The Nativity Fast begins on Nov. 15. This season prepares us for the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As the shop displays and catalogs are already warning us, Christmas is approaching fast. For the world around us, this means a frenzy of shopping, decorating, and partying. If we would truly enter into the blessings God has set before us, we need to begin a very different sort of labor: being mindful of God for the gift of his Son and acting out of gratitude in every aspect of life. We observe the Nativity Fast by refraining from meat and rich foods, by prayer and confession, and giving to the needy. May we be blessed with peace!