It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

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Advent is the time we get ready for Christmas, and as Andy Williams sang, it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Why should we be excited in Advent?

With advent upon us, it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Or at least we’re beginning to look a lot towards Christmas. Advent is the term the Church of England uses to describe the season leading up to Christmas. It is a season of expectation and preparation, as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas. ‘Adventus' is Latin for ‘arrival’.

For me Advent has been for many years one of the most exciting times in my year (if not the most). The most obvious reason for this is that I love Christmas!

I love the time of year: I love the way we prepare for the coming winter, we get our warm clothes out, we bring in the firewood and stock up on deicer for the car. We change the type of food we eat to include lots more root vegetables and hearty hot meals, we crack out the Christmas jumpers again.  For me, winter is a magical time of year. 

 Frenchay Christmas Tree Farm, a magical land of joy!

Frenchay Christmas Tree Farm, a magical land of joy!

I love the festival of the season: I love the decorations, the music, the ceremony and the traditions. I love the way we all focus on family and giving to others. I love Christmas jumpers and Christmas cake, I love Christmas trees and Christmas markets. Christmas movies are a must and mince pies should be eaten at every opportunity!

I love Jesus and His arrival is super exciting: As someone who grew up not just in church, but as a Christian, I can’t recall a precise moment when I met Jesus for the first time and so Christmas takes on an even more special significance for me. At Christmas we remember the first time the world met God in human form; I meet Jesus again for the first time every Christmas and it fills me with an overwhelming joy to remember Him and the gift He is to my life and to the whole world.

Advent is the time to prepare ourselves for this encounter afresh, it’s a key time to #GetReady for Jesus. As John the Baptist declares, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him,” about the coming of Jesus’ ministry in adult life, so Advent declares to us that we should prepare ourselves and get ready for Jesus each Christmas.