I have a “Keep Christ in Christmas” magnet on my car already. And I have listened to Christmas music for a few days. But I am using this as a way to prepare my heart for Christmas. Hearing time-honored melodies like “O Holy Night” (my favorite Christmas song) helps me prepare for Christ’s arrival.

That’s the purpose of Advent. Preparation.

Waiting is good for us. It makes us dwell on the significance of things to come. Parents wait nine months to meet their new child; Mary, with St. Joseph by her side, waited nine months to meet her son, who was the Savior.

God came to earth as a baby — to save us. He was and is the best gift of all. So we should be appreciative of the preparation, the anticipation, the waiting.

People waited for the Messiah for millennia. We can wait a season to fully celebrate Christ’s birth. The Church is so wise to give us this time.

Joseph Pronechen’s article “Celebrating Advent Right” highlights ways to faithfully celebrate this season.

The Sunday Guide for this week sums it up well. And to hear Cardinal Edward Egan’s perspective on Advent, tune into his series on The Catholic Channel.

Whatever your preparations, happy Advent! (I’ll wish you a merry Christmas when it’s Christmas.)