My Advent calendar starts on 1st December but Advent this year starts on 2nd December –  but in other years it has begun at the end of November. In fact Advent always begins on a Sunday yet Christmas day is always the same date (25th) but can be any day of the week. The result is that Advent can last anything between 22 and 28 days.

Meanwhile, some people give “Christmas” presents on Christmas Day, some on Christmas Eve, yet others on 6th December (St Nicholas’ aka Santa Claus’ day); and it turns out that one English tradition was to give presents at New Year. It can get pretty confusing – without even beginning to consider festivals that other faiths celebrate this time of year.

I decided to do a post for each week of Advent – a faith-based one – which means starting tomorrow, despite what the Advent calendar might say. It is partly to share my thoughts with anyone who may care to read them; it is partly to help me focus on the time of waiting and preparation without getting completely caught up in an endless round of carols and mince pies.

However you experience Christmas, I hope it includes a sense of light shining in the darkness, whether or not you see that light as the Light of the World.