It is officially the first Sunday of Advent today. This is, by far, my favorite Church season. I love everything about Advent: The color (purple), the Advent wreath, counting down the days to Christmas on Advent calendars. Most of all I love what Advent symbolizes. Not only are we "waiting in joyful hope" for Christmas day, but for the coming of Jesus in our hearts and at the end of time. That is what makes Advent so meaningful because we are always in Advent. We are always waiting in anticipation for what is to come. This time in the Liturgical year is so packed with meaning and packed with joy that I can't help but be excited about it.

Things I did today to start making room in my heart and my home for Jesus to come:

1. Found two prayer booklets focusing on the Scripture readings for the Advent season and plan to pray with one in the morning and one before bed.

2. Put a purple cloth and a purple candle on our prayer shelf along with an icon of Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. Also placed a prayer card on the shelf with a picture of Mary pregnant (she looks way better than I do :).

3. Gave my girls some new Advent jammies (our little family's tradition).

Soon (very soon) I plan to find our Advent wreath and calendars and begin the countdown. As usual, we plan on lighting our Advent candles and singing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" with a short reflection every day before dinner as a family. It is so nice that most of my Christmas shopping is done so that I can focus on this kind of stuff.

CLICK HERE for some more information on Advent and some cool Advent reflections and activities from CatholicCulture.org.

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