The Gospels are silent about most of Jesus’ life on earth. Perhaps no time of year are we more aware of that than during Advent, when perennial questions resurface: When exactly did those Magi visit? What was Christ’s childhood like? His education? Did his family live in relative comfort, or in penury? At the center of all these questions is the void in what we know about Joseph. But what little information we do have offers a lot to explore. Our stories this month reexamine Joseph’s spirituality and the trade he passed on to his son. PLUS: Why there’s still plenty of Christ in Christmas.