Christmas brings us a feast of words and music: songs played 24/7 on some radio stations, classic literature like A Christmas Carol and “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” a stocking full of new children’s books every year along with the classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, films enough to watch every day from Advent throughout Christmastide. And that’s not to mention the ubiquitous Nutcracker performances, kids’ plays at churches and schools, and carolers strolling the corridors of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.Read More
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)
We thought about and were well on the way to drafting a much different column for this Christmas – Biden Outdoes The Grinch seemed apropos to this season of economic distress and discontent. But in looking through past Christmas columns we ran across one of our columns from 2019, entitled “The Gift of Christmas is Fulfilled at Easter” and we were brought back to the recognition that no Christian should be bitter on Christmas, because if there is one day of the year that is to be dedicated to hope it is Christmas and the anniversary of the birth of Our Savior.Read More
When I was a child, my parents and I would attend Christmas Eve Mass at St. John’s Catholic Church in Whitehall, Wisconsin. When we got home, my father and I would watch the replay of Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican on television. After watching the beautiful Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, we would say to each other, “One day, we’ll go there together!”
Sadly, my father and mother were never able to make the trip to the Vatican. However, as the former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, I was blessed to attend Christmas Eve Mass at St. Peter’s on several occasions. And each time, I brought the memory of my parents with me.Read More
The holiday season is upon us, and with it, opportunities to indulge in festive treats. The proverbial saying “you eat with your eyes first” seems particularly relevant at this time of year.
The science behind eating behavior, however, reveals that the process of deciding what, when and how much to eat is far more complex than just consuming calories when your body needs fuel. Hunger cues are only part of why people choose to eat. As a scientist interested in the psychology and biology that drives eating behavior, I’m fascinated with how the brain’s experiences with food shape eating decisions.Read More
This Christmas season, the grinches are staying busy as usual.
There’s the usual crew who annually devote themselves to debunking the season, flailing away at everything from a babe born in a manger to the season’s extravagant buying and selling to taking offense when someone says, “Merry Christmas!” In Iowa, Satanists have honed in on the holiday, setting up a now-torn-down display in the state capitol in the name of “religious pluralism.” Pro-Palestinian protests occurred at the annual lighting of Christmas trees in places around the country, including New York’s Rockefeller Center and Ypsilanti, Michigan.Read More
“Aletheia!” A 7-year-old girl grabs my hands and pulls me through the playing kids toward my church’s stash of books. “Will you read us a story?”
The kids at my church enjoy picture books year-round, but—during the holiday season—the stories begin to revolve distinctly around Christmas. Several of these stories are ones I enjoyed when I was young; others contain lessons and art that I’ve grown to appreciate over the years.Read More
Irving Berlin was a Jewish immigrant who loved America. As his 1938 song “God Bless America” suggests, he believed deeply in the nation’s potential for goodness, unity and global leadership.
In 1940, he wrote another quintessential American song, “White Christmas,” which the popular entertainer Bing Crosby eventually made famous.Read More
This year, the Christmas spirit knocked at my door two weeks before Thanksgiving, smiled coyly, and settled in like some stray feline who’s struck gold with a warm hearth and a bowl of Friskies Seafood Sensations. Never before had this spirit arrived so early and so unexpectedly.
It started with a review copy of Faith Moore’s Christmas Karol, a novel that copycats the plot of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. Here we meet Karol Charles, an attorney obsessed with success and money to the detriment of her husband, her two young children, her sister, and her employees. Like Ebenezer Scrooge, Karol is visited on Christmas Eve first by her deceased partner and then by three spirits of the season. Most of the action takes place in a hospital, a stroke of inspiration on Moore’s part as hospitals serve both the dying and the recovering. When we meet her, Karol’s soul is most decidedly on the critical list.Read More
In a poll of small business owners, 76 percent said that they had not seen an increase in sales during the holiday season as inflation and other economic conditions constrict consumers’ cash, according to Goldman Sachs.
