What the Real St. Nicholas Teaches Us About Gift Giving

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When I picked up Adam C. English’s new book, The Saint Who Would be Santa Claus: The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra, I hoped for insights into how a fourth century bishop in what is now Turkey became our generous, child-loving symbol of Christmas giving. To an extent, I was disappointed. St. [Read More...]

A Proposal for a Longer Christmas Season…In the OTHER Direction

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In addition to the oft-bemoaned retail practice of filling shelves with Christmas goods as soon as Halloween is over, I have noticed that regular folk are putting their Christmas decorations up earlier and earlier—before Thanksgiving in some cases. And this bothers me. Not only because it overshadows our celebration of Thanksgiving, which is such a [Read More...]

Learning to Love the Christmas Pageant

It’s nearly here—Christmas Eve. Dozens of cookies are stacked on my back porch, most of the gifts are wrapped and in their basement hiding place ready to be piled under the tree, the house is clean…enough. Tomorrow night, we’ll begin our celebrations with our church’s Christmas pageant, in which my oldest daughter will be an [Read More...]

My Christmas Do’s and Don’ts

Because I’ve used a lot of virtual ink over the past few weeks defending my deliberate choice to take on many time- and labor-intensive Christmas traditions, instead of slowing down and pruning my to-do list, I thought I’d wrap up this week by sharing a list of what I do—and don’t do—to get ready for [Read More...]

A Little Child Shall Lead Us

In last week’s episode of the ABC family comedy The Middle, Frankie (the mom) decides that, to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas, the kids won’t get a big haul of gifts. The kids greet this news with wide-eyed panic. When Frankie’s parents, dismayed that their grandchildren won’t get many gifts, show up Christmas morning [Read More...]

Blessed Are the Christmas-Makers

I’ve noticed a movement afoot among Christians to take back Christmas. No, I’m not talking about the perennial braying over secular America’s “war on Christmas” from those offended by “holiday” trees. (If you want to know what I think about that war on Christmas, read Sojourners’ Jim Wallis’s take on it. That pretty much sums [Read More...]


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