Following on my last posting, I note that, as Advent is not but a sentimental reliving of the long wait of Israel for her Messias to arrive, but a keeping vigil for the Lord to-day, coming every moment in secret grace, and coming soon to judge on the Day of the Lord; so too Christmas is not merely a schmaltzy, let alone kitsch recollection of the Baby Jesus, but a reminder that Christ ought be born in us here and now, and that we ought grow up in Him to full stature, now that the eternal Nuptials are begun in mystery on earth to be consummated at the end of our lives and at the end of time, now God the Word is Incarnate for us.
Christmastide (only four days' away) is and should be as much a season of expectation as Advent.
The universal call to holiness, that great underrated doctrine - neglected at our souls' peril! - is powerfully affirmed as a central theme not just of Advent, but of Christmastide, not least by the lessons Holy Church appoints for us to hear and heed, as a wise and loving Mother. Note and mark well the lesson given by the Epistle of the Midnight Mass (Titus ii, 11-15a), very Advent-sounding, looking to the present and the future, given the past event of Christ's Incarnation and Epiphany:
Brethren:The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men; instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world, looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works. These things speak, and exhort:in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This passage is energetically pressed upon us, by the repetition of its first verses, reminding us of the whole, throughout Christmastide as the capitulum (little chapter) of Lauds and Vespers and Terce (which would be sung before High Mass in the ideal):
The grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men; instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world.
Hear and heed the Apostle's urgent call. We must live as becomes saints, "as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ" (ICEL's paraphrasing of the new end to the Libera nos at Ordinary Form Mass).