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Liguori Author Kathleen M. Basi Uses "Joy to the World" to Help Her Busy Family Find Peace This Advent Season

Liguori Publication

Advent is a time of joyous anticipation for the coming of Christ, yet many find themselves absorbed by events that have little to do with him.

Between her children’s choir practices and club meetings, Liguori author Kathleen M. Basi makes time to celebrate Advent with her family through activities that help them focus on the season. She invites others to do the same with her book, Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family

Basi says her family tries to do an activity from the book each day of Advent. These activities are either service-oriented or prayerful and include making the Jesse tree, packaging food at the food bank, or praying the rosary in front of the Christmas tree.

“One of our new Advent activities this year was to take the whole family over to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and sing Christmas carols,” said Basi.

Basi asserts cutting back on activities and commitments is not an option for her “German, Type A family.” Between her son’s student council meetings and her daughter’s honors choir practices, she admits getting her family together can be a challenge this year. However, they have rearranged and modified the Advent calendar to fit their busy lifestyle.

“One of my favorite memories was the very first year we did the Advent calendar when my oldest child was three. What was magical about doing the calendar was that even the things that were oriented to others or corporal works of mercy were just so exciting to him,” said Basi. 

Even though these Advent and Christmas traditions are a big part of Basi’s life today, that wasn’t always the case. Basi acknowledges that she used to have a problem with secular Christmas traditions taking time away from the penitential season of Advent. This was until her husband suggested that she might be taking things too far. 

“After some soul-searching, I came to the realization that it was okay to do Christmas things in Advent because it is a time of joyful anticipation and preparation. Part of the way we prepare is by enjoying these beautiful, wonderful traditions like Christmas trees, music, and decorations.”

Through this, she created the idea of the Advent calendar, and eventually Joy to the World, so families could participate in fun activities of the season that also bring them closer to God.

“The Advent calendar gives you a chance to take control so you can have some intentionality about how you approach Advent. I think that’s what is really special about Joy to the World,” said Basi.

With the success of Joy to the World, Basi also created a similar book, Bring Lent to Life, which focused on planning activities for families relating to the themes of each week of Lent.

She has written several other Liguori titles as well, including The Joy of the Sacraments, An Examination of Conscience for Children, and This Little Light of Mine: Living the Beatitudes.

Basi is an author, flutist, liturgical composer, and mother of four. She received a Master of Music from the University of Northern Iowa and was the previous Director of Liturgy for Our Lady of Lourdes in Columbia, MO. Currently, she and her husband lead a choir at their parish.

Kathleen Basi

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