Sybil MacBeth’s The Season of the Nativity is a trove of ideas for fellow Advent extremists

I’ve always loved Christmas. Growing up in an atheist ex-Christian household, though, the religious aspects of it were limited to: a small crèche on a side table which was never referenced or examined; a star ornament on the top of the Christmas tree; my mother’s occasional mentioning that Jesus was a Jew; and listening on [Read More…]

Gaudete Sunday: “If there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”

Gaudete Sunday gets its name from the first word in Latin of its liturgy, which begins, “”Rejoice in the Lord always.” This season, despite (or because of) any of the challenges we may face, let us follow the guidance offered in Philippians 4 from which this line is taken: “if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” [Read more…]

A Christmas sermon: Bright Blooms Dark Night

What is the radical truth that pulls us back to the Christmas story again and again? The Christmas sermon from my pastor, Emily Scott, at St. Lydia’s. [Read more…]

Merry Christmas, Baby — from Christina Aguilera and me [VIDEO]

Here’s an early Christmas gift for you: the best voice in popular music, Christina Aguilera, with the most amazing vocal of her career, and it’s a Christmas song! Whether you like pop or not, you will love this. [VIDEO] [Read more…]

Happy Festivus! Now about that Airing of Grievances…

Festivus, celebrated on December 23, is the ultimate postmodern holiday. It’s ironic not only in how it’s executed but in its very inception. It’s a sarcastic spoof of family holidays, with a bitter slant — making a joke out of how unpleasant they can often be. [Read more…]

A beautiful rendition of Ave Maria sung by Jewel

A beautiful rendition of Ave Maria sung by Jewel — not a Christmas carol but widely adopted into the holiday sacred music repertoire. [Read more…]

Santa and God Don’t Keep Naughty Lists

One of the things that has always bothered me about Santa as a childish God archetype is the naughty list. A god that keeps a naughty list and withholds love and gifts based on it is a model of God that I reject utterly. [Read more…]

6 Tips for Making It Through Christmas Family Gatherings

If you are heading into an uncomfortable family situation this week, here are 6 simple tips to help you make it through. I learned them through hard-fought experience. I hope they’re helpful. [Read more…]

The difference between Santa, God, Spiderman and the Spanish Inquisition

This Venn diagram explains the difference between Santa, God, Spiderman and the Spanish Inquisition. :-) [Read more…]

Home for The Holidays When A Parent Is An Alcoholic or Addict

Are you going home or having family over for Christmas with trepidation because it means dealing with an alcoholic parent? Are you not going home for Christmas because, after years of discomfort, you’re not willing to put up with it anymore? [Read more…]