It is the Advent Season, a time when the church challenges us to try to slow down and be present to God while society tells us to go to parties, bake cookies and shop till you drop!  like most things in life we need to find balance between the two.  I love the website www.d365.org., it gives you a few thoughts to focus on through the day.  Light your Advent wreath before dinner as a form of grace, get and Advent calendar and open it daily.  We have Advent Evening Prayer on Monday nights during Advent, a wonderful way to celebrate Advent as a community.  So yes you can enjoy those Christmas gatherings but lets also find some time to prepare for the Lord's coming as well!