The secular world has the Christmas season exactly backwards. Christmas celebrations begin the day after Thanksgiving and end on Christmas day. Christmas is followed by self-reflection as the New Year approaches, a period during which people penitentially consider their shortcomings and make New Year's resolutions to correct them. The Church however, urges us to do penance and think of how we can better serve God as we wait for Him during the season of Advent. Then starting on Christmas Day we break out the eggnog and have an incarnation party that lasts until the feast of the Epiphany. So no New Year's moping about your weight. Jesus is born! Let's celebrate!