Archive for December 2008

Hobby Lobby Celebrates Christmas

December 27, 2008

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Okay, just one more…

Here’s a great retailer (we don’t have here in CA, unfortunately): Hobby Lobby.

Each Christmas and Easter since 1997, founder and CEO David Green spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to place these wonderful full-page ads in newspapers all across the country.

To see the ads, click on the “Holiday Messages” link at the lower right of their home page.  Hobby Lobby allows you to print the ads from their website.

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Merry Christmas to David Green and all the folks at Hobby Lobby!

Be sure to visit one of their 406 stores in 33 states, or shop at their website for all your craft and hobby supply, picture framing, jewelry making, fashion fabric, floral, greeting card, party, basket, wearable art, and home accent needs!

 

The politically incorrect truth about Kwanzaa

December 27, 2008

Marcia SegelsteinOkay, I’m breaking my own rule about not posting after Christmas day.  I wish I had known about this excellent article back on the 16th when it was originally published so I could have offered it to you all back then: The politically incorrect truth about Kwanzaa written by Marcia Segelstein.

After ten years as a producer for CBS News, over forty years as an Episcopalian, and fifteen years as a mother, Marcia Segelstein (mvsegelstein@optonline.net) considers herself a reluctant rebel against the mainstream media, the Episcopal Church (and others which make up the rules instead of obeying them), and the decaying culture her children witness every day.  Her pieces have been published in “First Things,” “Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity,” and “BreakPointOnline,” and she is a contributing editor for Salvo magazine.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

Can you imagine schools, the media, and the culture in general embracing a holiday based on being white?

Despite what the official Kwanzaa website states, there is absolutely no evidence that the holiday is “celebrated by millions throughout the world African community.”  Nor is it “ancient,” as the website declares.  I doubt that most Africans have ever even heard of it, because it has no African roots.  There is no harvest celebration in Africa in December.

Kwanzaa is a fraud.  It is a holiday based on skin color.  It is the invention of a former black nationalist and ex-convict.

And we are like the townsfolk in the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, afraid to say that he’s just plain naked.

Amen, Marcia…our great nation needs more rebels like you!  Kwanzaa is an interloping fraud, and we should all say so loudly and forcefully whenever and wherever its name is mentioned. 

And while we’re on the subject of taking back the reigns of our society, I urge you — take your kids out of the public school today and start teaching them yourself.  The public schools are nothing more than leftist propaganda indoctrination centers.  Fraudulent ideas like Kwanzaa would have no oxygen without the intentional collaboration of the public education complex in this country which is designed to produce useful idiots.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2008

Once again Christmas has arrived…in spite of countless efforts by the Grinches to prevent it from coming…and so has my last post for 2008. 

We’ve seen great improvement over last year as many people and retailers have been much more willing to acknowledge Christmas.  Hopefully, our nation will continue along the path of returning to sanity in 2009 and Where’s Christmas? will no longer be needed.

Until then, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

…and continue to resist the opposition with loving wishes for a Merry Christmas in the hopes that the small hearts of the Grinches will grow with love for their fellow man.

Dennis Prager: A Happy Jew at Christmas

December 24, 2008

Dennis Prager My absolute favorite talk radio host is Dennis Prager.  I’ve been listening to him for about 25 years now (since his Religion on the Line show).  I often describe him as my best friend, whom I’ve never met. 

If you haven’t heard him, or don’t get a chance to hear him often, I urge you to download this segment of his show, entitled: A Happy Jew at Christmas.  Here’s the description of what you’re in for:

Addressing a mixed group of Jewish and Christian leaders, Dennis explains why Christmas makes him a happy Jew.  Dennis marvels at the controversy that has surrounded the celebration of Christmas as a national holiday for the last decade.  He explains why he loves the Christmas season and why the expression of the Christmas spirit with its special songs and gift-exchange is important to our national well-being.  He also explains why Christmas is disliked by the Grinch crowd. 

Major Points of the Lecture:

  1. To be happy is both a choice and a moral obligation.
  2. The nation’s majority culture is Christian and celebrates Christmas.  It’s a matter of simple decency to let them do so without whining and complaining about being excluded or made to feel uncomfortable.
  3. We are a religious nation, founded on Judeo-Christian values.  If we lose our religious character, we will lose our moral fiber.
  4. Those who protest the celebration of Christmas are narcissistic and probably unhappy.

No matter where you stand on Christmas, I urge you to listen to this segment by Dennis, or perhaps his Celebrating Diversity (Save the Christmas Party), or read his column entitled Minorities Should Express Shame, Not Only Pride, or Christians Offer Beauty At Christmas; Atheists Offer Nihilism.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

December 23, 2008

I was fully prepared not to enjoy this performance as I tuned in just in time to hear Dr. Phil introduce Casting Crowns on the Christmas In Washington special on TNT the other night…not because I don’t like Casting Crowns, but because that’s my favorite Christmas Carol and I wasn’t eager to hear it modernized.  Although it’s not very Christmas-sounding (except when the choir is singing), I have to admit that I was blown away by their interpretation of this song.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

According to TNT’s interview with Mark Hall:

The poetic lyrics penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow document how hope emerged from a crisis of faith the writer experienced after he lost his wife in a house fire and soon saw his son crippled in the Civil War.

“He wrote about how every year when these Christmas bells ring, it reminds him that there’s peace on earth, good will toward men,” explains Hall.  “But this time around, the reality of the world he lives in at that moment rushes in.  The verses change, and suddenly he’s saying, ‘But there is no peace.  There’s war, and there’s hate.  And this hate mocks the song of the bells.’  He’s working through his understanding of Christmas.  And as the bells keep ringing, he just has this moment when he realizes God is not dead, nor does He sleep.  Good will prevail.  God is going to save the day.”  The timelessness of the song’s potent hope-filled message is glaring to Hall—especially in light of today’s world events.  “This generation needs to hear this song,” he says.  “My kids need to hear this song.”

