Christmas

Christmas

BY December 16, 2012

By turning away from wanting things to valuing people, we can celebrate the holiday season through the eyes of a "beloved community" and ask what kind of community we can create together.

BY November 28, 2012

With so many Christmas carols that bridge the chasm of time and space, it's a classic Spiritual that brings a "delightful burst of Christmas cheer." Listen to this rendition from Margaret Becker and Jennifer Knapp.

BY January 06, 2012

Iraqi Christian Girls Sing in AmmanIraqi Christian girls attend Christmas Mass at Chaldean Catholic Church in Amman, Jordan on December 25, 2011. (photo: Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

In the lands between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, the first of three Christmas celebrations was on December 24, the Christmas of the English, or so we thought of it then in the years of my adolescence. My family — ethnic Armenians, Christians by subscription more than piety — had settled in Jordan, a largely Muslim country, where I grew into adulthood, pulled this way and that by the three Christmases of the Holy Land. Of course it was a misnomer to call it the Christmas of the English because December 24 was celebrated by Catholic and Protestant Arabs as well.

BY December 28, 2011

2nd night of HanukkahAlthough I was born on Christmas, I feel like I’m slightly part Hanukkah now. Each year since I remarried — an event which brought two Jewish stepchildren into my life — I have anticipated the Festival of Lights with almost as much excitement as my hybrid celebration of the Winter Solstice/Yule and Christmas.

My stepchildren are actually half-Hanukkah and half-Christmas; their mother is Jewish, their father is not. Their parents long ago agreed the children would be raised Jewish, so they are attending the several years of Hebrew school that prepare them to become a bar and bat mitzvah. Having grown up with Christian and Jewish extended families, however, they have honored their heritage from both sides by celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas from the time they were born. As each year draws to a close, they look forward to lighting Hanukkah candles as well as decorating the Christmas tree with their doting, out-of-town Presbyterian grandparents.

BY December 26, 2011

Fred Child and the producers of Performance Today are offering up some true gems (yes, for free!) from the live concerts and in-studio performances they broadcast during the year. This exquisite piece by Chanticleer is a great way to start the day.

BY December 24, 2011

For one kid from the Bronx, the story of eating dates only on Christmas Eve takes on special meaning as told to him by his Polish grandmother.

BY December 10, 2011

Christmas tree lights IIPhoto by Shandi-lee (Flickr, cc by-nc 2.0)

How many times have you heard someone say — I can’t draw, I can’t sing, I can’t dance — with the case-closed authority of Solomon? Probably dozens of times, more if you yourself happen to be an artist blessed with the painting, flamenco, or woodworking gene. But have you ever heard anyone sheepishly confess, as they backed away palms up from an evergreen tree, Oh, not me — I can’t decorate Christmas trees?

Doesn’t happen!

BY November 29, 2011

Fourth manAdvent is my kind of season.

No, not the pseudo-Advent of most Christian piety with liturgically-correct hymns and texts on the Sundays of the season and full-on Christmas hoopla all the other days, but this one: the ancient, autumnal interval of darkness and foreboding with its achy uncertainty blanketing landscapes both inner and outer. This Advent offers room for doubt and struggle. It grants permission to rest in — rather than to resolve — the tensions and paradoxes, the sometimes maddening contradictions that shape the life of discipleship.

BY January 07, 2011

Pope Shenuda III Leads Coptic Christmas Mass Pope Shenuda III, head of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, leads the Coptic Christmas midnight mass in Abassiya Cathedral in Cairo. (photo: Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)

Every January 7th in accordance with the Julian calendar, Coptic Orthodox Christians in North America celebrate the holiday of Christmas. But this sacred time is filled with solemnity, mourning, and fear — and also a deepening resolve and hope — for many Copts one week after the New Year’s Eve bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt killed 21 worshippers.

Copts are the largest religious minority in Egypt, making up nine percent of the country’s population the BBC reports, and are considered by many scholars to be direct descendants of Egyptians from the time of Jesus.

BY December 25, 2010

Day 26 01/26/2010 - A Mother and Her Son
A Christmas tree stands a month after Christmas last year. Ashley, who had recently overcame thyroid cancer, kisses her son Trey, who was undergoing treatment for tuberculosis.
(photo: Fred Erlenbusch/Flickr)

BY December 25, 2010

Christmas Divided
photo: Stuart Pilbrow

It’s become customary this time of year to hear concerns expressed about the loss of Christmas spirit. Sometimes these fears are more about one’s cultural identity — and the sense that one’s group is losing power and influence — than they are about the actual meaning of Christmas. At other times, one hears something that sounds less reactionary and more like a thoughtful: Have our Christmas rituals lost some of their meaning? Have they become old and tired or do they pale in comparison to more novel inventions?

BY December 23, 2010

A guest contributor uses poetry as a vehicle for processing his faith, doubts and depression during the Advent season.

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BY December 01, 2010

Do Christmas ham and potato latkes go together? Can Santa visit as well as Judah Maccabee?" ˜guest contributor Adena Cohen-Bearak reflects on reconciling Chanukah and Christmas.

BY December 24, 2008

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