Of small business owners surveyed, 55 percent said that their profit margins decreased this year, and a further 70 percent said that their own personal spending plans for their families were negatively impacted following their own assessment of the state of the economy, according to a poll by Goldman Sachs conducted from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8 of 337 small retail business owners. Consumer spending previously slowed in October as the Americans’ savings declined to $768.6 billion in the month, down from the over $1 trillion held in May and even further from the all-time high of almost $6 trillion held in April 2020.Read More
Tradition is the cumulative experience of thousands of human lives. It is the conclusions reached by countless ancestors who tested what it meant to live well. Unfortunately, we are losing many of our traditions and their accompanying wisdom, abandoning the practices by which we speak to the past, and the past speaks to us.
One way our ancestors lived well was by engaging in certain yearly celebrations surrounding Christmas and the holiday season. They bequeathed many of these delightful and meaningful celebrations to us—if we care to receive them.Read More
The labor market continues to soften, with 199,000 jobs created last month, well below the recent average. Real job creation is far lower than this topline number suggests. Nearly 50,000 jobs were unproductive government jobs, continuing the trend of disproportionately high government job growth. The return of striking auto workers accounted for about 30,000 jobs. And 77,000 jobs were created in healthcare, which is a quasi-government industry. That leaves only about 40,000 jobs created in the real economy.
Real wages continue to stagnate, growing at the same rate as core inflation following significant declines in the first two years of Biden’s presidency. As usual, job creation in previous months was revised down in today’s report. Nearly one million more Americans are unemployed since April.Read More
Christmas is just around the corner! We often look forward to the holidays with heaps of joy … and maybe a little trepidation. There can be so many presents involved, particularly given the numerous people and parties. It can be a lot for anyone to deal with.
But presents can’t just be ignored: Children love gifts, and they find so much joy in the simple act of opening sparkly, wrapped boxes. Plus, presents are a great opportunity to share traditional values with children. But instead of opting for the “more is more” mentality of mainstream culture, let’s embrace the mantra “fewer but better.” Let’s explore alternative gift ideas that not only support traditionalist values but also won’t overwhelm children, parents, or our wallets.Read More
A new analysis conducted by WalletHub shows which retailers are offering the best discounts for this year’s Black Friday.Read More
Why, every Christmas, do so many people endure the mess of dried pine needles, the risk of a fire hazard and impossibly tangled strings of lights?
Strapping a fir tree to the hood of my car and worrying about the strength of the twine, I sometimes wonder if I should just buy an artificial tree and do away with all the hassle. Then my inner historian scolds me – I have to remind myself that I’m taking part in one of the world’s oldest religious traditions. To give up the tree would be to give up a ritual that predates Christmas itself.Read More
War had already been waging in Europe for months when Pope Benedict issued a plea from Rome on Dec. 7, 1914 to leaders of Europe: declare a Christmas truce.
Benedict saw how badly peace was needed, even if it was only for a day. The First Battle of Ypres alone, fought from October 19 to November 22, had resulted in some 200,000 casualties (mostly German and French soldiers, but also thousands of English and Belgians). The First Battle of the Marne was even worse.Read More
The celebration of Christmas has become a mess.
For decades, the Grinches among us have launched their attacks on religious holidays. In our schools, for instance, Christmas pageants, singing carols, and any reference to “Christmas break” have long become verboten—we are told, to keep state and religion separate.Read More
Americans may want to light the fireplace more often this winter and cut back on the holiday festivities, according to new data from the Energy Information Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Energy costs have remained consistently high for over a year, having risen over 13% since November 2021. So, American families can expect to pay significantly more for their heating oil as the colder months approach. As of the week of Dec. 12, the average cost for residential heating oil hit $4.56 per gallon, which is about 95% higher than it was the week of Dec. 14, 2020, shortly before President Joe Biden took office.Read More
Ahead of the holiday break, several schools in blue states are implementing mask mandates in light of the “tripledemic.”
