Advent is a real challenge for parents. Why? Because it has been turned upside down by our culture and only the church continues to remind us that this is not a commercial time (to overspend, to party, to be exhausted, to pile up presents) but rather a very sacred time and so four weeks before Christmas the church begins the season of Advent. This word from the Latin ‘Adventus’ meaning ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. Advent reminds us that Jesus came among us in history, is even now among us in mystery (spiritually) and will come again in glory at the end of time. We start to unpack the nativity set we carefully put away last year when the Christmas season was over, we start to think about Christmas trees, decorations and even now singing along to Christmas songs and carols. It is good to remember Jesus’ birthday in this way, but Advent is a time to do more. The Advent season is all really to do with preparation, preparing our homes and preparing our families and preparing ourselves to celebrate Christmas. Besides the fun way of all these preparations we must remember our own personal preparation to give time to what the birth of Christ means in our lives. Perhaps to refresh ourselves for the celebration by going to confession and to renew ourselves of the Christmas story.