Tag archives: Christmas

Christmas Joy and Divorce

by Family Research Council

December 9, 2014

Each Christmas my wife Joy and I set up our tree and relive the memories of past years. For every year of Joy’s life she has received an ornament commemorating a major life event. There is a baby crib for year one and a Crayon box for a few years later. There is an ornament for her first car and for her college graduation. There are many “Joy” ornaments as can be expected for someone with such a cheery Christmas name. And there is one of my favorites, the one that reminds us of our marriage. Sadly many couples do not spend Christmas together. Many more use the holiday, not for sharing sweet memories but for hurtful words and unkind actions. Others spend it shuttling the kids between their broken homes.

I consider my marriage to my wife to be precious as well as sacred. When we said our vows we both sincerely understood and meant “for better or for worse” and “‘til death do you part.” A recent article in First Things on the danger of no-fault divorce laws demonstrates the sad reality for many families harmed by recent American attitudes toward divorce. The article lists some casualties of no-fault divorce including “abandoned spouses, the institution of marriage, and American society itself.” No-fault divorce gives the false impression that there is an easy way out of the difficulties of marriage. Rather than seeking to understand one another, become more loving, and to get counseling when needed, many couples simply give up on marriage. But divorce is never that simple. It affects children, the couple, and the country. A society whose basic family unit is not functioning in harmony cannot expect its political institutions to function well. A society where the marriages are not accountable to God cannot expect its other institutions to be accountable to God.

Love in marriage is a difficult thing. One sees all of the faults of their spouse. It can be easy to become frustrated and discouraged. But marriage is not about one, it is about two who have become one. No fault divorce has caused many homes to become not a place of joy at Christmas but one of bitterness and broken hearts. We must work to change the no-fault divorce culture to a marriage-is-precious culture. So this Christmas if you are struggling, let your spouse know you believe your marriage is precious and seek help. If you are happily married then I recommend going home and, like me, giving your Joy a loving Christmas hug, it will do more good than you know.

CMI on the War on Christmas

by Family Research Council

December 22, 2011

The Media Research Centers Culture and Media Institute (CMI) recently posted an article about the war on Christmas, documenting how some in the media ignore or demean attacks on Christmas as phony and fake. One of the attacks on Christmas that they list comes from JP Duffys experience at a U.S. Post Office in Silver Spring, MD.

CMI fellow Erin Brown writes, Even our tolerant Federal government is playing the Grinch card this year. According to FoxNews.com, A group of Christmas carolers was thrown out of a U.S. Post Office in Silver Spring, MD, after the post office manager told them they were not allowed to sing Christmas carols on government property.

Brown documents a long series of attacks over the last couple of years, as well as the reactions of numerous liberal media types that ignore or mock the war on Christmas.

These days, the war on Christmas is fought by the Christian right … [Catholic League President] William Donahue and Rupert Murdochs New York Post, traditional combatants in the war on Christmas, have trained their Yuletide guns on someone, not for railing out put the Christ back in Christmas, but for failing to worship Santa Claus, Keith Olbermann accused on his old MSNBC show Countdown in November of last year.

If youre not convinced that theres a war on Christmas, check out the page, and a few of the attacks it documents:

In upstate New York, one school district has declared that Christmas and Hanukkah will no longer be celebrated in classrooms. According to FOX/WROC, The Batavia City School District will no longer allow decorations for either holiday to appear in classrooms as well as teachers are discouraged from writing or saying Merry Christmas. In Fairfax County, Va., grade-schoolers are treated to winter celebration. In Texas, another school district has declared war on Christmas this time, classrooms are not allowed to celebrate Santa Claus or exchange gifts.

Some attacks on Christmas are downright weird. The Huffington Post has the Skeleton Santa story, which Brown also documents in her article.

Thankfully, this hopeful time of year isnt built on the backs of Christmas displays shimmering on lawns and in storefronts. Its founded on the birth of hope: Christ Jesus our Lord.

