December 25, 2014

Celebrating Christmas

Joseph Bottum Joyous Surrender: A Rhapsody in Red (and Green)

Christmas isn’t tasteful, isn’t simple, isn’t clean, isn’t elegant. Give me the tacky and the exuberant and the wild, to represent the impossibly boisterous fact that God has intruded in this world.
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Break out into song, if you can. Break out into sentimentality, if you can stand it. Break out into extravagance and vulgarity and the gimcrack Christmas doodads and the branches breaking under the weight of their ornaments. Break out into charity and goodwill. But however you do it, just break out. What other response could we have to the joyous news of the Nativity that God has broken in, smashing the ordinary world by descending in the flesh?

Raggle the rescue dog stars in the Christmas cards sent by her owner photographer  Peter Thorpe.  Here's the 2014 card.

 Raggle-Christmas Mouse

An album of Snowflakes and snow crystals by Alexy Kijatov on Flickr

Apple's Christmas video shows how to create thoughtful, emotional gifts that transcend time.

A Pittsburgh hospital sends newborns home in tiny stockings

 Christmas Stocking Babes

The Man Who Saved Christmas

in the publication year of A Christmas Carol, 1843—written when Dickens was only 31—“there were no Christmas cards, no Christmas trees at royal residences or White Houses, no Christmas turkeys, no department-store Santa or his million clones, no outpouring of ‘Yuletide greetings,’ no weeklong cessation of business affairs through the New Year, no orgy of gift-giving, no ubiquitous public display of nativity scenes (or court fights regarding them), no holiday lighting extravaganzas, and no plethora of midnight services celebrating the birth of a savior.”

How the Catholic Church Saved Hanukkah

100 years ago today, war paused for the Christmas Truce

After months of war and 1 million already dead, an estimated 100,000 troops on both sides just stopped fighting. Ordered by no one on either side, it was never official, but rose up spontaneously from those same trenches. Men who had spent the days before plotting how to kill each other now plotted ways to show their seasonal spirit.
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It really happened, though, as dramatic as anything ever before in the annals of war. First-person accounts in letters home from British, Belgian, French and German soldiers testify to what an extraordinary series of events it was. One wrote, “It all happened spontaneously and very mysteriously. A spirit stronger than war was at work that night.”

Light projections from St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney, Australia

 Australia Cathedral Lightprojection

You've never seen a Nativity scene like this as the Piano Guys get together with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to sing Angels from the Realms of Glory.  Be sure to watch all the way to the end or you'll miss the thousand angels.  YouTube link

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Posted by Jill Fallon at December 25, 2014 2:03 AM | Permalink