Whatever Happened to “Merry Christmas”?

Merry Christmas

Excuse me, but isn't there something special happening in the next couple of weeks?We're almost halfway through Advent, and you know what I'm missing? Christmas lights! I miss colored lights on all the shops, as we drive through the business district.I miss music--I miss singing along to the strains of "O Holy Night" wafting through the department stores and blaring from speakers along the sidewalks.I miss Santa's boisterous "Ho, ho, ho!" in the mall, the smiles of shoppers with … [Read more...]

Technology Meets Tradition, As Pope Francis Lights Tree with a Tablet

Gubbio Christmas tree

The world's largest Christmas tree is aglow again on a hillside above the Umbrian town of Gubbio.  Pope Francis used a tablet to light the tree, which is made of 1,000 colored lights and measures 2,460 feet (750 metres) tall by nearly 1,500 feet (450 metres) wide.The Gubbio tree was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in 1991 as the "world's largest Christmas tree."In 2011, Pope Benedict touched the button which lighted the tree.Photo source:  Vatican Radio … [Read more...]

St. Peter’s Square Prepares for Christmas With Unique “Twin-Trunk Tree” and Opera

Vatican Christmas Tree

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  The Vatican's tree, always a beauty, has just arrived in St. Peters Square.  This year's tree is different in that it's got a "double trunk"--that is, two trunks growing together.  There's a homily in there, I'm sure:  A twin-trunk tree would be a great metaphor for married  love, for example, or for the family. Another interesting thing:  This year's Nativity display in St. Peter's Square will have an opera theme, with life-size terra cotta figures … [Read more...]