December 18, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: December 8, 2018

Cuckoo clock in stall at Christmas Market, Cincinnati

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: December 8, 2018

Another week of Advent, another week closer to Christmas, and here we are. Welcome to our weekly Brunch, where things are beginning to take a decidedly holiday tone. There’s egg nog on the buffet (Michael Spencer’s favorite), greens, poinsettias, and candles on the tables. Come, sit, and let’s enjoy Brunch together!

• • •

It’s Christkindlmarkt time!…

Christmas market in Berlin by Franz Skarbina, 1892

Something happens at this time of year all across Northern Europe, especially in Germany.

Pretty little stalls huddle together, filled with glistening decorations, handmade figurines, and local produce. The sounds of children’s laughter, sleigh bells, and choir singers fill the night air. Mouth-watering aromas of sizzling bratwurst, gingerbread, and toasted almonds waft through the stalls.

The Christmas markets are here, signaling the beginning of Advent.

For centuries, Christmas markets brought cheer to weary villagers and added a touch of light and color to the long winter nights.

Our story begins in the late Middle Ages in parts of the former Holy Roman Empire.

The precursor to Christmas markets is thought to be Vienna’s Dezembermarkt (December Market), dating back to around 1296. Emperor Albrecht I granted shopkeepers the rights to hold a market for a day or two in early winter so that townspeople could stock up on supplies to last through the cold months.

Wintermärkte (winter markets) began to spring up all over Europe.

Over time, local families started setting up stalls to sell baskets, toys, and woodcarvings alongside others selling almonds, roasted chestnuts, and gingerbread. These were often bought as gifts to give away at Christmas.

It was the winter markets that eventually became known as Christmas Markets—the earliest of which are claimed to be in Germany: Munich in around 1310, Bautzen in 1384, and Frankfurt in 1393.

A Brief History of Christmas Markets

Christmas market in Dresden, Germany

Christmas market in Konstanz, Germany. Credit LenDog64

Christmas market in Munich, Germany

Christmas market in Munich, Germany

Christmas market in Stuttgart, Germany. Credit blankdots

• • •

The invention of Christmas in America…

Thomas Nast’s famous drawing, “Merry Old Santa Claus,” from the Jan. 1, 1881, edition of Harper’s Weekly is largely considered the basis for the modern image of Santa Claus. Image courtesy of Creative Commons

There’s a good read at RNS about the history of celebrating Christmas in the U.S. —
Technology, tradition and the invention of Christmas in 19th-century New York.

Charles Haynes Haswell, who grew up in the 1820s in New York City, remembered in his memoirs that in his youth, “Christmas was very slightly observed as a general holiday.” A few years later, when Haswell was at boarding school on Long Island, Christmas was altogether ignored.

It wouldn’t be until 1849, by which time Haswell was on his way to a long career in the city’s Tammany Hall political machine, that Christmas became a legally recognized holiday in the state of New York, following Alabama and other Southern states a decade earlier. But by then New York City had already given birth to the winter festival that is celebrated today across the United States and beyond.

The article documents how Washington Irving, New York seminary professor Clement Clarke Moore, political cartoonist Thomas Nast, the Edison Electric Light Co., New York retailers F.W. Woolworth, F.A.O. Schwartz, and Macy, along with others brought much of what we know as “Christmas” to the rest of the country.

Christmas must be seen as part of the larger innovation hub that was New York City in the 19th century. But it is also a testament to the way tradition survives only as it morphs and adapts to its environments. It’s this pastiche of traditions, begged, borrowed and stolen from various cultures — saints old and new, electric technologies and spirited poetry, cartoons and consumer culture — that merges into a unique package that seems at once fresh each winter, and yet somehow timeless.

• • •

Here comes Satanism, here comes Satanism…

In 2008, a Springfield man got permission to install a Festivus pole at the statehouse, inspired by Frank Constanza’s family holiday.

