Ah, December, and the beginning of the Christmas season. Just think, seemingly endless parties, social obligations to be met, presents to be bought, more stress than anyone should have to endure. We struggle through December, dreading the next obligation, hoping we didn’t forget anyone, longing for that ideal Christmas from the past, you know, the one that never really existed in the first place. It’s enough to make you wish it was August instead. We invest so much time and energy to get to the big day the only thing we are when it finally comes (and goes) is relieved. Somehow, I don’t think relief is supposed to be the dominant feeling about Christmas. I say we remember an older tradition, a time that has been lost in the commercial glitz of Christmas, I say we remember Advent. Advent, a season set aside to prepare for Christmas, not commercially, but spiritually. Advent is a time for us to stop, reflect on the year that is passing, and reflect on what the day we are about to celebrate really means. During this hectic month of December, take a little time out each day, not much, just a couple of minutes, and think about why we are doing all of this celebrating in the first place. Stop, and think about the One who came and is to come again, and maybe the arrival of Christmas Day can mean more than just a sigh of relief.