Schools in states such as Pennsylvania, Washington and New Jersey are fearing a “tripledemic” of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza (flu) and coronavirus. To combat the “tripledemic” some schools are considering mask mandates while other states have already asked their students to mask up.Read More
For millions of Christians around the world, the official religious Christmas season kicked off this week with a renewed sense of normalcy – an abundance of colorful lights, parades and processions, family and church gatherings, and even fireworks in some areas.
Many believers in countries where Christians are religious minorities such as China and India are embracing the festivities with new enthusiasm. Early December marks the first time annual public and private advent gatherings have been allowed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.Read More
Many U.S. consumers racked up debt this holiday season, and most of them won’t be able to pay it off immediately, according to a report published Wednesday.
Around 36% of consumers went into debt, spending on presents, plane tickets and decorations, owing an average of $1,249, up from 31% in 2020, according to a report by LendingTree. Despite the percentage of holiday borrowers increasing in 2021, the average amount of spending dropped by 10% from 2020.Read More
The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known by its opening line “‘Twas the Night before Christmas,” has a special place among Christmas traditions, right alongside hot chocolate, caroling and bright lights. It has also inspired the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly old man sporting red and a round belly.
But this poem has been steeped in controversy, and debate still looms over who the true author is. Traditionally, Clement C. Moore – a 19th-century scholar at the General Theological Seminary in New York, where I work as a reference librarian – has been credited with writing the poem in 1822 for his children. Every December, library staff shares our multiple copies of the poem in an exhibit to celebrate the holiday season.
No matter who wrote it, the poem is a fascinating object that has shaped Christmases past, present – and maybe yet to come.Read More
Nothing says Christmas quite like a fruitcake – or, at the very least, a fruitcake joke.
A quip attributed to former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson has it that “There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”
It’s certainly earned its reputation for longevity.
Two friends from Iowa have been exchanging the same fruitcake since the late 1950s. Even older is the fruitcake left behind in Antarctica by the explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1910. But the honor for the oldest known existing fruitcake goes to one that was baked in 1878 when Rutherford B. Hayes was president of the United States.Read More
An opinion piece published in The Battalion, a student-operated newspaper at Texas A&M University, recently argued that the Christmas season is a time when conservative Christians “perpetuate their martyr dreams of being ostracized.”
“Winter is Coming,” penned by Abbie Beckley, is an opinion piece that takes a deeper drive into Christmas’ purported true meaning.
According to the author, the commercialization of the holiday is not necessarily a bad thing as she attributes that trend to the expansion of inclusivity.Read More
Legal challenges to Christmas and holiday displays have been going on for decades. In order to combat the anti-Christmas sentiment outside of the courtroom, a nonprofit religious liberty organization is encouraging shoppers to do so with their wallets.
Liberty Counsel’s Naughty and Nice List classifies retailers according to whether they censor or celebrate Christmas — an allusion, of course, to Santa’s list of naughty and nice children from the Christmas standard “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”Read More
Hollywoke may be spearheading the War on Christmas, but three cable channels are mounting a far more effective counteroffensive, running traditionalist Christmas movies 24/7. And one of them, Lifetime, is a surprising beachhead. While HBO Max is showcasing the insufferable Seth Rogan’s latest bomb, Santa, Inc. (angry elf girl wants to succeed white male Santa Claus), the once male-bashing Lifetime “for Women” now boasts such romantic “heteronormative” fare as My Sweet Holiday, A Sweet Christmas Romance, and A Christmas Village Romance. Lifetime has joined the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries to reflect a realistic rather than fantastical vision of and for women, and their genuine desire for true love over a feminist-fueled man-light career pursuit.
Some Grinches criticize the films as bland, corny, and predictable. They’re certainly not on par with Yuletide classics by Ernst Lubitch (The Shop Around the Corner) or Leo McCarey (An Affair to Remember), and they do stress a secular more than spiritual Christmas magic. But normal viewers gleam from them values no longer found in the tiresomely “dark, edgy” mainstream series and feature films, such as beauty, sensitivity, warmth, uplift, and niceness.