Now, this year, in the Illinois Capitol rotunda this month, Festivus is not represented, but several other traditions are being celebrated. There’s a Nativity scene for Christmas, a menorah for Hanukkah, and then this: an arm holding an apple, with a snake coiled around it. It’s a gift from the Chicago branch of The Satanic Temple. Called “Snaketivity,” the work also has a sign that reads “Knowledge Is The Greatest Gift.”

This is from The Satanic Temple website:

The mission of The Satanic Temple is to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and justice, and be directed by the human conscience to undertake noble pursuits guided by the individual will. Politically aware, Civic-minded Satanists and allies in The Satanic Temple have publicly opposed The Westboro Baptist Church, advocated on behalf of children in public school to abolish corporal punishment, applied for equal representation where religious monuments are placed on public property, provided religious exemption and legal protection against laws that unscientifically restrict women’s reproductive autonomy, exposed fraudulent harmful pseudo-scientific practitioners and claims in mental health care, and applied to hold clubs along side other religious after school clubs in schools besieged by proselytizing organizations.

• • •

Washington holiday traditions…

Here’s a nice, brief illustrated history of some of the holiday traditions celebrated in Washington D.C. over the years.

• • •

Booted out of the Bible Museum…

RNS reports on a conference that was scheduled to be held at D.C.’s Museum of the Bible, but was moved because of criticism.

After encountering a barrage of criticism for agreeing to rent space to a charismatic Christian group that claims the Trump presidency is part of God’s plan, the Museum of the Bible abandoned plans to host the group and moved its meeting to the Trump International Hotel.

The Revolution 2018 event, a three-day conference run by Jon and Jolene Hamill of Lamplighter Ministries, begins in the nation’s capital Thursday (Dec. 6). It is intended, its website said, to “focus on real-time prophetic revelation with governmental authority.”

The group, which held a similar conference at the Museum of the Bible last year, boasted in promotional material for the event that the museum “represents an ‘Ark of the Covenant’ for our nation.”

It also emblazoned the word “Hanukkah” on its poster and alluded to the Jewish holiday as being providential.

“Something is about to change,” wrote the Hamills on the website. “I feel a visitation is at hand. And He is summoning us together for a very important moment which will redefine our future. Not a coincidence we are gathering over Hanukkah.”

But a group of biblical scholars, including some members of the museum’s own advisory board, objected strongly to the gathering, saying it betrayed the values the museum says it wants to uphold, including being open to people of all religious faiths.

• • •

The grace of being able to laugh at oneself…

• • •

50 years ago this week…

Singer sewing machines sponsored a television special that put Elvis back on the throne as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

• • •

Alexandra Petri ranks 100 Christmas songs…

Here are a few samples from Petri’s funny and poignant list:

100.“Little Drummer Boy.” My hatred for this song is well-documented. I think it is because the song takes approximately 18 years to sing and does not rhyme. The concept of the song is bad. The execution of the song is bad. There is not even an actual drum in the dang song, there is just someone saying PA-RUM-PA-PUM-PUM, which, frankly, is not a good onomatopoeia and probably is an insult to those fluent in Drum. I cannot stand it. Nothing will fix it, even the application of David Bowie to it. Every year I say, “I hate this song,” and every year people say, “Have you heard David Bowie’s version?” Yes. Yes, I have. It is still an abomination.

87. “Frosty the Snowman.” This snowman is trying to lure children into the street! This snowman has no regard for public safety! He’s going to melt; he doesn’t care whether the children stop for the traffic! Also, this song includes onomatopoeia where no onomatopoeia is necessary. THUMPITY-THUMP-THUMP? WHAT IS FROSTY’S MEANS OF LOCOMOTION THAT CAUSES THIS TO BE THE SOUND HE MAKES? NO SINGING THE NOISES THINGS MAKE. THIS IS FINAL.

83. “Mary, Did You Know?” This song sounds as though we’re badgering the witness. “Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations? Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know? NOTHING FURTHER, YOUR HONOR!”

67. “Up on the Housetop.” When did we arrive at the consensus that reindeer make the sound CLICK? Did some guy have a big cockroach on his roof and everyone in his life decided to tell him it was reindeer until it went away because he had a weak heart and they didn’t want to alarm him? Admittedly, I have not spent much time around reindeer, but from what I can glean, they seem hardy, weather-resistant beasts who make noises such as GUMPH and SNORT and at most go THUMPITY-THUMP when they land. Oh, no, here I am doing onomatopoeia. I have become the very monster I set out to defeat.

