The four weeks preceding Christmas in the Church Year is called the Season of Advent.
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod website says this about Advent:
The word "advent" is from the Latin word for "coming," and as such, describes the "coming" of our Lord Jesus Christ into the flesh.
Advent ... focuses on Christ's "coming" but Christ's coming manifests itself among us in three ways--past, present, and future. The readings which highlight Christ's coming in the past focus on the Old Testament prophecies of his incarnation at Bethlehem. The readings which highlight Christ's coming in the future focus on his "second coming" on the Last Day at the end of time. And the readings which highlight Christ's coming in the present focus on his ministry among us through Word and Sacrament today. [http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=3903 accessed December 5, 2010]
It is tempting to forget about "Advent" in the rush to get to Christmas. Some radio stations around the country starting playing "all Christmas music all the time" the week before Thanksgiving. Christmas decorations were being sold in some stores since the beginning of October. Homes are decorated for Christmas soon after Thanksgiving.
Christmas is wonderful and more than just one day in the year. I think it is even more wonderful than just the traditional "12 Days of Christmas" (December 25 - January 5), so I started a series of blog posts about Christmas 25 days before Christmas.
I still observe Advent, though. In my anticipation of celebrating the first coming of Jesus Christ, I do not forget that He is coming again.
He came the first time to be born as the Scriptures foretold. He came to live the perfect life, suffer and die to forgive my sins, rose from the dead to give me eternal life and ascended into heaven to rule for eternity.
Even as I look forward to celebrating the past - the traditions of my family Christmas and the birth of my Savior - I look forward to the second coming of Jesus Christ.