Dear readers,

As 2011 draws to an end, we reflect with gratitude to God and to you for your support. Your generosity and engagement with the mission of faithful Catholic journalism is an inspiring and hopeful sign for the Church. I hope this, our final issue of the year, assists and inspires you as your Advent journey draws to a close and you praise the arrival of the newborn King.

To help all of us better prepare for this great season together, we have provided a dramatic portrait of hope in the Holy Land on the first page and our St. Nicholas travel feature and “Why Christmas Is Heaven” family guide on the last. Throughout this issue you will find several pieces that reflect the season: an article on U.S. towns named Bethlehem on page 2, our annual coverage of the secular attack on Christmas, also on page 2, and the pro-life message of two favorite Christmas films on page 7.

Christmas really is a glimpse of heaven on earth. It is a foretaste of the union with our great King that we will realize when we meet him face to face. I think that you’ll agree with me that, as the headline of our “User’s Guide to Sunday” states, “Christmas Is Heaven.”

A happy and holy Christmas to all of you from all of us at the Register!