On Christmas 2018

Embed from Getty Images

 

On these pages I have stressed this point many times: “I believe the majority of the people in the world are good.” Regardless of the bad news we receive on any given day from any given place, I continue to maintain that statement as an important mantra.

Not only to I believe the majority of the people in the world are good, I also see Santa as the Spirit of Goodness because it is that spirit that touches all.

It is the season of Christmas across Christendom – and yes, Christmas is a religious holiday – and yes – I am Christian – and yes, I embrace Christmas a secular holiday for all.

Whereas some Christians (and I believe the minority) complain about the commercialism while proclaiming, Put Christ back in Christmas, I say there is plenty of room for everyone in a secular Christmas because Santa – the Spirit of Goodness – is for everyone. Santa is for Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, Naturalists, Christians, and anyone and everyone else.

During our recent trip to the Czech Republic, were told (multiple times) that the vast majority of Czechs today do not identify themselves as religious – let alone associated with a religious community. Yet – they embrace Christmas. I’m confident the Czech example if not unique – but rather very common because they embrace the Spirit of Goodness that the season brings.

Mannheim Steamroller’s version of Silent Night is one of my favorites. Below are different videos to the same song. I hope you pick one (and let me know).

May the Spirit of Goodness be with you not only during this holiday season, but throughout life.

The original

 

Beautiful painting of the season and live wildlife

 

Featuring the Aurora Borealis

 

More religious

On Virginia and Santa Claus

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

Yes, Virginia, when I was your age, I believed in Santa – then I questioned – and then I did not believe for a long time – but I was older when I realized Santa Claus is real.

Yes, Virginia, we link Santa Claus to a Christian holiday, but because of Santa, many celebrate Christmas who aren’t Christians.

Yes, Virginia, Santa is important because he is a spirit for all of humanity. He’s not White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian … He may be all of those or whoever someone wants him to be because Santa is for everyone.

Yes, Virginia, we link Santa Claus to St. Nicholas (a Christian saint), but the gift of giving and kindness is important to not just to Christians, but to Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, Secular Humanists, and all the religions of all the people throughout the big, wonderful world.

Yes, Virginia, some loudly complain about a war on Christmas, buy they do not give Santa much credit.

Yes, Virginia, in the spirit of Santa Claus, I want to give gifts to my readers and anyone who visits this post because I believe there are so many good people throughout the world – and kindness is something all of us have in common.

Yes, Virginia, I want anyone to take as many gifts under this tree as the they want – as long as they tell me in a comment – and they can return as often as they want for more! Yes Virginia, giving is important.

To my fellow Christian friends, Merry Christmas – and we also know what else we are celebrating – and that is important to us to remember.

To all, may the spirit kindness of the holiday season touch each of you … and thanks for all of your doses of Santa kindness that you deliver to my little corner of the world throughout the year and in the time to come.

Yes, Virginia, Santa is about Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All!

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Many of us are grown up now, but Michael Buble shares a Grown Up Christmas List through clips of classic movies about the holidays.

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This Bing Crosby classic song is a wonderful tradition.

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Lights are one of the joys of the season, so here’s a house serving as a background to an acoustic guitar version of The First Noel by Trans Siberian Orchestra

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Several years ago, Lynn (Composer in the Garden) wrote Father Time, and this is a good opportunity to share her spirit of the season.

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To many, handbells are a sound of the season. Here is a fast-paced version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen with interesting techniques that our choir is playing Christmas Eve. (Start at 1:15 in the video)

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Here’s some Christmas flavor from a local legend. Like her famous nephew George, the late Rosemary Clooney’s roots are Cincinnati. Her Christmas Mem’ries will rekindle your memories.

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I find Where Are You Christmas? by The Piano Guys to be special music that is fitting for this post.

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… and their Carol of the Bells is outstanding.

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For the dancers in the crowd, a spin around the floor to the Christmas Waltz promises to deliver smiles.

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A post like this must include on piece of humor, thus so cheers to the Star Trek spin on a holiday favorite.

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A Fire for You (John Boswell) delivers beautiful music to for the Winter Solstice and the season.

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The universe is a spectacular place, and its wonders continue to amaze me. Enjoy a trip through the universe through the Hubble telescope accompanied by a piano version of Oh Holy Night.

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Manheim Steamroller’s version of Silent Night is not only one of my favorite joys of the season, it is also very calming and accompanied by beautiful images.

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For those wanting to celebrate the sounds of Christmas through voices, Andrea Bocelli and Katherine Jenkins are wonderful together … and yes Virginia, I believe.

