Jim Henley makes my Christmas thoughts seem dull and pedestrian:
Merry Christmas to All - Had my annual evening in church, singing beautiful songs whose truth I do not credit, with feeling. I love Christmas, the secular and the religious aspects of it. The Incarnation is a compelling story - one well worth organizing civilizations around, even if, like me, you don't believe a word of it. For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son . . .
It's powerful. Awesome in the true sense. What it says about responsibility, empathy and sacrifice chastens us regardless of its facticity.
I remember what it felt like when I finally realized that the Gospels had a literary unity, even in their multiplex versions, that "laid him in a manger" (a place where food goes) foreshadowed the Easter story ("This is my body. Eat.").