Start with beauty. The movies are gorgeously photographed to resemble, yes, Hallmark cards. Many depict Robert Frostian villages and valleys in holiday winter, but even major cities like San Francisco in A Christmas Village Romance, Chicago in A Kiss Before Christmas, and New York in the majority appear as lovely metropoles instead of the crime-ridden progressive hellholes the Left has made of them.Read More
We’ve told you before about Stephen Moore’s Committee to Unleash Prosperity and his must-read Hotline but the Friday, December 10 edition was a Pulitzer Prize winner, or would be if conservatives ever got Pulitzer Prizes. You can read the entire newsletter through this link and we highly recommend you do so, because in one edition it pretty well destroys the entire Biden Democrat agenda.
The lead article shows the effects of Biden’s inflation disaster in one chart. And Steve Moore explains “inflation isn’t going away. No, it isn’t transitory. And, sorry, no, CNN, it isn’t good for you!”Read More
A shortage of Santas this holiday season prompted a Pennsylvania state representative to propose a tax credit for those who suit up, as well as the businesses that employ Old Saint Nick.
Rep. Jonathan Fritz, R-Susquehanna, posted a memoranda on the House website this week seeking co-sponsors for legislation he said is aimed at the revelation recently highlighted in media reports.Read More
Moves by officials in the EU and U.K. to cleanse the insufficiently inclusive term “Christmas” from holiday season nomenclature are meeting resistance amid signs that authorities may be backtracking from a sweeping top-down campaign to weed out speech rooted in traditional Western usage that could be construed as insensitive to minorities.
In the European Union, an internal document by EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, first reported on by Italian daily Il Giornale, recommends that expressions that are offensive to minorities or “aren’t inclusive enough” — including “Christmas” — shouldn’t be used ahead of the Christmas season.Read More
A record number of Americans say they won’t be purchasing gifts for the holidays this year amid ongoing inflation concerns and supply chain disruptions, a survey shows.
Roughly 11% of Americans said they expected to spend no money at all on gifts during the holiday season, according to a holiday retail survey by Deloitte. The number is the highest since Deloitte began its holiday retail survey in the 1980s and more than double the share of shoppers in 2020 who said they wouldn’t be buying presents.Read More
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is attacking two of America’s most revered holidays, accusing Americans of “eating dry turkey and overcooked stuffing on stolen land” on Thanksgiving and promoting “white-supremacist capitalism” with Christmas.
The official Twitter account of the self-described “collective of liberators” posted, “YOU ARE ON STOLEN LAND” (original emphasis), with the subheading “Colonization never ended, it just became normalized.”
BLM posted a series of Tweets on Thanksgiving about its ideology.
For example, one tweet said, “This #Thanksgiving we send our deepest love to families whose loved ones were stolen by state-sanctioned violence and white-supremacy.Read More
The Salvation Army wants its white donors to give it more than just money this Christmas season. Its leadership is also demanding they apologize for being racist.
It’s part of a push by the Christian charitable organization to embrace the ideas of Black Lives Matter, an activist group working to, among other things, “dismantle white privilege” and “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”Read More
The flag at the Wisconsin Capitol – as well as flags across the rest of the state – will be lowered to remember the people killed in the tragedy at Waukesha’s Christmas Parade.
Gov. Tony Evers issued an order to lower the flags after five people were killed and dozens more were hurt Sunday afternoon. The official count is 40-plus injured, including 12 children.
The governor on Sunday said his thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted.Read More
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday said that he would be spending Christmas with his family, and encouraged others to do the same, after saying over the weekend that it was too soon to tell if Americans could spend the holiday together.
“I will be spending Christmas with my family. I encourage people — to have a good, normal Christmas with your family,” he told CNN host Kate Bolduan.Read More
Dr. Anthony Fauci came under fire this weekend for suggesting that he may ultimately advise against group gatherings for Christmas this year.
Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that it remains “too soon to tell” whether Americans for a second year in a rowwill be told not to gather in groups around the holidays.
“We have to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” he said.
Backlash against the White House’s chief medical adviser was swift as many right-leaning commentators and pundits said that enough will never be enough for Fauci when it comes to lockdowns and extreme precautions against COVID-19.Read More