Advent is a time in which we strive to be awake. We train our eyes for the slightest glimmer of Christ's coming. We look for the emergence of a star on the horizon and the birth of something we cant fully describe in our hearts and in the world. We live in a time of hope and anticipation: what we hope for is t yet here and we kw that there is guarantee that it will come. Still we dream of a holy adventure, and the possibility that a hovel houses a savior and a baby's cry ushers in an age of peace and planetary healing. Long before the modern phemen of Black Friday and the post-Halloween Christmas sales, Advent was a time of spiritual examination, characterized by solemnity and fasting. Today, in the days prior to Christmas, we seldom fast and, in fact, must try our hardest to remain healthy and sober amid the flurry of obligatory holiday parties, even in congregational contexts. Still, Advent is t all solemnity. A popular Christmas song of an earlier era proclaims, We need a little Christmas, right this very moment.