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re: Christmas
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Published Monday, December 14, 2015 @ 3:43 AM EST
Dec 14 2015

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
-Benjamin Franklin

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
-Garrison Keillor

America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to agnostics for Christmas.
-John Burton Brimer

Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.
-Joan Didion

As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.
-Eric Sevareid

Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves.
-Eric Sevareid

Christmas is a strange season. We sing songs in front of dead trees and eat candy out of our socks.
-John Wagner (From the comic strip Maxine)

Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want and their kids pay for it.
-Richard Lamm

Christmas is a time when you get homesick, even when you're home.
-Carol Nelson

Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.
-Mary Ellen Chase

Christmas is over and Business is Business.
-Franklin P. Adams

Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling.
-Edna Ferber

Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.
-Stephen Fry

Christmas: It's the only religious holiday that's also a federal holiday. That way, Christians can go to their services, and everyone else can sit at home and reflect on the true meaning of the separation of church and state.
-Samantha Bee

From a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist it would be necessary to invent it.
-Katherine Whitehorn

I prefer the retro chic of spending Christmas just like Joseph and Mary did- Traveling arduously back to the place of your birth to be counted, with no guarantee of a bed when you get there.
-Tina Fey

I was a Christmas present that was delivered unwrapped.
-Rod Serling

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
-Variously attributed

In my experience, clever food is not appreciated at Christmas. It makes the little ones cry and the old ones nervous.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Merry Christmas! the man threatened.
-William Gaddis

Merry Christmas, Nearly Everybody!
-Ogden Nash

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.
-Larry Wilde

Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out any quicker than the Christmas spirit.
-Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard

Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money.
-Variously attributed

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly.
-Andy Rooney

One thing I learned from drinking is that if you ever go Christmas caroling, you should go with a group of people. And also go sometime in December.
Louis C.K.

Roses are reddish
Violets are bluish
If it weren't for Christmas
We'd all be Jewish.
-Benny Hill

Something in me resists the calendar expectation of happiness. Merry Christmas yourself! it mutters as it shapes a ghostly grin.
-J.B. Priestley

Thanksgiving comes after Christmas for people over thirty.
-Peter Kreeft

The one thing women don't want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.
-Joan Rivers

The problem isn't the grinches who steal Christmas, it's the grinches who celebrate it.
-Christopher Hitchens

The whole point of Christmas is that it is a debauch- as it was probably long before the birth of Christ was arbitrarily fixed at that date. Children know this very well. From their point of view Christmas is not a day of temperate enjoyment, but of fierce pleasures which they are quite willing to pay for with a certain amount of pain.
-George Orwell

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(December 14 is the birthday of Margaret Chase Smith Patty Duke.)


Categories: Christmas, Quotes of the day, Quotes on a topic


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Speaking of theology...
(permalink)

Published Wednesday, November 18, 2015 @ 8:43 AM EST
Nov 18 2015


Categories: Cartoons, Christmas, Starbucks


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Ruh Roh
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Published Sunday, December 29, 2013 @ 8:07 AM EST
Dec 29 2013

Granddaughter Joelle's first Christmas, in which Mommy (my daugter-in-law Angela) and Aunt Sara (my daughter, off-camera) demonstrate the wonders of modern speech recognition technology with a faux canine stuffed with foam, electronics, and advanced software. She seems rather unimpressed. Senior Granddaughter Leanna takes after her maternal grandfather and is actually reading the instructions.


Categories: Christmas, KGB Family


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First Christmas
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Published Wednesday, December 25, 2013 @ 10:42 AM EST
Dec 25 2013

Granddaugter Joelle's first Christmas.

Wishing yours is as much fun.


Categories: Christmas, Holidays, KGB Family


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Christmas Eve
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Published Tuesday, December 24, 2013 @ 12:00 AM EST
Dec 24 2013

Riley has visions of sugarplums dancing in his head.

Sassy knows the fat guy with the beard
will give her cookies.

And maybe Santa will, too!

Merry Christmas from Kevin, Cindy,
and all the furry minions.


