Next to the annual celebration of Easter, the memorial of Christ’s birth is most cherished by Christians throughout the world. The feast of Christmas celebrates the gift of God’s love revealed in the great mystery of the Incarnation. God’s eternal Word taking human flesh and dwelling among us. A wonderful array of cultural and family customs lead us to the Christmas feast and gives shape to our annual celebration. Advent wreaths and Jesse trees, collections of food and gifts for the poor, the sending of Christmas cards and letters and the making or purchasing of special gifts for loved ones, marks our Advent days of preparation. During the twelve days of Christmas, families gather around lighted trees with sparkling ornaments to exchange gifts. Family and friends come together to share stories and to partake of the many special foods lovingly prepared for the festival. As the Christmas season unfolds we find time for rest and recreation with one another. In all of these ways we strengthen the bonds that knit us together as people in whom God has chosen to dwell.