Tag: Christmas

A Defense of Smartphones at Christmas

 

It wouldn’t be Christmas without the traditional whinging about people “staring at their screens” at the family gathering.

What a load of false-nostalgia rubbish!

More

QotD 20181225: Born in Me

 

Christ could be born a thousand times in Bethlehem – but all in vain until He is born in me.—Angelus Silesius

Merry Christmas, y’all. May the Christ be born in you this day and every day.

More

Icon, Part 5: The Nativity of Christ

 

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, hath given rise to the light of knowledge in the world; for they that worshipped the stars did learn therefrom to worship Thee, O Sun of Justice, and to know that from the east of the Highest Thou didst come. O Lord, glory to Thee. Apolytikion of the Nativity of Christ

The Orthodox icon of the Nativity is jarring to our western eyes. We are accustomed to seeing Joseph and Mary in a warm-looking and very clean wooden barn, each about the same age, kneeling before a wooden manger that has a glowing Christ-child within, while angels shout triumphant above, shepherds approach, and the Magi, newly arrived, kneel with their gifts while the star that guided them shines brightly above the entire scene. Look closely at this scene, though, and things seem off. There is no warm and clean wooden barn, but a jagged mountain with a dark yawning cave. The Christ-Child is within, but He’s wrapped up in bandages? And is the manger really a stone box that looks more like a coffin? Mary is laying out on a blanket, dominating the scene, while Joseph (an older Joseph) is down the mountain looking forlorn while a very strange and sinister figure talks at him. What is happening here? This is not the quiet and happy Nativity we know and cherish in our candle-light caroling, nor is it the Stille Nacht we envisage while the snow quietly falls.

More

Member Post

 

As far as Christmas Carols go I’m mostly a fan of the old hymns. The older poetry had to conform to a stricter set of rules. You have to spend a lot more effort on your word choices when you’re constrained like that, and the effort shows in the quality of your writing. They also […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Hoping you Christmas is as good as ours. Merry Christmas from our family to yours. More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas 1947

 

Down on the corner of Antoinette and Peter Streets in Peoria, Illinois, a young man named Jim Jordan was singing in the choir at St. John’s Catholic Church. He had his eye on a Irish lass by the name of Marian Driscoll, the twelfth of thirteen children of coal miner Daniel and his wife Anna. Her parents weren’t keen on him because he seemed to have ambitions for show business. Still, they fell in love and in August of 1918 they were married.

After a stint in the Army and a battle with flu during the great pandemic, Jim gave up his dreams and became a mailman while Marian taught voice and piano. Children quickly followed. But Jim remained restless. They tried their hand at vaudeville and failed miserably. Then, one day while visiting his brother in Chicago, Jim heard a radio show he thought was awful and believed he and Marian could do better. After an audition they were signed for a weekly show.

More

Tuba Mirum: A Venerable Tradition for That Not-So-Silent Night

 

Earlier this December, Kansas City set a new Guinness world record for the largest tuba ensemble — 835 tubas (and euphoniums — they count, too) playing “Silent Night” at the Municipal Arena at Municipal Auditorium. The Kansas City Symphony had decided to host a TubaChristmas — and they wanted to make it a big one, for a really loud “Silent Night”.

More

Ave Maria: Venerating the Brave Virgin, and her Consent

 

Warning: Including some crass humor in the description of a Great Christian Mystery is intended to drive home just how extraordinary a woman Mary must have been, as well as the extraordinary — indeed quite odd — nature of the mystery involved.

Ave Maria, gratia plena… Hail Mary, full of grace… These words, whether set to the sumptuous music of Biebl’s much-beloved one-hit wonder, sung to another tune, or simply spoken, will ring out through many a church today, the last Sunday of Advent, the last caravanserai parishioners pause at before reaching Bethlehem itself, and the Word Made Flesh.

More

I Created a New Cookie. Don’t Try It.

 

My baking skills aren’t what they used to be. I have no excuse. With food allergies, my baking has curtailed. It doesn’t help that I’m married to the third biggest cookie monster, Cookie the Original being first, @kentforrester being second….

I started trying to make Polish/Ukrainian Rugalah. I didn’t remember this much work. This delicious holiday pastry from Eastern Europe was a given at our Christmas celebrations. It can be filled with apricots, raspberry preserves, cinnamon and nuts, or chocolate chips. I dumped the cream cheese, tons of fattening butter and flour together, but lacked a mixing bowl. The whirling beaters didn’t make it far enough into my deep Tupperware tub – stay with me here….

More

Member Post

 

I’m always amazed at the different ways people decorate their Christmas trees. Each family has their unique traditions and their preferred styles. Some take on an air of professional interior décor, like something out of a magazine, while others are quite crafty and quaint, and still others are downright eclectic. But altogether, it reflects their […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

A Calico Christmas

 

Spending my teenage years growing up in Laredo, TX, was not a particularly easy or pleasant experience. Amongst the many annoyances one had to deal with in a culturally isolated South Texas border town was a lack of quality English-language programming on the radio. If you weren’t into silly bubble-gum pop or a multitude of Spanish-language musical genres, you were out of luck. Thus, I had to rely heavily on AM radio stations broadcasting from San Antonio, some 150 miles up I-35.

