for the Eggnog!
by Fr. Curtis Carlson, O.F.M. Cap.
An older man once told me that he did not like that eggnog was now available year round at the grocery stores. Since it is traditionally a Christmastime drink, he thought it should only be for sale at Christmastime. The rest of the year we should do without it, he said. Otherwise, eggnog becomes more common and less a special treat. There is, indeed, a value in having certain things in their proper time and place. Rather than having them available all the time, we wait for the opportunity. Versus instant gratification, we anticipate that which is to come. The anticipation whets the appetite and makes the eventual “treat” more delightful. Drinking eggnog all year means that it will be nothing special at Christmas. Part of the fun of a trip is anticipating it— making a list, packing, planning for lodging and meals, and looking for nearby attractions. Dating chastely means anticipating the eventual full intimacy of marriage without any “too much, too soon” behavior. Thus, we also enter into Advent as a season of anticipation rather than of fulfillment. “Too much Christmas stuff, too soon” negates the anticipation and makes Advent nothing special. So, wait for the eggnog! Allow Advent to be a time preparation for the fullness of Christmas. Let Advent whet our spiritual appetite so that Christmas is a very special treat.