As the Christmas season arrives with the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord on Dec. 25, take time to explore its deep well of meaning and cultural expressions with this package of articles, photos and videos, from our partner Catholic News Service.

Emmanuel: The name sums up the Christmas message
Curious believers want to know not just who or what God is, but what God does, how God acts. So to affirm that “God is with us” is to make a huge statement about the kind of God Christians rely upon.

At Christmas, take heart! God is with us!
Although many welcome the amplification of goodwill and cheer at Christmas, for some, the glitter and emotions of it all can bring on less festive feelings of anxiety and depression. No matter how deeply we hurt, God is holding onto us.

Take up acts of service this Christmas season
Writing checks to charities — who need help all year — is important, but this Christmas, set a goal of personal contact with people on the margins. This is important to them, but imperative for us.

A closer look at the Nativity story in Luke’s Gospel
Traditional art often obscures the radical humility and universal love revealed in the Scriptural account of Christ’s birth. A professor looks at Mary, Elizabeth and one stinky manger.

Tradition and heritage: Fish for Christmas Eve
Ukrainians, Poles, Italians and Portuguese, among others, mark the eve of Christ’s birth with a traditional meatless feast that emphasizes family and food. Try this recipe for baked cod with garlic mayonnaise.

Hispanic Christmas traditions pass on faith and culture
Popular devotions such as novenas, posadas and the Misa del Gallo bring the birth of Christ alive in the hearts of Latino Catholics from several nations.

Tradiciones navideñas hispanas transmiten fe y cultura
Devociónes populares, tales como novenas, las posadas y la Misa del Gallo, dan vida a la Natividad de Jesucristo en los corazónes de Católicos Latinos de varias naciónes.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year … to sing!
Hymns of praise belong in the home as well as in the church pew, and singing Christmas carols with family and friends can deepen our joy as we celebrate the Lord’s birth.