In a creative musical twist, Hall decided the carol’s song of the bells should actually be sung by the bells.  Thus a boys choir personifies the bells and hypnotically sings the “peace on earth” refrain.  “The bells remind us of hope,” he explains.  “And when you hear a child sing, it’s the same thing.  It reminds us today might be dark, but this is what tomorrow sounds like.”  As a resulting irony, there are no literal bells used in Hall & Co.’s version of “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

Here is Longfellow’s original poem written in 1864, entitled Christmas Bells:

    I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old, familiar carols play,
        And wild and sweet
        The words repeat
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And thought how, as the day had come,
    The belfries of all Christendom
        Had rolled along
        The unbroken song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Till ringing, singing on its way,
    The world revolved from night to day,
        A voice, a chime,
        A chant sublime
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    Then from each black, accursed mouth
    The cannon thundered in the South,
        And with the sound
        The carols drowned
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    It was as if an earthquake rent
    The hearth-stones of a continent,
        And made forlorn
        The households born
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

    And in despair I bowed my head;
    “There is no peace on earth,” I said;
        “For hate is strong,
        And mocks the song
    Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

    Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
    “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
        The Wrong shall fail,
        The Right prevail,
    With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

This poem was written during the American civil war (1861-1865), as reflected by the sense of despair in stanzas 4 and 5 which speak of the battle.  It was first set to music in 1872, but the score for the contemporary version first sung by Bing Crosby was written in the 1950’s by Johnny Marks.  Marks was a Jewish American songwriter whose specialty was Christmas songs, including: Holly Jolly Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, and many others.  Most hymnals omit stanzas 4 and 5.

 

Why Christmas Matters

December 22, 2008

Check out Bill O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memo entitled, Why Christmas Matters:

Celebrate Christmas with Claymation

December 16, 2008

After yesterday’s post, I did some hunting around and found Will Vinton’s 1987 A Claymation Christmas Celebration:

This wonderful Christmas TV special won the Primetime Emmy Award in 1988 for Outstanding Animated Program, and it was an annual favorite in our home each Christmas. 

The show is an entertaining collection of Claymation skits set to traditional favorite Christmas carols.  Herb (as in herbivore) and Rex (as in Tyrannosaurus Rex) are the hosts.  The short attention-span Herb is driven by the sole concern for indulging his appetites, while the buttoned-down Rex is more preoccupied with the more intellectual pursuit of introducing viewers to the background of each song.  The running joke between songs consists of variations on what Herb thinks “wassail” is.

Running time is just short of 24 minutes.

‘Carol of the Bells’ Celtic Women & Claymation

December 15, 2008

Here’s a welcome addition to my post on ‘Carol of the Bells’ Audio Files.  It’s a video performance of the Celtic Women singing the Carol of the Bells.

It’s an excellent example of a very traditional version of the song, with a little Celtic twist added to it.  It also shows the lyrics in the subtitles.

I just have to add this one…it was a family favorite in our house until our VCR broke 3 years ago:

You’ll love it as much as your kids will, I’m sure!

Don’t Forget Our Merry Christmas Poll!

December 14, 2008

Before you forget, take a moment to vote…

See the gray box in the lower left sidebar: “I joyfully wish others a Merry Christmas…”

  • I don’t want to, but I’m forced to.
  • My (boss/job/etc.) won’t allow me to, but I want to.
  • Never…I wish Christmas would disappear.
  • Yes…unless I feel pressure not to.
  • Always – it’s my favorite time of the year!
  • Other (fill-in your own response)

After you vote, you’ll see the results.

Recommended Reading: The War on Christmas

December 13, 2008

Since I couldn’t have said it better, I’ll urge you to read The War on Christmas by John Eidsmoe rather than try to summarize it for you here.  But just to get you started, here’s an excerpt:

Imagine, if you will, a gala birthday party given in your honor. The guests will sing, dance, give presents, eat, drink, and have the merriest of times.  The hitch: your name will not be mentioned, the gifts will not be for you, the celebrants won’t be thinking about you, and everyone would sort of prefer that you not come.

That’s all that will be left of Christmas if various groups have their way.  All across the country, this year as in the past several years, there has been a concerted drive to remove all vestiges of Christianity from the celebration of Christ’s birthday.  For example:

• Public schools increasingly call Christmas vacation something like “winter break.”

• Students and teachers are discouraged or prohibited from wishing each other “Merry Christmas,” preferring “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” instead.

• Christmas trees are either banned or called “winter trees.”

• Public-school Christmas programs, er, pardon me, “winter programs,” go heavy on “Frosty the Snowman” and “Deck the Halls,” but the traditional Christmas carols are censored.

• Retail store employees are instructed to wish their customers “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” rather than “Merry Christmas.”

• Retail catalogs tout their goods as perfect for “the season” but avoid mentioning Christ or Christmas.

• Christmas cards, if I may call them that, wish our friends the “joys of the season” but commonly omit the “Reason for the season.”

• Public buildings such as city halls, fire and police departments, etc., feature holiday displays with holly, reindeer, and candy canes, but no manger scenes and no Baby Jesus.

These practices are far from universal. But they are increasing, and they are part of a concerted drive to cleanse the public arena from any and all vestiges of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage.

John Eidsmoe is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, is a professor at the Oak Brook College of Law & Government Policy and serves as legal counsel for the Foundation for Moral Law.