51. “Holly Jolly Christmas.” This song is trying too hard. “Oh, by golly, have a holly, jolly Christmas”? Who are you, James B. Comey? Also, I am not sure I want to have a holly, jolly Christmas! It sounds like something you say to warn your coworkers at the office party not to go near Bob, who is a little holly-jolly tonight.

39. “O Tannenbaum!” Love a tannenbaum.

25. That Other Song From The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This is the one I really like! But I always get the titles confused. This one is good and kind of metal with guitars, and it gets used a lot when people build elaborate outdoor lighting displays to anger and impress their neighbors.

• • •

My December playlist 2018…

In addition to all the Advent and Christmas music I listen to at this time of year, I also have one playlist of wintry music for December, marking the change of seasons and another step along the journey. Here are the 20 songs on this year’s playlist:

Winter, Bill Staines
Sister Winter, Sufjan Stevens
Winter, Claudia Schmidt
First Snow, Ola Gjeilo
Song for a Winter’s Night, Gordon Lightfoot
Winter Song, Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
I Am a Rock, Simon & Garfunkel
A Long December, Counting Crows
Get Me through December, Alison Krauss
Winter’s Crossing, James Galway
Bells of New York City, Josh Groban
Cold in December, Josie Dunne
Like a Snowman, Tracey Thorn
A Winter’s Tale, The Moody Blues
The Heartache Can Wait, Brandi Carlisle
Simple Gifts, Liz Story
12/17/12, The Decemberists
To Be With You, Sara Groves
December Song, Peter Hollens
Every December Sky, Beth Nielson Chapman

Comments

  1. Reindeer hooves do make a clicking sound.

  2. Christiane says:

    It’s time to light the candle in the window against the darkness . . . it’s time to remember that the Solemnity of Our Lord’s Coming is celebrated by ‘waiting in joyful hope’; so let us keep Christmas as the shepherds in the fields did of old, by moving ‘towards the Light’ . . . .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxDZjg_Igoc

    ” . . . Repentance distinguishes Christian life as one of struggle and conversion and pervades it, not with remorse, but with hope. The message of Jesus is not “Repent,” but “Repent for the Kingdom of God is near.”
    (John Shea)

  3. I add one oddball into the playlist – Child of the Wind, by Bruce Cockburn. The lyrics have nothing to do with winter, but the song was written on Christmas Eve, and for some reason it connects.

  4. Actually, the David Bowie/Bing Crosby duet does not involve Bowie singing “Little Drummer Boy”. Crosby sings it, but Bowie sings a different song, “Peace on Earth”, interpolated in Crosby’s singing of “LDB” as a counterpoint song. You see, Crosby had planned to sing “LDB”, and when Bowie found out he objected, because he hated the song; so, a couple of the shows production staff composed the song “Peace on Earth” on the spot for Bowie to sing instead, while Crosby does the traditional piece. So, CM, Bowie agreed with your dislike for the song.

  5. Revolution 2018, QAnon — same kind of lunatics. I wouldn’t be surprised if a considerable number of cultists belong to both groups.

    • “. It is intended, its website said, to “focus on real-time prophetic revelation with governmental authority.””

      Real-time prophetic fulfillment… like this? 😉

      “the museum “represents an ‘Ark of the Covenant’ for our nation.””

      Does that mean we can stick it in a crate and hide it in a secret government warehouse in New Jersey? 😛

  6. What kind of people would buy tickets for the Rev. 2018 event??

    • The Saudis. After all, they’ll both be staying at the same hotel — Trump International in DC.

    • Robert already answered that question…

      • The Saudis, QAnon, Pentecostal Trumpists, the Satanic Temple — an opportunity for ecumenism. Some real inter-religious understanding could be achieved.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      Do you need names? I could give you names.

