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« "From A Certain Point Of View" | Main | My General Christmas Present »

December 18, 2006



But -- but where in the BIBLE does JESUS ask us to celebrate His birthday?

…quoth my Fundamentalist uncle to me a little over a week ago, at my grandmother's 90th birthday party.

Then again, where in the Bible does it say we're supposed to celebrate ANYONE'S birthday?

Funny thing! It's my grandmother's actual 90th birthday today! Happy birthday Gram!

And great post as always, Jimmy.

Tim J.

I once had a Jehovah's Witness I worked with give me a Christmas presnt.

It wasn't *officially* a Christmas present... just a present she *happened* to give me on Christmas. I was touched.

Kids tend to think of nothing but presents, whereas adults who "miss the point" tend to get drunk or eat way too much.

In addition to celebrating the Incarnation, I enjoy the ancillary aspects of the season; the smells, the food, the Christmas music on local radio stations, the lights. We watch all the Christmas movies... It's A Wonderful Life, Merry Christmas Charlie Brown, Scrooged, A Christmas Story, et al... and - yes - A Christmas Carol.

We do St. Nicholas Night every year, and my kids know that St. Nicholas is the real, true, for-sure Santa Claus.

One thing I am thankful for is that - being self employed and working from home - I don't have to attend an office Christmas party.

Christmas Gift Giving Advice from G.K. Chesterton -

"When giving treats to friends or children, give them what they like, emphatically not what is good for them."


I once had a Jehovah's Witness I worked with give me a Christmas presnt.

It wasn't *officially* a Christmas present... just a present she *happened* to give me on Christmas. I was touched.

That's beautiful, Tim. :-)

Mrs. Decent Films has often observed that JWs really do observe the holidays after a fashion -- they spend them making the rounds to all the Christian homes. After all, just because you're a JW doesn't mean you want to be sitting around doing nothing on Christmas, any more than anyone else.

Jimmy has done a good job in this post of explicating merrymaking and gift-giving as a basic mode of human behavior. JWs reject it as unbiblical (birthday parties, etc. included), as if grace abrogated nature rather than perfecting it. As such, they are in denial of a basic part of their own nature, which is never fun. How sad.

My kids and I just watched It's a Wonderful Life yesterday as part of our Gaudete Sunday festivities (along with trimming the tree and hanging the icicle lights on the house). What a great, great film.

John E

If anyone happens to have the Pope Benedict Day by Day book (by the publishers of Magnificat), there was a good excerpt from today or a day or two ago about the true meaning of joy -- and that rather than destroying pleasure, joy rightly orders it. If you have it, please share, or I will try to remember to post it later.

when I was a little kid, my mother always celebrated St. Nick day with us. She would hide little gifts in our shoes and tell us about St. Nick. We used to do more as a famaily in the religous aspect of Christmas such as all of us going to Midnight mass but my family has strayed from their faith of late and now, my sister and I are the only ones who go to mass. We always ask if they want to come and when they do I'm happy. It's a bittersweet thing, not having them there but I just keep praying for them and trusting in God that he'll bring them back home someday. Other than that, we have a great time on Christmas and the days following. Some people I know are stressed out to be with their extended family but I love being with mine and we have a fantastic time. This was a great post Jimmy and SDG, It's A Wonderful Life is one of my all time favorite movies.


woops, that last post was mine. Don't know why the personal info disappeared


I have trouble seeing _A Christmas Carol_ as secular. Particularly in its cultural context.


It all comes down to a key word not often heard today:


I myself went wwwaaayyyyyyyy overboard buying for people, especially my nieces and nephews. What cured me was leaving the middle-class parishes I had beein in for my 44 year life and opting for an urban parish where there there is every class from rich to very poor.

How can I justify spening oodles of money on my niece and nephew when some woman who spared her baby an abortion has no stroller? Or, just thinking about the families who will barely be able to give their children anything, let along big piles of gifts. Some don't have enough money to put a decent Christmas meal on the table.

Being among such people gave me a dose of reality and reminded me of the need to not overdo. I spent less on everyone this year, including myself (always treated myself to Christmas gifts as shopping has a tendency to cause "wants"). Instead, I donated money and bought things to donate.

That kind of gift-giving has been far more of a blessing than all the years of spoiling those around me who had no real need of the many things I bought for them.


My favourite version of "A Christmas Carol" is actually the Muppet one, probably because it's among the most faithful adaptions of Dickens' work. The part where Tiny Tim sits towards the front of church so that people will be reminded of "the One who made the crippled beggars walk and the blind see" always got to me, even when Tiny Tim is a frog puppet. ;)


A CHRISTMAS CAROL is secular? and turns your stomach? As an English teacher in a public high school, who just spent the entire week reading the story aloud to my students, I was thrilled to expose them to such a Christian work. Maybe you'd better reread the book and then compare it to your description of our human need for celebration. It sounded to me like you were describing exactly what the Cratchits, Fezziwigs, Scrooge's nephew, and the new Scrooge do. While the story is not a nativity story, it is not an accident that it is set on Christmas Eve, and the babe, while not mentioned by name, is laced throughout the story. Perhaps you were just nauseated by the film versions; I haven't seen them, so I can't vouch for their adherence to Dickens' themes.

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