The benefits of believing in Santa Claus

The headline in The Washington Post: Believing in Santa Claus could help your kids develop a cure for cancer. To wit: Tonight, Santa Claus will consume the minds of many children across the world. Many parents’ thoughts also drift there, but for different reasons. Parents of young children wonder whether they should promote the myth [Read More...]

A Christmas Rhapsody: “Give me the vulgarity of inflated reindeer…”

A delicious piece of prose from Joseph Bottum:  I love the elegant Christmas-dining pictures in Bon Appétit. The holiday dishes and cutlery in the pricey Williams-Sonoma catalogue. The winter ornaments and widgets arranged so beautifully by Restoration Hardware. The season’s advertisements in the New Yorker, the Sunday Times magazine, House Beautiful, and all the rest—clean, refined, sophisticatedly simple expressions of upper-middle-class taste, displayed [Read More...]

The story behind the world’s most bizarre Christmas tradition

That would be this fellow, who is perched on my desk at work — a gift from a priest colleague with a wicked sense of humor. I won’t show you the backside, but he’s doing just what you might imagine. The good people at TIME magazine wrote about this little Christmas treat a few years [Read More...]

Spending an evening with Our Lady of Kibeho—and witnessing a miracle

They had me at The Angelus. When the lights go up on the stunning production of Katori Hall’s new play “Our Lady of Kibeho” at New York’s Signature Theatre, the first sound you hear is singing. Young women at Rwanda’s Kibeho College are singing The Angelus like, well, angels. It’s a beautiful and idyllic beginning to a [Read More...]

Hallmark pulls wrapping paper over complaint about “swastika pattern”

The Kansas City Star reports: A Walgreen’s customer in California saw a blue and silver roll of gift wrap that at first glance looked like Hannukah paper. At second glance, she saw a swastika in the design. Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards Inc., which licensed the wrapping paper rolls, heard about the problem Sunday night and [Read More...]

The ups and downs of real estate: using a roller coaster to sell a house

I want one. Now. Details:  Buying a new home can often be a roller coaster ride. And now potential purchasers can experience that nervous thrill before they even commit to splashing out their hard-earned cash. That’s because a real estate broker in Ermelo, Netherlands, has installed a miniature version of the popular fairground attraction inside [Read More...]

Dear NBC…THIS should be your next musical

You can count me among those who were underwhelmed by last year’s “The Sound of Music” and bored by Thursday night’s “Peter Pan.” But if NBC wants to atone for its sins, here’s my humble suggestion: Reba McEntire in “Annie Get Your Gun.” Back in 2002, she replaced Bernadette Peters in a revival on Broadway. My wife has loved [Read More...]

Wife kept man’s corpse for months while praying for his resurrection

Bizarre:  A Canadian family lived with a corpse in their upstairs bedroom for six months because they believed the deceased man would be resurrected if they prayed, but the body was discovered when the family was evicted for not paying the mortgage. Kaling Wald, 50, pleaded guilty to failing to notify police that her husband [Read More...]

Utah group sets record for world’s largest living Nativity scene

Details:  As the sun was getting ready to set Monday in northeast Provo, hundreds of people dressed in white were bathed in its glow. Oh, and add in a camel, donkey and a couple of sheep. It broke a Guinness World Record for the most living figures in a Nativity scene. Officially, there were 1,039 [Read More...]

Britain’s vanishing nativity play: “It reflects a nation too embarrassed to face up to its Christian heritage”

In Great Britain, a longstanding tradition is becoming utterly unrecognizable. From The BBC: The traditional school nativity play is under pressure to modernize the story and remove religious figures, according to users of a parenting website. Parents on Netmums have given examples of characters such as spacemen, Elvis Presley and footballers being introduced to the nativity [Read More...]