Merry Christmas. In celebrating Christ’s birth, we’re celebrating the moment our Creator became man. William Blake: “Therefore God becomes as we are, that we may be as He is.”
Christmas is also a day when so many of us in whom the faith lies dormant all year shines through in an act of tradition. This is largely from sentiment, but it proves that a feeling for fellowship and patrimony still has some effect on our hearts.
And there’s history: “…the 25th of December was not an arbitrary choice for early Christians. Rather, it was selected because of its connection with pagan festivals like Yule and Sol Invictus (the birthday of the Unconquered Sun), both of which commemorated the winter solstice or the longest night of the year.”
I think this proves our strength. Christians invest meaning in everything. (Hell can be understood as the one thing that lacks any meaning, hence the fear of it.) Christ redeems us personally, and also provides meaning to our culture. Even the dead past—our pagan ways—can echo with meaning.
Another example: @Pontifex. The Romans called their chief priest “Pontifex Maximus.” Like some of the vestments of ancient origin still worn in our faith, Pontifex is carried over and reinvested with meaning.
If there is a “War on Christmas,” it’s a subtle one whose effects can be judged by the extent to which Christmas introduces Christ into our lives, infusing our lives with another dimension of meaning. If Christmas doesn’t have any magnetism, if it doesn’t influence our lives beyond superficial merriment, then it means nothing.
Our lives can be carried over into the dimension of Christ especially at Christmastime —in this moment and during its twelve days. We can carry our failures and suffering and imperfection (and joy and happiness and vitality) in lives reinvested with meaning.