Tag: Christmas

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My Mother gave me a piece of furniture that used to belong to my paternal grandfather.  I am like her in that I have trouble disassociating items with people and assign too much sentimental value to inanimate objects.   She kept it in her garage piled with junk until one weekend I took my two oldest […]

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Christmas Trivia


Okay, let’s imagine that it’s the Christmas season and you want to write something that’s Christmassy (or Christmasy, or Christmasie, or…). Well, something with more of a yule flavor to it. So what do you do?

I went to Sunday School.

Anna and the Barren Woman


Christmas is a tough time to be a barren woman. It’s a season of family gatherings, where sights of happy children and excited parents bring as much envy as the sight of grandparents delighted at one’s nieces and nephews brings guilt. There are the traditional Nativity pageants and the ubiquitous ads, commercials, specials, and movies all showing the Christmas spirit through the eyes of children and parents. And of course, there’s the reason for the season, in which a virgin manages what I, coming up on my twentieth wedding anniversary, cannot.

Which is why I find the story of Anna at Christ’s presentation at the Temple so meaningful. She was a widow and prophetess from the tribe of Asher. Her heritage is an important detail — the tribe of Asher was one of the wealthier tribes, and we see in her life the truth that a prosperous background is no guarantee of the “good life.” (In fact, she is the only prophet, male or female, known to be of Asher. There’s certainly a whole essay to be written on that observation.) Married only seven years of her 84, she undoubtedly spent half a century as a barren widow, one of the most lowly and pitiable positions possible in that time and place.

A Beautiful and Important Christmas Message from France


Eric Zammour/Getty Images

You’re forgiven if you’ve not heard of Eric Zammour. Head of the new “Reconquest” party, he’s polling around 14% currently in France’s 2022 presidential election. He’s often compared to Donald Trump (not kindly and not very accurately) since they seem to share the same general views on immigration – arguably an even bigger issue in France than in the United States. The proportion of America’s population (328 million) that is foreign-born (about 45 million, or 13.7 percent) is larger than France’s (a population of about 60 million with about 5.9 percent that is foreign-born).

Zammour is a proud French nationalist and ardent defender of Western Civilization. The left-wing media tags him as “far-right.” Funny, they never tag anyone as “far-left.” His Christmas message indicates suggests that he subscribes to French Exceptionalism, but it should inspire the citizens of any country that embraces our divine rights of life and liberty (see: Declaration of Independence). Americans, as Barack Obama suggested, are not the world’s only exceptional nation, even if he utterly and embarrassingly failed to grasp what made America truly exceptional.

St. John Chrysostom on Christmas


I behold a new and wondrous mystery! My ears resound to the Shepherd’s song, piping no soft melody, but chanting full forth a heavenly hymn.
The Angels sing!
The Archangels blend their voices in harmony!
The Cherubim hymn their joyful praise!
The Seraphim exalt His glory!

All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead here on earth, and man in heaven. He who is above, now for our redemption dwells here below; and he that was lowly is by divine mercy raised.

Bethlehem this day resembles heaven; hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices; and in place of the sun, enfolds within itself on every side the Sun of Justice.

A Rush Listener Remembers


On Wednesday morning, Feb. 17, 2021, I remember turning on the radio to listen to “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” My wife was with me, and when she heard Rush’s wife, Kathryn’s, voice, she grabbed my hand and started to cry. Instinctively, she knew the news Kathryn was about to impart. I believe I was in denial, as I tried to reassure my wife that Kathryn was on to let Rush’s listeners know about his health status. It had been awhile since he had hosted his show, and I just knew his cancer treatments were taking a toll but that he would be back soon. To my dismay, my wife was correct.

Even though I knew that day would come, you can never prepare for such gut-wrenching news. In my world, “The Rush Limbaugh Show” was an almost daily occurrence. I counted on his wisdom and wit to help me repel the liberal, biased media bombardment conservatives endure. I took it for granted that he would always be there, advocating for traditional American values, shining light into the darkness and deceit in which liberals and progressives operate. With all the obstacles he overcame during his career and life, surely he could beat back his cancer. But God had other plans. His talent he loaned Rush was now due, and in God’s infinite wisdom, it was time for Rush to come home.

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Of course Christmas is an international holiday, and so it is. At one time the Puritans did try to turn Christmas festivities into a dour fast. We think of the Puritans as those pilgrims who celebrated Thanksgiving with the Indians, but festivities were not the Puritans strong suit. Once they took power in in 17th […]

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Jack goes solo again to ruminate upon the best movies, songs, and things about Christmas.

My Favorite Christmas Passage…


…isn’t even from a book that focuses on Christmas, or even my favorite book. I read the following on a humid summer afternoon, long after the days of assigned reading, and was instantly transported.

One of my most vivid memories is of coming back West from prep school and later from college at Christmas time.

On this episode of “The Federalist Radio Hour,” Federalist Senior Editor and Co-founder of RightForge Chris Bedford joins Culture Editor Emily Jashinsky to discuss the importance of tradition, gathering, and cooking food during the Christmas season.

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American Born Chinese is the story of a boy, Gene Luen Yang, trying to make sense of his new American surroundings within the history of his Chinese heritage. Yang uses a bedtime story to overcome his fears about fitting in with another culture. American Born Chinese is a classic tale of adjusting to a new […]

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Quote of the Day: The Holiday Season


“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!'” – Dave Barry

I am not sure how I improve on this Dave Barry quote. Only a fool would try. So I will leave you with Merry Christmas. Feel free to add the holiday greeting of your faith in the comments.

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You have heard the cries of children, in fact, you may have made the cry yourself! “How much longer?!” For kids, it might be arriving somewhere after a lengthy car trip. For teenagers, it might be having the supposed freedom of adulthood. For adults, it might be longing for rest from work. Whatever the case, […]

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Come Thou Long Expected Jesus


We do it once a year. Decorations go up. Trees are sold. Families gather. Schools close. Carols are sung. Gifts are given. Christmas is a season that sparks great joy. Each person, each group may celebrate the season for different reasons, but our Hebraic-Christian view of Christmas looks in two directions.

Initially, we look back at all the First Testament prophets who looked ahead. Hundreds of prophecies anticipating a prophet, a priest, a king, a messiah, a savior, were all fulfilled at Jesus’ birth. Additionally, we look ahead with the First and Second Testament prophets and apostles to the promise of a renovated world; a world where suffering and sin will cease, a world where Jesus rules eternally.

Both the history and the hope of Jesus’ first and second arrivals is well summarized by Charles Wesley’s hymn “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.” I believe the hymn expresses our earnest hope based on the facts of history: the surety of Jesus and His soon return.

Jim and Greg offer up three martinis and their tongue-in-cheek analysis of a Christmas tradition their wives greatly enjoy. First, the welcome the news that CNN has suspended Chris Cuomo but wonder if he will end up getting much more than a slap on the wrist. They’re also encouraged by the oral arguments on the Mississippi abortion case at the Supreme Court and hammer Justice Sotomayor for her weak argument about when life begins. They’re less than impressed with the Pennsylvania GOP Senate bid of Dr. Oz. And as December begins, they have plenty to say about the Hallmark Christmas movies that so many women love to watch and so many men have to endure.