Among the ones I listened to most were KTSA 550-AM, a talk radio station (on which I would discover a dynamic young conservative talk show host named Rush Limbaugh in June 1991) and KKYX 680-AM, a country music station that every Friday featured a college football program hosted by then-Texas Tech head coach William “Spike” Dykes.

More

Member Post

 

“O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Thy leaves are so unchanging;” I got to looking at our Christmas tree the other day, an artificial Target-brand something or another fir, that we’ve had for about six years. This particular tree came with pre-lit incandescent white bulbs, to which I typically add about 200-250 additional lights to […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

5 Bulletproof Reasons ‘Die Hard’ Is No Christmas Movie

 

I’m saving the ultimate, unimpeachable reason for last, but let’s get right to it:

  1. It’s Not a Christmas Movie: Anyone claiming it is a Christmas movie is either having us on, or they’re as clueless as Deputy Chief Dwayne T. Robinson. That’s enough to settle the matter, but I’ll go on.
  2. F Words and Nudity: If a certain word starting with “F” is in the movie, it’s not a Christmas movie. Also, if you are a free, American adult, you have a choice of watching Christmas movies or watching movies with topless girls. What you cannot do, by the immutable laws which govern the present universe, is have both in the same film. You know why. “But,” you might respond, “I saw an edited version once! So that version was definitely a Christmas movie!” Well, first of all, see #1, and secondly, how can it be a Christmas movie, if it can’t be shown on an airplane without edits? I’ll calculate the last digit of pi as you struggle to craft an answer.
  3. Year-round Viewing: Suppose, on a lazy evening in August, you call a friend of yours, and inquire what they’re up to. “Watching Die Hard,” they reply. What is your response? You’re not going to say “In August?” or “But it’s not Christmas!” No, you’re not going to say that. And you know you’re not. QED, not a Christmas movie. Die Hard, being an action flick rather than a Christmas flick, is something people are likely to watch any time they want some action-fueled escapism. If you come home, and your roommate is watching Die Hard, you don’t have to check the calendar. If your friend were watching It’s a Wonderful Life in April, you probably would remark on their viewing it “out of season,” even though it’s a fine film for all times of year, and only the finale is set during Christmas. But it’s so much closer to being a Christmas movie than Die Hard, that most people would remark on the perceived oddity of viewing IWL in summertime. Also, see #1.
  4. An Action Hero Does Not a Baby Jesus Make: I needn’t get so deep (because see #1), but I suppose someone will propose that Die Hard is a film in which all seems lost, until a hero arrives, to set all things right. Messiah McClane enters our darkness, punishes the wicked, and redeem the captives. Why, Nakatomi Plaza might as well be a stable and a lowly manger. Well, OK, but now you’ve made every action film a Christmas film.
  5. And now, the final point, and the one that will force the Die Hard diehards to their knees, and force them to confess the truth. Were this a Christmas movie, you know those Japanese guys would be eating some KFC. Are those Japanese guys eating KFC? No, they are not.

If that last point doesn’t clinch it for you, I don’t know what to tell you.

More

Mounting Debt at the Holidays: Is it Worth it?

 

Now you may think I don’t have a dog in this hunt. Jewish gift giving is a fairly recent phenomenon. Then again, there are plenty of Jews who have put up Chanukah trees, too, and talk about Santa Claus coming to town. But I digress.

In my childhood family, gift-giving at Chanukah was very modest. The two years I remember most—one, I received a beautiful knit blouse with large pearl-like buttons. I wore it for years until it fell apart (or maybe I grew out of it). The other nights of Chanukah I received candy, a hairbrush, and other inexpensive treats. Another year my parents bought my brother and me a gift to share: a second-hand bicycle with training wheels. We thought we’d died and gone to heaven. It never occurred to my parents to go into debt for gifts.

More

Toys of Christmas Past

 

“No one ever forgets a toy that made him or her supremely happy as a child, even if that toy is replaced by one like it that is much nicer.” Stephen King

“‘Tis the season,” so they say, so now I offer up something light, silly, and hopefully a little fun. Because I am Mr. Fun! All my friends say so, right? Right? (Nobody here except us crickets, man.) Ahem. Well, be that as it may, I got caught up in a conversation the other day about the toys we had as kids. Sure, it’s not an uncommon conversation, but whenever they start, it quickly evokes the same feelings of competitive envy I had when I was nine, when everyone would go back to school and compare notes on who got what for Christmas.

More

Member Post

 

It should be. My 83 year old mother-in-law whipped up a batch and presented it on Saturday in a decorative glittery holiday container. Today it is half gone. What is it about little rice, wheat and corn squares, mini pretzels, nuts, those little cheese it fish, butter, a dash of Worcestershire, and a secret seasoning […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Nicole Gelinas joins Seth Barron to discuss the chaos that commuters and tourists endure on a daily basis in midtown Manhattan—especially during the holiday season. Every year, city officials are criticized for their poor handling of holiday crowds and the traffic that fills the streets. This year promises to be even worse. As Gelinas has documented, tourists visiting the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center are […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

 A favorite video at holiday time, by The Harvard Boys Choir shows how a simple song can stop people in their tracks, change a mood, bring a smile, uplift a spirit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3rHU_ekIqc More

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.