      The group of people who might buy tickets likely includes some of your coworkers; the people taken in by this crap are [initially] surprising. The initial motivation I suspect is Boredom, then once you are in the orbit of the Garbage Star.

      “How can you know it’s NOT prophecy?” There is no reasoning with that kind of argument.

      • QAnon has been predicting for a while that Wed, Dec. 5 would be the day that all the Deep State people would be arrested at the order ofTrump, thousands of them. The fact that Bush Sr.’s funeral was scheduled for the same day was incorporated into the conspiracy theory: all those evildoers in one place, the National Cathedral, ready to be handcuffed and taken to military tribunals and then summary execution, what could be more perfect! Of course, the fact that it didn’t happen that way means that the predictions were correct, because in the world of conspiracy-theorizing counter-evidence is actually evidence, and the theory can be reworked to fit any data set.

        Oh, btw, that wasn’t candy that W handed to Michelle Obama — according to the Q, it was a cyanide pill, to prevent her from having to face the Trumpian punishment and shame for the horror of her crimes when the time comes! LOL!

        • The scary aspect is that there is a growing number of people, millions, perhaps tens of millions, who want martial law to be declared, and their Anointed One to round up, arrest, and neutralize all his opponents, right outside the framework of any Constitutional concern. And what’s to stop him?

          • Robert, do you have any real evidence of this claim? I will agree that there are probably millions who would like to see Hillary Clinton and some others from Obama’s administration arrested (And quite frankly not without some justification). But that there are millions or tens of millions who want martial law declared, who want Trump to arrest everyone who opposes him? That’s just paranoia, along the same lines of thinking that Obama is a fundamentalist Muslim trying to impose sharia law.

            • I haven’t done any independent study or research, if that’s what you are asking. I’m not a statistician or pollster. But I know and work with people who emphatically believe in the conspiracy theories, and who would not be averse to a soft coup initiated at the White House of what they think is a totally corrupted system of government. Some of them are religious, some are not, some are New Agey. And I know that the crazy, conspiracy-theory prone wing of Pentecostalism is the fastest growing wing of Christianity in this country, and around the world. Look it up. Add the crazy Pentecostals to the American White nationalists and there are millions who would look forward to total overthrow of our system. Once such a thing gets started, once the authoritarian narrative gets center-stage and becomes the central and controlling narrative backed by executive power, it becomes hard for tens of millions, and indeed the rest of us, to resist, because of fear. Nations don’t fall to into authoritarianism slowly, but quickly, because, once it gets started, fear propels a forward moving inertia into its depths.

            • But then, maybe you’re right. And I hope you are. I can’t do anything about it anyway except vote and advocate in ways I think are better than worse, and be kind to my neighbor and my enemy.

              • I have been always wondering on why it’s especially this country, among all the nations of the Western world, being so full of crazies like this?
                Has it something to do with the apocalyptic mindset so well described by Matthew Avery Sutton in his “American Apocalypse”?

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

              Remember that government shutdown a couple years ago?

              Remember just WHO was calling the loudest for a Military Coup?
              (Hint: It was from pulpits.)

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Whenever somebody intones “The Deep State”, I keep thinking that 80 years ago it would have been “The JEWS!”

          And when the Deep State/JEW Conspiracy becomes so Vast and Dark and EEEEEVIL, there is only one possible Solution: Destroy it before it can destroy us. We’ve seen that (Final) Solution tried before, haven’t we?

          • Christiane says:

            oh Headless,
            the Jews are STILL targeted:

            that white supremacy crowd at Charlottesville shouted ‘Jews will not replace us’ and also shouted the ‘Blood and Soil’ phrase which is from the Nazi racist teachings

            Charlottesville’s torch bearers echoed the anti-semitism of Hitler’s Germany

            they made my blood run cold

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

              Charlottesville’s torch bearers echoed the anti-semitism of Hitler’s Germany

              And The Anointed One basked in their accompanying flattery.