Categories: Christmas, Dogs, Holidays, KGB Family


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Cleaning off the desktop, part 3: Holiday miscellany
(permalink)

Published Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 8:45 PM EST
Dec 22 2013

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Categories: Batman, Christmas, Christopher Walken, Church and State, Civil Rights, Cleaning off the desktop, Congress, Fox News, Holidays, Politics


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Cleaning off the desktop, part 1: Santa
(permalink)

Published Sunday, December 22, 2013 @ 8:44 PM EST
Dec 22 2013

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Categories: Christmas, Cleaning off the desktop, NSA, Star Trek, The New Yorker, TSA


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Take it easy...
(permalink)

Published Tuesday, December 25, 2012 @ 8:45 AM EST
Dec 25 2012

The hard part's over. Kick back and relax.


Categories: Christmas


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Merry Christmas!
(permalink)

Published Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 4:23 PM EST
Dec 24 2012

Sassy awaits the arrival of Santa.
Riley prefers the long winter's nap.

Merry Christmas from Kevin and Cindy, Lucy, Sassy, and Riley (the Shelties) and Pumpkin and Chloe (the cats.)


Categories: Christmas, KGB Family


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Christmas is...
(permalink)

Published Sunday, December 23, 2012 @ 4:33 AM EST
Dec 23 2012

Kids, dogs, and snow. Granddaugter Lea and her best bud Bella enjoy the precipitation up north near Tionesta.

.


Categories: Christmas, Dogs, Holidays, KGB Family


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'Tis the season...
(permalink)

Published Friday, November 30, 2012 @ 3:01 PM EST
Nov 30 2012


"The Wreath of Khan"


Categories: Christmas, Star Trek


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Jesus was a Virgo...
(permalink)

Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 @ 7:15 AM EST
Nov 27 2012

... and you're all observing pagan rituals.

So it might not be a bad idea to acknowledge that our Christmas traditions are borrowed from a variety of non-Christian sources.

No one knows on what day Jesus Christ was born. From the biblical description, most historians believe that his birth probably occurred in September, approximately six months after Passover. One thing they agree on is that it is very unlikely that Jesus was born in December, since the bible records shepherds tending their sheep in the fields on that night. This is quite unlikely to have happened during a cold Judean winter. So why do we celebrate Christ's birthday as Christmas, on December the 25th?

The answer lies in the pagan origins of Christmas. In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.

In Rome, the Winter Solstice was celebrated many years before the birth of Christ. The Romans called their winter holiday Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. In January, they observed the Kalends of January, which represented the triumph of life over death. This whole season was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. The festival season was marked by much merrymaking. It is in ancient Rome that the tradition of the Mummers began. The Mummers were groups of costumed singers and dancers who traveled from house to house entertaining their neighbors. The Christmas tradition of caroling was rooted in this practice.

In northern Europe, many other traditions that we now consider part of Christian worship were begun long before the participants had ever heard of Christ. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated the their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Symbolic of the birth of the pagan sun god, Mithras, Yule was observed on the shortest day of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer. It was customary to light a candle to encourage Mithras, and the sun, to reappear the following year.

Huge Yule logs were burned in honor of the sun. The word Yule itself means "wheel," the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. Hollyberries were thought to be a food of the gods.

The tree is the one symbol that unites almost all the northern European winter solstices. Live evergreen trees were often brought into homes during the harsh winters as a reminder to inhabitants that soon their crops would grow again. Evergreen boughs were sometimes carried as totems of good luck and were often present at weddings, representing fertility. The Druids used the tree as a religious symbol, holding their sacred ceremonies while surrounding and worshipping huge trees.

In 350, Pope Julius I declared that Christ's birth would be celebrated on December 25. There is little doubt that he was trying to make it as painless as possible for pagan Romans (who remained a majority at that time) to convert to Christianity. The new religion went down a bit easier, with the people knowing that their feasts would not be taken away from them.

Christmas (Christ-Mass) as we know it today, most historians agree, began in Germany, though Catholics and Lutherans still disagree about which church celebrated it first. The earliest record of an evergreen being decorated in a Christian celebration was in 1521 in the Alsace region of Germany. A prominent Lutheran minister of the day cried blasphemy: "Better that they should look to the true tree of life, Christ."

The controversy continues even today in some fundamentalist sects.

(From here, via Grace McGarvey on alt.quotations.)

(Incidentally, acccording to this site and several others, Jesus and I share the same birthday. That somehow makes that date -September 11- a bit less onerous.)


Categories: Christmas, Jesus


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