For a moment I wondered, Is this too sappy?  Too wrought with emotion?But no—This is Mary in her humanity, glowing with love for her newborn.  And it’s Jesus—winsome, eliciting coos and cuddles as only a baby can do.  It’s one of my favorite Christmas paintings.May the Christ Child smile on you and yours this Christmas season, and may the New Year bring you every grace and blessing. … [Read more...]

What’s So Offensive About a Nativity Set?

Nativity - offensive

This year, I’ve been shopping for a Nativity Set.  I intended to give it as a gift to someone who doesn’t have one.  I didn’t need a handmade ceramic one, or a signed Fontanini original—in fact, an inexpensive but unique crèche would just fit the bill.  But this is what I’ve found:At Hallmark Cards, you can buy penguins and a coffee mug or a time capsule—but you can’t find Baby Jesus in the manger. At Target, you can top your "holiday tree" with a space capsule or a blue owl, but a Christm … [Read more...]

Merry Giftmas! The Christmas That Almost Isn't

Alas, 2011 has been the year of “Happy Holidays.”In my circle of family and friends, people still invoke the Lord’s blessing as they sit down to eat, still say “God bless you” when someone sneezes. It’s almost possible, barricaded in the dining room with the people I love the most, to forget that outside my door, it’s a different story—that for many, the season that reaches its zenith on December 25 is about rank commercialism, and not at all about Jesus.But this year, when I hit the mall o … [Read more...]