Christmas


The Most Peculiar Gift

It was Christmas morning and my godparents’ living room was filled to capacity with kids, a sea of crumpled up wrapping paper, and sparkling new toys. I was a contemplative teenager with nothing left to open (it didn’t take long to open gift card envelopes); so I sat back and, for the first time, beheld the joy that spreads across children’s faces as they unwrap presents. The view was breathtaking. (more…)

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A couple of weeks ago Take Two discussed 5 common myths about Christmas. Last week, we looked at the significance of the wise men. This week, we glimpse at another key “figure” in the Christmas story—the star of Bethlehem. (more…)

One Christmastime, Dad surprised the family with a new Nativity scene. The set featured a stylized cherry-wood stable and a host of beautiful porcelain figurines. There was the angel with golden wings and a trumpet held aloft, Mary clad in lavender and blue as she kneeled over Baby Jesus, surrounded by animals galore. (more…)

Christmastime is here! For many of us, the holiday brings happiness and cheer and longstanding traditions. One that my family and neighbors participated in when I was a kid was Las Posadas (the inn). Basically a procession of “pilgrims” (neighborhood families) goes house to house asking for lodging. The residents refuse (as planned) and the journey continues until the “innkeeper” takes them in. This festivity serves as a reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Plus it comes with plenty of singing, tamale eating, and piñata breaking! (more…)

The holidays are here and the countdown to December 25 has begun. As of today, there are only 43 days until Christmas!

Such news might supply a rush of joyful anticipation to the kiddies. Adults, on the other hand, (particularly those with kids whose wish lists include smaller yet increasingly expensive gifts) might feel that same rush followed promptly by a shudder and a quick jotting of mental notes. (more…)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Where stores are decked out in garlands and bows, aisles of ornaments glisten and glow, and rolls of gift wrap rise like hands to be chosen. Inevitably, tucked somewhere in the sea of snowmen and reindeer, sits the familiar image of three wise men and their guiding star.

This same scene also appears on Christmas cards, window clings, and other holiday décor. So it’s no surprise, then, that people begin to wonder what the bright light was that led the magi to Bethlehem. A supernova? A regular nova? A ’67 Nova? (more…)

Scholars estimate the Magi arrived in Bethlehem up to two years after Christ’s birth.

My pastor has an issue with the three wise men. Movies, plays, crèches, and Christmas cards usually depict the Magi1 among the people present at Christ’s birth, despite Matthew 2:1’s clear statement that the Magi didn’t arrive in the area (Judea) until after that event. Because this discrepancy bugs my pastor so much, some congregants cut the wise men out of the Christmas cards they send him. (more…)

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