It finally clicked in me -- the True Meaning of Christmas.
It was when I heard the Christmas story retold for the fourteenth consecutive time, at last night's Family Christmas Eve service, at our local church. The Pastor had read Luke's Gospel, and then he expounded on it.
He started by describing Luke 2:1-7 in more detail. The reason that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were staying in a stable is that there was no room at the inn. That I've known since I was a child, but nothing more.
The rest of it needs to be appreciated against a backdrop of adult experiences. The child I was did not bother to wonder why they needed to find an inn.
The Pastor explained that Joseph needed to haul himself (and the pregnant woman he was engaged to) 80 miles, by foot, from his home in Nazareth back to Bethlehem in order to be counted in the census. So he could be taxed.
That's my wife and me, Joseph and Mary. Not only do we have to undertake some pain-in-the-ass journey for some poorly-planned government bullshit, we have to do it when we're about to give birth. All for the ultimate pleasure of paying taxes. This is jury duty on a Grand Scale.
To make the story more interesting, Joseph is caring for a woman whose child she carries is not even his.
And this is the way the Universe works. Even God's Children cannot escape suffering the idiocy that this world has to offer.