O holy, patient, and loving God, in this season of grace-filled longing, we await the coming of your Son and our Savior. It is difficult for us to remember that this is a holy time. There are many distractions: commitments seem to pile up, and expectations are high. In the midst of our busy world, our busy lives, we need your help to remind us of what is important and necessary. While many of those things that we do not need will come to us in packages gleaming and bright, the one gift that will last comes from you alone, gracious God, as we grow in our awareness of your love. Bless us, our family and friends, and the food and the company that we share. Increase in us a growing urgency to celebrate the birth of your Son, in whose name we pray. Amen.