Prime Minister David Cameron said 2012 has been an “extraordinary year” for Britain in which the country “showed the world what we're made of” with the London Games and Queen Elizabeth II's diamond jubilee.
In his Christmas message, Cameron said the festivities were a good time to look back on the past 12 months.
“Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead,” he said.
“2012 has been an extraordinary year for our country.
“We cheered our queen to the rafters with the jubilee, showed the world what we're made of by staging the most spectacular Olympic and Paralympic Games ever and - let's not forget - punched way above our weight in the medals table.”
Cameron struck a overtly religious tone in the message, citing the Gospel of John.
His faith-centred message comes amid anger from many senior Church of England figures and traditionalist lawmakers in his Conservative Party over plans to allow same-sex marriage.
“However you celebrate this time of year, it is my hope and prayer that you have a happy and peaceful Christmas,” the message concluded.