On the AFA Holiday Gift Party

Welcome to my Christmas/Holiday Party for my friends, their guests, and whoever stops by the holiday gathering!

I’ve never done a post like this before, but it was fun to put together. Below the image are gifts for many of the faces here and bloggers I visit. These people come not only different parts of the world, but from different cultures and belief systems. They are Christians, Jews, Muslim, Atheists, Agnostics, and others, yet each of them is part of a global community of goodness – so peace and goodwill to all!

The elf below has the gifts. (Quite the helper wouldn’t you say?) There is an order in the listings, but you may have to look around.

If your name isn’t listed, I apologize – so open one of the Grab Bags at the end. Your choice!

Because others want to know what you got, please tell about your gift in the comments. You never know, someone may want to trade with you! After all, I don’t believe there are duplicates.

I encourage everyone to comment about the gift of others. After all, parties involve good conversations.

If you see someone who you know and they haven’t arrived, please notify them to drop by for their present because I didn’t use any ping-back methods as a reminder.

FYI: Different entertainment will appear in the comments throughout the day.

A reminder to stop by for annual Christmas Eve treats of wonder. After all, it will be the one-year anniversary of the 2012 edition that was Freshly Pressed.

Positive cheers to all in the spirit goodness for the season … and thanks for reinforcing my belief system that there are many good people in the world.

Don’t forget to get the T-shirt before you leave. It’s at the end of the post.

DogElf

Thanks to Russell Deasley for this

Al @ A Mixed Bag
Alex @ Things I Love
Alisha @ AbTwixt
Angela @ Mind Margins
Annie @ World According to Cuttlefish
Amy @ Bumble Files
Archon @ Archon’s Den
Audra @ Unfettered BS

Brenda @ Friendly Fairy Tales
BuddhaKat @ BuddhaKat
Bulldog @ The Photographic Journey of the Bulldog

Carrie @ The Write Transition
Catherine @ Always a Redhead
Cathy @ Large Self
Cayman @ Drinks Well with Others
Cindy @ Cindy Knoke Photography
Claudine @ Giovannoni Claudine
Colline @ Colline’s Blog

Debra @ Bagni di Lucca & Beyond
Debra @ Breathe Lighter
Deborah @ Airports Made Simple
Deborah Closet Monster
Don in Mass
D-Fae @ Among the Crystals, Dragons, and Fae

Eleanor @ How and the Hell did I End Up Here?
Elyse @ Fifty-Four and a Half

Fasab @ Fasab
Frank @ Trail Life Hike

Georgette @ Georgette Sullins
GFB at GingerFightBack … with special guest Oily George
Guapo @ Guapola
Gull @ The Magnifique Way

Hansi @ The Blithering Idiot
Hood @ White Lady in the Hood
Hudson @ Hudson Howl

Isadora @ Inside the Mind of Isadora

Jackie @ Breathing to Write
Java Girl @ Java Girl’s Life
Jeff @ Drunken Cyclist
Jim @ The JAR Blog
Jim W @ Still Skeptical After All These Years
Joe H @ London Survival
John in Athens @ The Daily Gaff
John E @ Commentality – Lotsa Comments
John H @ Fiction Favorites
John Phillips @ Is It Possible to See It All
Jules @ McCrabass

Kathy Sister-in-Law
Kathy @ Reinventing in Ecuador
Kayjai @ Kayjai
Kimberly @ Words 4JP

Lame @ Lame Adventures
Laurie @ Pride in Photos Photography
Le Clown @ Clown on Fire
Leo @ Doggy Style
Les @ Best Bathroom Books
Lizzy @ Lizzy Cracked
LouAnn @ On the Homefront
Lynn @ Composer in the Garden

Maddie @ Breezy Books
Madhu @ The Urge to Wander
Marina @ Art Towards a Happy Day
Mark @ Mark Armstrong Illustrations
Melanie @ Our View in Iowa
Mo in Mass
Moe @ Whatever Works
Mouse @ Philosopher Mouse

Nancy @ Conversations in Faith
Nia @ Photography by Nia
Noeleen @ Words Fall From My Eyes

Patti @ Learn Something Everyday

Rachael @ Yo-Yo Dyne
Raye @ Jots from a Small Apartment
Rebecca @ Clanmother
Renee @ Renee Johnson Writes
Resa @ Graffiti Lux and Murals
Rich @ Brainsnorts
RightAngle
Robin @ Breezes at Dawn
Robert @ Yelling Quietly
RoSy @ Sharing Me Myself and I

Shimon @ The Human Picture
Snoring Dog @ Snoring Dog Studios
Spiced Charlie @ Hotly Spiced
Sue @ Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary
Sun @ Simply Charming
Suzanne @ A Window in the Woods
Sylvia @ A Day in Paradise

