There are many ways to focus your Advent on the coming of Christ. You'll see more in the Register in the weeks to come. Some common ones:

Advent Wreaths are a wonderful way to bring an Advent atmosphere into the home. But you need to order now to get the materials in time. And what prayers to say when you light the candles? Our links below can help.

Advent Chains are a fun way for kids to focus on the spiritual. You create a chain of purple construction paper links, and remove one link per day. Each link has a Bible verse on it to read. As the chain gets smaller, Christmas gets closer.

The Jesse Tree is a combination craft and Scripture study that keeps your family focus on all the preparations God himself made for Advent. Find readings and necessary materials explained below.

Cribs, crafts, offerings and more ideas keep cropping up. You can find them through the websites offered below.

CatholicEducation.org

This site includes an article by Michaelann Martin that gives a great overview of Advent customs. To find it, type these two words in the search field: Advent Martin

EWTN.com

EWTN provides prayers, readings and other resources for your Advent and a great clickable online Advent calendar at: www.ewtn.com/devotionals/advent/

CatholicMom.com

This site has a great resource page for Advent activities and sources for Advent materials. Click on the home page, then click on “Catholic Kids” and find “Lenten Resources.”

USCCB.com

The USCCB has a number of Advent aids, including pdf pages you can print out for your family or CCD class. From the home page, click on “Publications” then “To Teach.”

GOSPEL OF CHRISTMAS

“Nowadays,” wrote Cardinal Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict XVI, “a theologian or a preacher is all but expected to heap more or less sarcastic criticism on our popular way of celebrating Christmas.” There's much truth in that, he said, but also much bah, humbug. In Christmas tackiness “the yearning for something purer and greater is not entirely extinguished. nderneath it all, does it not originate in the notion of giving and thus the inner urgency of love, with its compulsion to share, to give of oneself to the other?”