Check out this entire blog devoted to Advent, courtesy of the folks at the Boar's Head Tavern.
They posted this wonderful explanation by Doug Wilson of why we should celebrate the season with the stuff of earth-- holly and ivy, candles and cinnamon sticks, stockings, peppermint stick houses, pumpkin pies and Christmas lights. He strikes a Biblical balance between spiritualizing the season and getting caught up in the materialism so prevalent in our society.
Speaking of materialism...
Though this post was inspired by Thanksgiving, the questions she asks are a good reminder to me that I do not need everything I want for Christmas, though I very much might like it. Hence, my consumeristic post below is appropriately titled. I need nothing.
So many people are in need around the world and here in the U.S. If you wish to opt out of buying presents this year, by all means give to some worthy organizations on behalf of someone you love. Some of my favorites are Compassion International (the letters you write will mean so much more than the few dollars every month, and the ones you receive are even better!) and Desire Street Ministries.