Each night during Advent, my family and I gather around our Advent candles and sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” For me, it’s a joyous occasion. I love nothing more than praising God through song.

Our ritual continues with reading a story from the Bible and hanging an ornament on our Jesse tree. The kids cut a link off their Advent chain and joyfully open the next date on their Advent calendars.

Liturgically, it’s my favorite time of year. There are so many beautiful things to do in Advent as a family.

But the rituals shouldn’t be limited to children. Adults, too, can partake in Advent rituals. I like to treat the season like Lent, as it was treated in the days of old. I take on a new daily practice, like saying the rosary or singing hymns during prayer time. This year, I combined my new daily practice with reading and meditating on a book of daily Advent devotionals.

This season is one for preparing our hearts for the coming of the Lord. We may decorate our homes in Christmas cheer, but what are we doing for our souls?

Take some time in the remaining days leading up to Christmas to set aside the shopping lists and Hallmark movies and really think about the season and what will be coming. Christ is coming to save us from our sins! What an incredible gift!