              Regarding “Blood and Soil” itself:

              The Nazis did NOT originate it, they simply took advantage of a fad that was already a part of contemporary German culture. “Blood and Soil” was a popular genre of nostalgia for a mythologized simpler agrarian past — think a German version of LIttle House on the Prairie. A longing for a return to “Motherhood, Apple Pie, White Picket Fences,and Traditional Family Values” in the crushing aftermath of WW1 and the decadent chaos of the Weimar period.

      • Andrew Zook says:

        I know people who would go to this in a heartbeat. It’s a deep psychological something… I’m still trying to understand it, but the draw, the attraction, is very very real. My biggest struggle is not only understanding it, but trying to respond to it with love and grace, and not make that heretical wing of christianity into the scapegoat/martyr… (because I do believe it’s this extreme wing of charismatic/pentecostal/apocalyptic “christianity” that swung the election trumps way – they and their media did a lot of early and relentless advocating for his rise. I’d place more responsibility on this group than the general “evangelical”) Every single person I know who is his biggest booster from early on, are all based is this type of “christianity”.

        • I agree that it’s this extreme wing that is at the heart of the problem, and prone to radicalization first, not the average evangelical. But if that radicalization snowball gets rolling, further radicalization of larger numbers of people not ordinarily prone to conspiracy theory or radicalism would become attached to it, if only because of fear of being included in the groups targeted for official repression.

        • Michael Z says:

          People who are drawn to a more authoritarian form of Christianity are also drawn to an authoritarian view of government. So it’s not that those forms of Christianity are responsible for pushing people into the Trump camp, but rather that people who have the personality and life situation that makes them vulnerable to exploitation by authoritarian leaders are drawn *both* to Trump and to those churches.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Talking over the Trump-is-LOOOORD phenomenon with Eagle, the idea is that Trump acts a LOT like a Control Freak MegaGigaHeadPastor/Apostle, and Christianese MegaGigaChurch Bubble Culture has “groomed” Christians to see that behavior as Godly. Hypermasculine bombast and all. As Eagle put it, “If you Liked Mark Driscoll, you’ll LOVE Donald Trump.”

        • Burro (Mule) says:

          You guys aren’t talking about an abstract population of people who exist ‘out there’ somewhere who are attracted to authoritarianism out of envy or some psychological dysfunction. I’m closer to them than I am to you all, friggin’ antinomians who want to release the whole bloody sexual bestiary into our streets because it’s kind or something, I don’t know.

          And you don’t like me? You should meet my sister-in-law. We watched The Handmaid’s Tale together and she was delighted, DELIGHTED with the Gideonites. “Finally, somebody put all these gringa sluts in their place and shut them all up. I’m tired of listening to their ****.”

          • Heather Angus says:

            Ah, Burro, it’s two days later, but I’m officially declaring you a National Treasure.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            “Finally, somebody put all these gringa sluts in their place and shut them all up. I’m tired of listening to their ****.”

            Despite the fact that your sister-in-law is presumably FEMALE, and thus just another Subhuman “non-gringa slut” in the eyes of the Restored Christian America of Gilead.

            I’m reminded of WW2 Poland and Ukraine, where the goyisha Untermenschen (local civilians) would cheer on the SS Einsatzgruppen extermination units; at Babi Yar, the Ukrainians even packed picnic baskets to watch and cheer on the Jews being machine-gunned into mass graves. In the Nazi race cult, Poles and Slavs were also Vermin (only one small step above Jews), but they didn’t care as long as the Jews were exterminated first. (Better Them than Me? They promised us we’d be the last to be killed? Second from the Bottom keeping those on the bottom below them?)

  7. Richard Hershberger says:

    Liberty University hired Hugh Freeze as football coach. Freeze, you will recall, formerly coached at Old Miss, but had to resign when it came out that use hired prostitutes as part of his recruitment process. Liberty University, it seems, is no longer making even a pretense, which I suppose is a good thing, in its own way. https://deadspin.com/report-liberty-hires-hugh-freeze-because-of-course-th-1830936993

  8. The Satanic Temple is trolling you, Christians. Stop getting hysterical, stop being so easy to trigger, stop being such easy targets. Your overreaction just provides them with entertainment, and incentive to keep doing what they’re doing. Snaketivity! LOL!

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      Yep. They Chicago branch of The Satanic Temple doesn’t even have a P.O. Box. Their “website” is a Facebook page, their e-mail address is a GMail account. The Church of Satan disbanded all of its grottos years ago. It’s nothing but a bunch of trolls.

    • Actually I think the Satanic Temple is providing a useful service, striking a blow for religious freedom, reminding everybody that everybody means EVERYBODY.

      Personally I’d remove all religious displays from all public spaces and plant some azaleas.

      • and that includes (I hope) The Campus Crusade for Cthulu…

        Interesting sideline to this over in the UK. The BBC runs a Thursday night program called Question Time – four major figures (mostly politicians) go up in front of an audience to answer questions on the day’s hot topics. The other week a woman got into the audience made up to look like a Church of England vicar, asking questions about Brexit (in fact being one of the very few prepared to support the current official exit deal)

        But someone sharp-eyed spotted her. She’s mostly an actress, but she also claims to run a church – which is actually a Facebook page that supports one of the two orange-wigged political buffoons out there (Boris Johnson MP being the other one). On those grounds the BBC said she was entitled to her place in the audience. No apology for the fact she misrepresented herself as ordained.

        Upshot has been a large number of people I see on Twitter adopting clerical titles in the hope that they’ll get a seat at the table…

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Yeah. First time Satanic Temple surfaced, I immediately pegged them as Media Hoaxers.

      But Born-Agains are some of the most gullible marks around.

      Remember ex-carny/con man Anton LaVey? Long after the fact, it’s apparent his “Church of Satan” was a con game; according to someone I know who had a lot of run-ins with carnies, “Carnies are looking for the Big Con that will set them up for life”, and The Church of Satan was LaVey’s. Basically Ayn Rand Objectivist selfishness with a lot of Occult Mumbo-Jumbo to impress the mugus. The two demographics that fell for his con were (1) Bored Celebrites with Too Much Money (his target audience), and (2) Born-Again Bible-Believing Evangelical Christians who believed Every Single Word. After his death everything unraveled, and the Evil Sorcerer High Priest of SATAN turned out to be just another con man.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Snaketivity! LOL!

      Should have done a sculpt of HER holding an apple and whispering “Do You Want a Bite?”
      http://www.furaffinity.net/view/1256203/
      (Do NOT go off this page into the rest of the guy’s gallery! NSFW on Steriods!)

  9. cold kitchen
    hot coffee
    instant karma

  10. Ms. Petri ranks “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” as #2?!?

    *adds her column to RSS feed*

  11. Adam Tauno Williams says:

    So many people don’t understand: Christmas Carols are **DRINKING SONGS**. If you do not find them catchy and melodious then you need more whiskey.

    Christmas is a family holiday; what is more miserable: air-travel or family reunions? Hence the alcohol, hence the drinking songs. That is the only way to make Crazy Uncle Bob, “Sweet” Auntie Sue, get along, and be able to tolerate the two kids just back from their first semester of college [Pysch 101 and Religion 101!!! #ugh].

    • I’ve got an orange-ginger spiced rum steeping in the kitchen. It should be ready for tasting on Christmas morning. 🙂

    • Unfortunately, family that don’t get along can get more uninhibited in their quarrels under the influence of alcohol. Adding alcohol to a seriously dysfunctional family’s gathering is one of the things that lead to more domestic violence disturbances for police to deal with at the Holidays than any other time of year.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Christmas is a family holiday; what is more miserable: air-travel or family reunions?

      With me, Family Get-Togethers, hands-down.

  12. john barry says:

    “I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus” was banned by some radio stations because they did not want to confuse kids or because it suggested adultery , according to some. Also the 1960’s song “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” was banned by some stations as it suggested that unmarried people had sex,. I just read the song “Baby, Its Cold Outside” was banned by some stations as it sent the wrong message in the current cultural climate. I think it was Eartha Kitt who sang “Santa Baby” backs in the 50’s and it was rather sexy to me when though back then I was not sure what sexy was.

    I have read and believe that the Dickins ” A Christmas Carol” helped “save” the secular celebration of Christmas. I compare the Christmas Carol to the book of Esther as there is never any mention of God but the message is there. Great book and a classic movie.

    So Christmas music is great , love it all as it has a limited yearly shelf life. My favorite Burl Ives song was Goober Peas but also love Have a Jolly Holly Christmas. Also a LIttle Bitty Tear Let Me Down, great song for its time.

    Whenever I have a bad thought, I blame it on a bad piece of meat. “Are there no poor houses”, no Mr. Scrooge , now we send them EBT cards, so I guess the book does not seem relevant now. However in honor , of the book each season, it seems someone cooks my goose.

    What is figgy pudding? Who sells it much less makes me.

    I do have to admit , I love Christmas time. God Bless each and everyone of us.

    • Christiane says:

      that pudding?

      it sounds like the traditional steamed Christmas pudding made over in the UK . . . . VERY special!
      Once it’s made up, they pour brandy and rum and whisky into the thing so that it absorbs into the ‘pudding’. It’s basically a steamed fruit cake, only on ‘steroids; so it’s super rich. Yum! 🙂

      https://144f2a3a2f948f23fc61-ca525f0a2beaec3e91ca498facd51f15.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/uploads/food_portal_data/recipes/recipe/hero_article_image/2084/letterbox_Christmas_pud593.jpg

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      I remember poll results that awarded “Santa Baby” the title of “Worst Xmas Song”.

      Kind of like how William Shatner’s cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” always bottomed out Dr Demento’s Bottom Five.

    • Patriciamc says:

      I’d never make a federal case out of it, but “Baby It’s Cold Outside” does make me pause and go “hmmm.” Same as the song from Grease “Summer Nights” with its line “Did she put up a fight?”

      • Plus any number of famous blues and country songs. But banning? Jeepers how come our society got so puritanical all of a sudden? And the left is as bad as the right. We should keep a clear eye about the shortcomings in the social relations between men and women during earlier generations but let us not inculcate into the body politic the idea that the best way to argue with people who think differently than we do is to shut them up.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Well, in “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, the guy IS obviously trying to hit on her; every verse is another attempt to talk her into staying so he can do her.

        Recently local talk radio played a 21st Century parody of the song where the guy can’t wait to push her out into the cold to keep from being accused of Sexual Harassment/getting on #MeToo’s hit list.

  13. john barry says:

    Just realized, Ms. Petri can dish it out but can she take it. Can you imagine, asking who made the casserole and being told it was a Petri dish. Articles like Petri’s can go viral at anytime and can infect the thinking of all of us. I would handle Petri with kid gloves at the least.

  14. I have to agree on “Mary, did you know”, it shows a fundamental disregard for orthodox history.

  15. My wife and I received the terrible news this morning that her little sister, just 50 years old and 11 years my wife’s junior, has only a few days left to live, after a protracted battle with metastasis of breast cancer. I ask for prayers for my sister-in-law, my wife, and her whole family.

  16. Patriciamc says:

    If anyone wants a great Christmas song, look into “Fa La La” by Jim Brickman. The version on iTunes isn’t that good, but the radio version is great and for some reason is on free down load sites. It must have something to do with the rights. Anyway, the free version is very cheery and catchy.

  17. Randy Thompson says:

    Regarding “Holy Joly Christmas”. . .

    I don’t care if Burl Ives sang it. It’s the absolute worst of the worst and stupidest of the stupidest. “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” is preferable.

    It felt good to get that off my chest.

    • How about the Beach Boy’s “Little Saint Nick” with the lyric “Christmas comes this time each year,” well, duh, I guess it does.

  18. olbaldykc says:

    Maybe Chaplain Mike could add this to his wintry December songs…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9TByT3QlWc

  19. Burro (Mule) says:

    Best Christmas song, ever

    It’s no place for the old.

  20. Christiane says:

    “Rejoice, virgin mother of God,
    Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
    Blessed are you among women,
    and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
    for you have borne the Savior of our souls.”

    This is one hymn that might have been sung by the angels for Mary after she gave birth to Our Lord
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLrfzVjJqmQ