Homily for Midnight Mass

Note: I won’t be preaching this Christmas, or this weekend.  But I’m re-posting this year my first Christmas homily, from Midnight Mass in 2007.   A few of the references are a bit dated, but the message, I hope, still comes through. Blessed Christmas, everyone!  Dcn. G. Like a lot of people of a certain age, [Read More...]

The greatest toy story ever told: Mr. Bean goes to Bethlehem

Anyone who’s ever played with a small nativity scene — come on, admit it, you’ve done it — will appreciate this priceless piece of performance art by the inimitable Mr. Bean. [Read more...]

When "Christmas" wasn't a dirty word on television

Or anywhere else, for that matter. Check out this “60 Minutes” story from its first season, in 1968. On the night before Christmas, Harry Reasoner actually dared to talk about Jesus Christ  – and the story explored what he may have looked like. [Read more...]

Something fishy: an Italian Christmas tradition

It’s a big deal in parts of Brooklyn, and in Italian enclaves around New Jersey and Philadelphia: celebrating Christmas Eve with a feast of fish. Wonder where the tradition comes from? Some answers: Whether it represents the hills of Rome, the Catholic sacraments, or, as veteran home cook Rosella Vitale suggests, “lucky lottery numbers,” the [Read More...]

Wait. I think you missed a spot.

H/T to Patrick Madrid. [Read more...]

Phil Jackson: "I don't think anybody should play on Christmas Day"

The celebrated basketball coach — and son of a minister — has some strong ideas about playing professional sports on a Christian holy day. He chatted about it recently on ESPN with Hannah Storm (who, incidentally, is a former colleague from CBS, and a Notre Dame grad): It’s an annual holiday tradition: put the star [Read More...]


Continuing my series of favorite Christmas music, here’s Josh Groban with “Believe,” the theme from “Polar Express,” a movie that never fails to move me. [Read more...]

Have yourself a merry iPad Christmas

And marvel at what technology can do.  Check out the video below which shows what the Christmas concert has become in the 21st century. [Read more...]

"I have traveled many moonless nights…"

Another favorite song of the season: Amy Grant’s haunting Marian hymn, “Breath of Heaven.” [Read more...]

2010: The year that Christmas surrendered to mob rule

Flash mob, that is. Go ahead. Search YouTube for “Messiah” and “Flash mob,” and you’ll find how many shopping centers, food courts and malls, from Cleveland to Seattle, have staged these wonderful “spontaneous” performances of the “Hallelujah Chorus.” The fad has been studied by news outlets as varied as NPR and the Kansas City Star. [Read More...]