Come. Let us prepare.

In the days and weeks ahead I'll be sharing our home in preparation for the coming of our Lord. The decorations are almost complete. The plans are in place but not down to the last detail. Planning and lists are my favorite but I refuse to become a slave to them.

Creating an Advent that truly feels like preparing for the coming of our Lord and a celebration fit for the birth of the Son of God begins in your heart. When I was growing up we didn't practice Christianity, but we celebrated Christmas and believed in God. So as an adult creating this experience and understanding for my children was a bit starting from scratch. Thankfully, many others have paved the way.

First we mark the Sunday of Advent, Holy Days and Feasts Days and clear schedules to attend as a family when at all possible.

The daily readings have been selected to till the soil of your heart for the seeds of love Jesus will plant within you. Sharing them each morning with my husband and in the evening with the kids brings us back into focus. Almost everyday we have a Christmas movie. The kids spent the weekend pulling them all from the dvd collection. Keep in mind family favorites like Wizard of Oz, Toy Story 1, 2 & 3, LOTR, Harry Potter and several others make the cut too. Two personal favorites are Elf and Christmas Story. We reserve those - Elf for Thanksgiving Night, and Christmas Story for Christmas Eve (day). Christmas Eve, we watch a Charlie brown Christmas after we open one gift. The gift is new pajamas - it didn't take long for the kids to figure this out. So everyone has new pj's without holes and not high-waters for Christmas morning. (sshh - this year everyone is getting a onesie! EVERYONE.)

We usually go to Midnight Mass unless the weather or illness prevents it. There are so many traditions knitted into the next 25 days I can hardly contain my own excitement. St. Nicholas Day,

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