The Definitive Guide to Advent and Christmas

Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Christ Child, but in the midst of the pre-Christmas frenzy, it's easy to lose sight of the profound spiritual importance of the Advent season. Your greatest temptation during Advent will be scrimping on your spiritual needs because there are so many other things going on!

There are presents to make or buy, cookies to bake, cards to mail, parties to plan, gifts to wrap and trees to decorate. Even your parish can put demands on your time with choir practices, pageant rehearsals, candy sales, food collections for the poor and Advent evenings of reflection. 

There's nothing wrong with pre-Christmas preparations. But it's important to balance the sacred part of the Advent season with all of the other things you are doing.

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Five Classic Christmas Stories

Read Five Classic Christmas Stories and their History. It is a wonderful experience to sit by the fire and read a good story together with family. In some cases, the history is just as interesting (or more) as the story. We hope you are blessed by this collection

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The Real Meaning of "The Twelve Days of Christmas"

Much more than a haunting melody with nonsensical lyrics, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written by the English Jesuits during the 16th century as a catechetical device.  The carol dates back to the 16th century and its precise author is unknown.

It has generally been assumed to consist of twelve whimsical verses built around a pretty melody. But in a fascinating article in Our Sunday Visitor (12/20/92), Fr. Gilhooley, a chaplain at St. Mary’s College, informs us that the carol is much more than that.

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Meanings of Christmas Symbols and Traditions

Christmas is filled with symbols, many of which have lost their Christian symbolism in a secular world. Here you will find the Christian meaning of Christmas symbols with Christmas Prayers.

These reflections are presented by the Confraternity of Penitents, a private, Catholic lay association of the faithful whose members are living a Rule of Life in their own homes, in peace, joy, and love of God and neighbor. Saint Francis of Assisi originally gave this Rule to the penitents of his time, and it has been updated with modern Constitutions so that it can be lived today.

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