TBM @ 50-Year Project
Tim: Mr. Marching Band
Tom M @ Within the Spheres

Val @ Tilted Tiara
Vanessa @ Vanessa Chapman
Vivika @ My Guilty Pleasures
Victoria @ Vix Views

Weebs @ Madame Weebles
Wine Wankers @ The Wine Wankers

Grab Bag 1
Grab Bag 2
Grab Bag 3
Grab Bag 4
Grab Bag 5
Grab Bag 6
Grab Bag 7
Grab Bag 8
Grab Bag 9
Grab Bag 10
Grab Bag 11
Grab Bag 12
Grab Bag 13
Grab Bag 14
Grab Bag 15

Thanks for attending. For those who don’t understand the T-shirt reference, click here.

Courtesy of Victoria @ Vic Views

Courtesy of Victoria @ VixViews

On Gifts 2012

interfaithlogoYes, I believe in Santa Claus, and the reason is simple – Santa Claus is a spirit of giving and kindness that transcends all cultures.

This post is for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, secular humanists, Atheists, agnostics, and all other belief systems because this my way of saying thank you with hopes that it brings a smile and warms your heart.

To me, there is no other day like Christmas Eve as it brings a sense of calmness. I smile when driving by closed stores with empty parking lots. Traffic is light as we pass houses with outdoor holiday lights. Listening to calm, classic music of the season adds to the sense of calmness.

In the spirit of Santa Claus, here are my gifts to you – my visitors – for I owe you for the many joys you’ve given me here and throughout WordPress.  So, go under the tree, not only take your pick, but you also get as many as you like. In addition, you can make more than one trip and invite your friends. The only condition is that everyone tells me your gifts of choice. Afterwards, head to the buffet and bar for bountiful treats! … and feel free to mingle with the good people here.

Whether Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, cheers and thanks to all!

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Enjoy the trailer to the classic movie, Holiday Inn

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Smile with Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy on a Glass Harp

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Laugh and sing with the Aussies to Six White Boomers

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Dance to the Christmas Waltz as it provides great background for classic holiday movie scenes

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Tap along with rousing bells of a large choir playing vigorous, joyous holiday song

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Be awed by the universe through the Hubble Telescope and Oh Holy Night

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Observe the beauty Aurora Borealis to one of my favorite Mannheim Steamroller tunes: Silent Night

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Take in the joys of George Winston’s piano and to images of snow

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Marvel at one playing all the cello parts

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Laugh with Bob Hope as he entertains troops in Vietnam (1966)

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Be in awe of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with this Nigerian carol

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Wonder about the naughty Santa

Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 109

On Politics
After realizing Ohio voters will likely repeal his collective bargaining bill for public employees, my governor, John Kasich (R-OH), is now willing to renegotiate the bill if the repeal if organizers remove item from the ballot. Sorry Governor Kasich, you chose to ram it through, so I favor negotiations after the repeal. Of course, your excuse of saving money is a bunch of crap because it is political.

The White House reaction to the situation in Syria was long overdue.

Governor Perry has been in the race for almost a week, and how many times stupid comments did he make?

Unbelievably, the Republicans are lining up against spending to upgrade the infrastructure.

More proof (his Tweet) that Jon Huntsman is too normal: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy,”

Christine O’Donnell is back in the news promoting her book. OMG – help us all.

I remind Speaker Boehner that it is Week 32 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

Interesting Reads

Interesting Headlines I Saw this Week on The Onion

  • Supreme Court Rules First Amendment does not Apply to Annoying Man
  • FDA Approves Sales of Prescription Placebo
  • Crackling Warren Buffet Burns Entire Fortune in Front of Nation
  • Boy Scout Won’t Do Anything Unless there is a Merit Badge Involved
  • Local Toddler Shows Signs of Becoming Ugly like his Parents
  • Scientists Say Newly Discovered Earth-like Planet Could Support Robust Economy

On Potpourri
Hope for the human race – In Japan, citizens have returned over $46 million that have been found following the tsunami.

Hope you see Captain America in the theaters. It starts a little slow, but we enjoyed it.

Looking for reasons to celebrate? Here ya go: Bad Poetry Day (Aug 18), Aviation Day (Aug 19), National Radio Day (Aug 20), Senior Citizen’s Day (Aug 21), Be an Angel Day and National Tooth Fairy Day (Aug 22), Ride the Day (Aug 23), Vesuvius Day (Aug 24), and Kiss and Make Up Day (Aug 25)

In the words of Garrison Keillor: Be well, do good works, and stay in touch.