As the family gathered to feast and celebrate this Christmas, my 7-year-old granddaughter carefully moved every animal and character until she was satisfied with the scene. Then she asked a serious question."Did the shepherds laugh?"
When you think of Christmas, you think of joy. You think of glamorous décor -- bits of tinsel littering lawns and living rooms; trees bloated with shiny bulbs; strings of colorful lights draping porches and garages. But not all Christmases are wrapped perfectly in glossy silver paper with a white bow on top.
It's a common emerging theme -- unleashing products for a holiday in an accelerated non-sequential order (with so much Christmas stimuli in stores in November I often found myself wondering what happened to Thanksgiving) -- but who is causing and reinforcing this trend?
Black lives matter. All lives do. I don't celebrate Christmas. It's not an either or proposition, but I will celebrate Kwanzaa this year as I have for the last 25 years.
I can already see myself getting sucked into some pointless game for days on end. If you don't hear from me for, oh, the next 16 months or so, please come steal my son's Xbox and save me.
Once the goose is fully cooked, take the bird out of the oven and let rest for 20 minutes in a warm place in the kitchen. Be sure to reserve the juices in the oven tray to use as a rich sauce.
Of course it is a bad idea for a film distributor to be intimidated into not showing a film because of blackmail or threats. But it is also important not to make a fetish of the form of freedom to the point that we can't see and respond ethically to the moral substance of what is being produced.
As The Interview's release date approached, theaters received retaliatory threats. In response, major theater chains cancelled their showings and Sony dropped its plans for a Christmas Day release. This decision brought on cries of censorship.
You may wonder how a second-term Congressman, in the minority party, who does not sit on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, managed to get nine different tax breaks passed in a single year. Good question. I'll answer that next time.
When we arrived, a big burly man walked up and said, "How can I help you?" We explained that we came to buy a tree. He asked how much money we had and my brother held the change out in the palm of his hand. "Hmm..." the man said, "I think I have the perfect tree for you."
Don't fool yourself into thinking this is something that could last. Are you prepared to become the stepmother to nine reindeer and a whole toy factory's worth of elves? Do you really want to leave everything behind to move to the North Pole?
Some Christian families started to trickle back following the truce between the regime forces and the rebels but life will never go back the way it was. Most Muslim families were not allowed to return to their homes. This year, Christmas in Homs will have a big void, its Muslim merrymakers.
The magic of Christmas lies in ritual. For me it's reading a Yuletide tale. As a child the ritual was my carefully handwritten letters to Santa, and...
Christmas with a blended family of six kids was pretty chaotic. First, the kids got gifts from a vast empire of grandparents and step-grandparents, and our ex-spouses had their own holiday bashes to boot.
I suggest it's time to update our idea of family. Let's dispense with the imperatives to feel whole and happy inside a story of 'family' that leaves us frail or frazzled. Let's dislodge our commitments to stoicism and endurance that leave us walled inside towers of loneliness.