"The Twelve Ways Of Christmas"

Christmas is a yearly reality check. The lessons of Christmas are so counterintuitive that even after we have celebrated Christmas in society for centuries, and in our homes our whole lives, when each Christmas comes it’s like we are learning its lessons for the first time.

Here are 12 Christmas virtues our culture tends to forget. Call them the 12 ways of Christmas.

1. God loves a good story. Far from being opposed or alien to human nature, God shares our love of a good story. He could have become a man any way he wanted. He chose to be born in a stable, to a couple far from their home, surrounded by animals, shepherds and Magi, pursued by a wicked king.

2. God loses battles but wins wars. In his day, Herod was Christmas’s formidable enemy. He lied to the Magi and ordered a massacre of innocents, becoming an angel of death in Bethlehem as he killed all newborn boys to try to eliminate Jesus. In our day Christmas is still under attack, though in America the attacks aren’t violent, thank God. Christmas will win in the end, because God wins even through apparent defeats.......

National Catholic Register reviews the 12 Ways on their blog.

"A Visit From The Christ Child"

Twas the morning of Christmas, when all through the house
All the family was frantic, including my spouse;
For each one of them had one thing only in mind,
To examine the presents St. Nick left behind.

The boxes and wrapping and ribbons and toys
Were strewn on the floor, and the volume of noise
Increased as our children began a big fight
Over who got the video games, who got the bike.

I looked at my watch and I said, slightly nervous,
"Let's get ready for church, so we won't miss the service."
The children protested, "We don't want to pray:
We've just got our presents, and we want to play!"

It dawned on me then that we had gone astray,
In confusing the purpose of this special day;
Our presents were many and very high-priced
But something was missing -- that something was Christ!
I said, "Put the gifts down and let's gather together,
And I'll tell you a tale of the greatest gift ever.

"A savior was promised when Adam first sinned,
And the hopes of the world upon Jesus were pinned.
Abraham begat Isaac, who Jacob begat,
And through David the line went to Joseph, whereat
This carpenter married a maiden with child,
Who yet was a virgin, in no way defiled.

"Saying 'Hail, full of Grace,' an archangel appeared
To Mary the Blessed, among women revered:
The Lord willed she would bear -- through the Spirit -- a son.
Said Mary to Gabriel, 'God's will be done.'

"Now Caesar commanded a tax would be paid,
And all would go home while the census was made;
Thus Joseph and Mary did leave Galilee
For the city of David to pay this new fee.

"Mary's time had arrived, but the inn had no room,
So she laid in a manger the fruit of her womb;
And both Joseph and Mary admired as He napped
The Light of the World in his swaddling clothes wrapped.

"Three wise men from the East had come looking for news
Of the birth of the Savior, the King of the Jews;
They carried great gifts as they followed a star --
Gold, frankincense, myrrh, which they'd brought from afar.

"As the shepherds watched over their flocks on that night,
The glory of God shone upon them quite bright,
And an angel explained the intent of the birth,
Saying, 'Glory to God and His peace to the earth.'

"For this was the Messiah whom prophets foretold,
A good shepherd to bring his sheep back to the fold;
He was God become man, He would die on the cross,
He would rise from the dead to restore Adam's loss.

"Santa Claus, Christmas presents, a brightly lit pine,
Candy canes and spiked eggnog are all very fine;
Let's have fun celebrating, but leave not a doubt
That Christ is what Christmas is really about!"

The children right then put an end to the noise,
They dressed quickly for church, put away all their toys;
For they knew Jesus loved them and said they were glad
That He'd died for their sins, and to save their dear Dad.

©1986 F.R. Duplantier


Christmas Prayer For the Troops and Their Families

Free Republic

Lord God, there is no other God but You. You alone are Savior. You alone are Redeemer. When we trust in You, when we fear You alone, there You are, by our sides, protecting, providing in Your ever-perfect Way….especially when we do not understand.

Lord God, You came on that first Christmas as the Prince of Peace – not the Prince of peace as the world defines it but the peace which You bring to tortured souls, the peace which surpasses understanding and the peace between Jew and Gentile that anyone, yes, anyone who proclaims belief in You as Savior and bows to You as Lord may enter into the supreme goodness of eternity with You.

Lord God, You are God, therefore Your ways are not our own. Yours are higher, better. They must be or You are not God. Lord God, the world wants peace, but the peace it seeks is not to be found so long as we are on this earth. When Adam and Eve chose to obey their own wills instead of Yours, they set themselves under the dominion of the evil one, who is greater than we and less, less, less than You!!! This adversary roams the world, looking to destroy, looking to conquer.

Lord God, so long as we are on earth, though we do not want war, times will come and come again where we must stand and fight. Lord God, every generation has paid this high price for freedom in some way and now it is our turn. Lord God, bless each and every military member and family who so valiantly serve this nation and the world, drawing the line and saying no more to those who would exact terror on the rest of us and force us to submit to their way of life or be killed.

Lord God, draw each and every troop and their families closer to You this Christmas. Give them greater understanding of who You are and the mission they serve – for our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. Lord God, show Yourself to them, help them understand how You protect, how You provide and how they can trust in You.

