Christmas is my favorite time of year. I don't mean in a shallow, gift-giving/receiving way, or even in a spending-time-with-loved-ones way.
This may come as a shock to my more frequent readers, but I love Christmas because of what it represents for me as a Christian.
This is the grandest feast of Christianity. God Almighty, Creator of the Universe, lowered himself to our form and took on human flesh. This is what we call "incarnation" - from the Latin for "to make flesh." This never ceases to amaze me - the all-powerful Lord of Creation wanted to be close to us, his creation, so much that he became infinitely vulnerable. That is the key to any intimacy - for love cannot be fully realized if any sort of hesitancy of self-preservation exists.
This is the model of love God has given to us: be fully open, and if and when that intimacy is broken, accept - with yet more openness - the pain and suffering that comes with the risk. I find that in marriage the same model must apply. I must love fully & completely, and when those moments of micro-betrayal come, I must continue to love. This is immensely difficult, yet it is the same cross that Jesus himself bore for us. When he sacramentalized marriage, declaring it to be a sign of God's love for his Church, he drew an indelible link between sexuality and the nature of God (for more on this, read up on the Theology of the Body). This isn't creepy or weird; it's profoundly beautiful and glorious.
At Christmas we celebrate the beginning of this mystery; the long road to Calvary began this day. God became man. Man, hoping for years upon years for the realization of the Messianic promise, had his hope fulfilled this day. We can understand why the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest! And on earth, peace to those on whom his favour rests!" Indeed, let us praise God for his mighty works of salvation this day, and let us rest in his favour, filled with peace - assured of his love for us, and aware of the door he has opened for us.