With commercialization, and vacation scheduling, and all those other things, it can be easy for us to forget. Even the carols we listen to quickly become mere words, and we no longer remember their true import.
Think about it. Really. Those carols are not just empty words:
Up from the sea, from underground
Down from the sky, they're all around
They will return: mankind will learn
New kinds of fear when they are here
The traditions we enjoy have a much deeper meaning, and one that we lose far too easily, I fear. The twinkling lights on the Christmas tree were originally there to remind us of the stars, and of the threat that looms like an ominous shadow over everything we love: on that winter solstice night when the stars are right, the Great Old Ones will awake from the slumber of death once more, to wreak destruction and terror on all mankind, exposing our existence for the hollow and purposeless shell it is.
We have no hope on that day but to pledge our souls in service to the Elder Gods, so that we may be devoured first, spared the long slow spiral down into gibbering madness.
So as the nights grow longer and the days grow shorter, take some time out of your hectic schedule to meditate on the coming of the Great Old Ones. Should the stars not align properly in the heavens this year, and humanity be granted yet another year of our tiny, meaningless existance before the Crawling Chaos covers us all, breathe a sigh and exchange presents with those close to you in thanks.
Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Ftaghn!