Lord God, be with the families. Send Your angels not only to those on the battlefields, but every family at home this Christmas who has someone they love deployed and especially be with our Gold Star families.. Stand by them and be their comfort this Christmas as they journey through the loneliness of grief. Lord God only You can reach deep inside where the hurt is and slowly, slowly bring the healing. Give each of them a purpose from You which helps them keep going, though often it is the hardest thing they have ever had to do.

And Lord God, be with each of our wounded warriors. Heal them spiritually, emotionally, as well as physically. Give their doctors great wisdom and give them comrades beside them so they m ay encourage one another. Bless also each of our veterans and let them feel Your love around them this Christmas.

Lord God, provide now the way for victory in this war. The adversary may be more clever than we are, but You are Sovereign and You are Supreme. Therefore we bow to You and ask You to give our Generals, Admirals and Leaders Your strategy to make progress to victory. Lord God, we can’t do this without You. By Your Holy Spirit speak to them. Guide and direct them and bring them all home safely. We are so grateful for their service. In Jesus’ precious and mighty name, Amen


Joyeux Noel ! Our King Is Born!

The Nativity Icon Explained

Christmas Spirit (Canada)

(xxxx to be Canadian):
Liberal mainstream media front page of the day award (no I won’t create a graphic for that) goes to National Post, for breaking all the rules in the Liberal Media Handbook, pissing off most of their “journalists” and staff, and much of their reader base in the process, and going with a religious-friendly theme—CHRISTIAN!—on their entire front page today, in honor of—get this—Christmas. Wow. Amazing. And beautiful.

Honorable mention goes to these others .......:

Re-Branding Conservatives...Canadian Style

David Warren:
Mr. Harper, we have learned, can be a rather nasty operator in close-order political fighting. So what is he doing, appointing all these nice, not to say vapid people, to whom no one can object, except “on principle”? He is stacking the Senate with reliable Tory votes, to be sure—that is his urgent necessity, and he’s still 20 votes short—but what is the message in his particular choice of Christmas presents?

My reader didn’t think he was going to reward people who had shown great courage in public life, did you? Who had made reckless sacrifices for the Tory party; who had taken innumerable hits for the team, and risen consistently above craven personal interest? No: only a bigger man would take that kind of risk.

To my view, Mr. Harper wants nice ineffectual people, who can be bought without knowing they were ever for sale; and whom everybody likes. He wants people who won’t get in his way, while he is manoeuvring; who don’t have ambitions of their own.

I think this is part of the “re-branding” of conservatism, that Mr. Harper is doing up here; what many urbane Republicans now call for, down south of the border. The idea is to take the “meanness” out of conservatism itself, to strip off the Christian or pro-life or “social-conservative” edge. The focus groups want “nice,” we have heard. Down south, Bush Elder tried to deliver this with “kinder and gentler,” his son with the word “compassionate.” But electoral success may now demand more concessions!

The conservative view is founded in personal (as opposed to collective) responsibility; in actual independence and freedom, against a background of fixed moral principles (not relativism). That is the steel in it: why it works. Take away this steel, and replace it with fluff and padding, and presto, you have a much more saleable, “people-friendly” product. Add a few entitlements the competition hasn’t thought of yet, and you are back on the road.

The product becomes interchangeable with every other off the shelf, to the clients of the Nanny State, but at least it is in the supermarket. It is useless in emergencies (as Bush Junior quickly found), but hey, it gets you through the happy times.

As ever, I argue we should move backwards: return to the old brand. Go out and sell personal responsibility; sell the manly virtues. This is rapidly becoming a survival issue, not a “positioning” thing. And part of the sales pitch is, don’t flinch—just as you wouldn’t flinch in saying, “Merry Christmas!”


"I Saw Three Ships"

Aled Jones with the Royal College Of Music Chamber Choir

Merry Christmas

There have been 97,928 babies aborted in Canada so far this year.

(Our abortion counter was formulated using annual Stats Canada figures.)

Apparently it is now the official national Canadian position to celebrate abortion; and we are now duty-bound in this country to officially celebrate abortionists.

Please think and behave correctly.

(xxxx to Be Canadian)


Good News

49 Legionairies of Christ ordained to the priesthood Dec. 20.


"Stille Nacht"

The original version of the world famous "Silent Night" by Franz Xaver Gruber as sung by the Innsbrucker Capellknaben

The Inside Scoop

A view of the European Leaders as they truly are - tyrannical.

Well, if it was said behind closed doors it doesn't count, right? And shouldn't those newcomers regard the EU flag as superior to their own? Shouldn't they?

Hang in there Ireland.

See also:
Czechs Stand Up

EU Rhymes With Screw You

(h/t SDA)

A Quiet Mission

For much of the past seven years, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have waged a clandestine operation inside the White House. It has involved thousands of military personnel, private presidential letters and meetings that were kept off their public calendars or sometimes left the news media in the dark.

Their mission: to comfort the families of soldiers who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to lift the spirits of those wounded in the service of their country...

I can't help it. I like that man.(Bush)