“Put Christ back into Christmas” was the slogan of an advertising campaign of several years ago. It suggested that people had forgotten what Christmas is really about. Even so, it is worth remembering that Christ was originally put by the Church into an already existing celebration which had nothing to do with Christmas.
In AD 274 the emperor Aurelian instituted a feast of the Invincible Sun (Natalis Solis Invicti). The day he chose was December 25th. It was an excuse for a party and it was this date, over a hundred years later, that the Church, realising people were not going to give up their parties, wisely chose for its celebration of the birth of Christ.
God came to this world as it was, recognised by only a very few. In this respect at least, today is not different from the days of Aurelian. The Church’s task is the same too: God does not assume all will understand before he will have dealings with us. He came to earth to bring His good news, to change us and through His son to raise us to heaven.
May your Advent be a time of both spiritual and material preparation, Christmas a time of heavenly joy and earthly celebration and New Year be the beginning of change and heavenly goals.