Amidst the torrent of sales advertisements, and contiguous list of Government agendas the season of Advent is upon us. Every person is hit with a Santa (& every other so called holiday symbol) seated in the middle of the mall, and a list of presents that never ends... It is difficult to preserve the meaning of Christmas "Christ's birth;" with our culture. In my experience I have found that many people are shying away from the holiday all together, and it is sad that people are sacrificing one of the greatest feasts of Christian tradition to the department store. Families can enjoy the holiday while retaining their Catholic identity. A good way to start is to remind others that Christmas is about the birth of Christ is to say Merry Christmas. Remind yourselves why we as Christians put so much importance on this day. Consider all the energy that the media puts on purchasing gifts; use the same amount of energy to spread Christ's love. Think about the secularization of exchanging Christmas gifts. This change has occurred slowly so that now people incur debt just to keep up with the media's perception of Holiday bliss. Think about the original tradition of gift giving was not to give the most expensive gift; rather it was an imitation of Christ's loving gift of Himself on Christmas. The beginning of our redemption and the manifesting of His love for us. I know that the average jewelry ad tells Americans that love "can be bought." Christ's love is freely given to us everyday and no one is selling it. As Catholics we enjoy the preparation of the advent season, we get to anticipate the coming of Christ's birth at mass in the readings. We can bring these traditions home with an advent wreath on the table. Remind children of the story of St. Nicholas, the bishop of Myra who wanted to help families by leaving anonymous gifts (sometimes down the chimney). we as Catholics need to fight for Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season. We need to hold on to that significance, and not shy away Christ's birth for the fear of commercialism. Remember the traditions of old, bring them into our culture: a living nativity scene is another means of living the traditions of the Church today. Started first by St. Francis, this tradition of imitating the holy family is a great way to better experience the beauty of this mystery. Have a small nativity scene at home, and keep Mary, Joseph and the infant Jesus out until Christmas day, this gives the waiting for Christ another visual dimension, especially for children who are learning the meaning of Christmas. Take time before running to the Christmas tree to rip open gifts to see Jesus in the manger. Take time to prepare this advent for the coming of Christ, give the love of Christ to others and imitate his way; this will give you the most meaningful Christmas because Christ is truly at the heart.