It’s my favorite time of year—though I never heard the word Advent until my mother brought home an Advent calendar one year. Presbyterians didn’t observe Advent in western Pennsylvania in those days. I learned about it from the brightly decorated calendar with its tiny paper doors, one for each December day until Christmas. I recall that my little brother succumbed to curiosity and opened the final door soon after the nightly dinnertime ritual began, revealing a manger and the Christ Child. About that same time, a new minister introduced our congregation to the concept of a liturgical season to prepare for Christmas. He also introduced candles and a prayer of confession, which convinced some that he was an agent of Rome or at the very least a closet Episcopalian.