Light up your Advent: Resources from U.S. Catholic
By all means, have yourself a merry little Christmas, but before all that jingle-jangle, don’t forget to have yourself a worthy, watchful Advent. Here is a gift bag of practical and spiritual resources to guide you through this period of waiting and expectation. If you're having trouble keeping the season bright in the midst of shopping and parties, return to this page throughout Advent (and the 12 days of Christmas) for spiritual refreshment. Don’t forget to share it with your friends.
Tradition!  by Megan Sweas
Teaching Christmas  by Molly Jo Rose
Happy St. Nicholas Day!  by Meinrad Scherer-Emunds
Lighting more than Advent candles  by Johnny Zokovitch
Christmas preperations  by Amanda Curran
Crafting perfect Christmas memories  by Lisa Calderone-Stewart
Christmas cactus  by Alice Camille
Building a Baby's bed  by Ellen Chmiel
Rejoice Sunday and every day  by Stephanie Niedringhaus
Buy more presents  by Cathy O'Connell-Cahill
Prayers for Christmas mobs  by Jim Coniff
Timeless Christmas carols  by Sue Stanton
The other Christmas tree  by Bryan Cones
Christmas story time  by Kathy McGourty
Grief at Christmas  by Kathleen O'Hara
Quiet Christmas in the Holy Land  by Cathleen Chopra-McGowan
Simply having a wonderful Christmas Time  by Meghan Murphy-Gill
Los Posadas: Celebrating together  by Father Bruce Wellems, C.M.F.
Visitations today  by Judie Harron
Christmas movies: A break from the chaos  by Paul Jarzembowski
All about family on Christmas Eve  by Philip J. DiNovo
Prayer comes first on Christmas day  by Angelica N. Quinonez
Advent and Christmas practices
I'll be green for Christmas 
Our celebration of Jesus' incarnation should bring joy to the world rather than destruction to the world, argues Megan Sweas
See also: Special section on fair trade 
Standing room only 
More than the Magi visit the Christ child in Santiago Cortes-Sojberg's nativity scene. His crowded creche shows how Jesus came to all of humanity.
Open some doors this Advent 
In a classic from 2000, Joyce Rupp encourages hospitality at the holidays, even if you'd rather not let your in-laws in your house.
Unwrap the gifts of Advent 
This Advent season, shop the scriptures rather than the malls to prepare for Christmas. Joan Chittister looked at Advent scripture from 2001, but her reading will still give you cheer.
Do you take your values Christmas shopping? 
What parent doesn't want to make their children's wishes come true at Christmas? But respondents to this Reader Survey on gift giving say that playing Santa has become an ethical landmine.
The more days the merrier 
The 12 days of Christmas aren't just a song. Nick Wagner offers 12 ways to continue celebrating Christmas after December 25.
'Twas the fight before Christmas: A survival guide to a fairly happy holidays 
Family drama bringing you down? Leslie Scanlon shares how Catholics can get through the holiday despite loneliness, grief, and arguments.
Get wrapped up in family traditions this Christmas 
Tradition! There's nothing like it to teach your children what the holiday season is really about, writes Mary O'Connell.
A reading from the prophet Bonnie 
Father Ronald Raab, C.S.C., shares how an unruly visitor brought Jesus into his parish's midst.
Away from the manger 
Pieces of her aunt's nativity scene popped up in unexpected places, reminding Frances Leap of the Incarnation.
What child is this 
What does the Lord's birthday mean 2,000 years later? Megan McKenna offers the hopeful vision that the Incarnation of God in human flesh still matters.
What are you waiting for? 
Advent is the liturgical season of vigilance or, to put it more mundanely, of waiting, Father Robert Barron writes.
Have yourself a defiant little Christmas 
Defy winter and embrace the light, greenness, and love of Christmas, writes John Shea.
Hold your fire! Let's call a truce in the War on Christmas 
Making a mockery of the supposed "war on Christmas," Father Paul Boudreau says that putting Christ in Christmas is up to our families.
Birth Announcements 
It's hard to know what to make of the infancy narratives in some but not all of the gospels. Bible scholar Laurie Brink, O.P. digs out the truth among the differing facts.
The greatest story never foretold? 
Was Isaiah really talking about Jesus of Nazareth? In this U.S. Catholic interview, scripture scholar Pauline A. Viviano shares with us what to make of those Advent Old Testament readings.
Ready or not, here I come 
Even wonder why we hear passage about the end of the world at Mass during Advent? Meinrad Scherer-Emunds uncovers the Catholic understanding of the Second Coming.