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I wasn’t raised in a tradition that is known for its robust celebration of Advent. In fact, the entire season was viewed as, primarily, a pagan holiday—at least Christmas was seen that way. We weren’t anti-Christmas. Christmas was great—it just didn’t have a lot to do with Christianity, as we saw it. My mind has completely changed on that. In fact, Advent and Christmas (especially Christmas Eve) have come to be one of the most important spiritual times of the year for me.

Here are four reasons I think churches should celebrate Advent and Christmas: