Advent is a season of preparation for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. As Philip F. Reinders writes in Seeking God’s Face (Faith Alive Christian Resources & Baker Book House Company, 2010), “A good celebration requires proper preparation for us to fully enjoy it. During December, however, we mostly confuse helpful readiness for the hustle of Christmas shopping, parties, and preparations. The Advent season, more reflective in nature, can feel out of sync with all this noise and busyness” (p. 23). I didn’t grow up observing Advent, so Christmas, although enjoyable, seemed a bit abrupt and almost anticlimactic. But all this changed when I started to observe Advent. The time spent preparing for the grand celebration of Christmas really helped me to enjoy it more. So, what am I doing to prepare myself this year? Well, we’re going to a few Advent/Christmas programs and parties, because the birth of the Savior is a cause for celebration. And I love to sing Christmas carols! In fact, we’re planning on going caroling around the neighborhood. But we’re also trying to slow things down and be more reflective by reading Scripture via an Advent devotional series. Plus I’m reading a book by Ruth Haley Barton called, An Invitation to Solitude and Silence (IVP Books, 2010), as I want to learn more about how to rest in God’s presence this Advent. We’ve also said no to one or two things that we do through the year, so that we have more time to reflect and celebrate. So, what intentional things are you doing this Advent to prepare for the birth (and Second Coming) of the Savior? What ever they are, may the Lord use them to draw you to himself and prepare you for the grand season of Christmas.