Thomas MacEntee of Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories says:
If someone dropped out of the sky and was unfamiliar with the concept of Christmas, how would you explain it to them? Can you put the meaning of Christmas into words? What does Christmas represent to you and is it different than when you grew up or from the meaning it had for your ancestors?
Tell us what Christmas means to you and your memories of Christmases past.
If I wanted to be facetious I could say that the meaning of Christmas was Pudding.
But of course it's so much more than that. It is the power of an extraordinary story to still captivate people's imagination all these hundreds of years later. Even if they don't believe in the exact details of the story, I think they believe in the sentiments it expresses - love, peace, joy, giving and possibly above all, hope.
Perhaps that is why Christmas can be so fraught - hopes are dashed, expectations aren't met. It is, after all, just another day. A day when we often eat too much, drink too much, hope too much.
May you get a little bit of what you need on Christmas Day - a bit of love, a bit of peace, a good story and the joy of giving.
Oh all-right - and a bit of pudding.