Post Office Manager Throws Christmas Carolers Out into the Cold

by JP Duffy

December 12, 2011

This Christmas season has been very memorable for me and my wife especially now that Audrey, our 2-year-old, is old enough to participate in festivities such as decorating the Christmas tree. Since Thanksgiving, Audrey has danced around the house singing Jingle Bells and humming the tunes of Christmas carols that she hears throughout the day. Last Saturday, Audrey almost had the opportunity to experience another Christmas tradition for the first time —- caroling. The three of us stood in line along with dozens of other customers at the U.S. Post Office located in the Aspen Hill Shopping Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. We were preparing our packages when Audrey tugged on my sleeve, saying Daddy, Daddy, look. I turned to see a bright smile on her face as she pointed to a trio of Christmas carolers entering the post office who looked like they had stepped off the theatre stage of A Christmas Carol. The gentleman of the group wore a top hat and the ladies were arrayed with shawls and bonnets. Dickens would be proud. Everyone turned their attention to the carolers in anticipation of that annual tradition that weve all experienced.

They were only a few notes into their carol when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I saw a scowling postal manager rushing to confront the carolers. He angrily told them that they had to leave immediately because they were violating the post offices policy against solicitation. Everyone was momentarily frozen in astonishment before customers began booing the manager. Even in the face of protests from his customers, the manager wouldnt back down.

The carolers explained that they were going to each business within the shopping center to sing a couple of carols — as they have done for many years. However, this was the first time that they had been turned away. The manager said he didnt care and that they could take it up with the postmaster if they had a problem. You cant do this on government property, he said. You cant go into Congress and sing and so you cant do it here either, he said smugly as the carolers turned sadly to leave. I encouraged them to file a complaint but they had little hope that a complaint would resolve anything and felt they had no choice but to acquiesce.

I later described the incident to a friend of mine who had worked for the post office for 26 years. He couldnt imagine that there would be any policy that would prevent Christmas caroling at post offices. Indeed, a Google search will show examples of post office caroling during past Christmas seasons.

Over the last several years, we have watched militant secularists team up with federal bureaucrats in the effort to sterilize the public square of anything remotely connected to anything religious. This postal manager has clearly received the memo which has led him to stamp out Christmas caroling. But I have my own memo to all the Christmas carolers out there. Lets not surrender to the secularist version of Christmas future. Lets hold onto Christmases of past and do our part to pass that on to our children. As for me, I am taking at least one piece of advice from the postal manager and will send my own comment to the General Postmaster. The U.S. Constitution in no way prevents the government from accommodating Christmas caroling. I invite you to send your own memo (or email in this case) to pmgceo@usps.gov or call 1-800-275-8777.

Ben Franklin, the founder of the U.S. Post Office once said, So shalt thou always live jollily; for a good conscience is a continual Christmas. The U.S. Post Office and all of us would do well to heed Franklins advice.

UPDATE: Sign FRC’s petition affirming Christmas

Theyll be Home for Christmas

by Robert Morrison

December 18, 2009

While the U.S. is drawing down forces in Iraq and building up, by some 30,000, our troops in Afghanistan, thousands of American soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard are returning to the homeland. Thanks to Operation Welcome Home Maryland, those who come into Baltimore-Washington International airport will not come home alone.

Theyll be greeted by dozens of people from the local community, many of them former service members themselves. Some of these older veterans can tell sad stories of returning from Vietnam to a cold and sullen airport arrival. No more. Operation Welcome Home is determined to give our all-volunteer servicemen and women the homecoming they deserve.

Incoming flights are posted on the organizations website—-www.operationwelcomehomemd.org. Greeters are invited to bring goodie bags of food, water, and other favors from home. When the uniformed service members come through those arrival gates, many are stunned to see the reception committee yelling, cheering, applauding, and playing Im proud to be an American on iPods. To be hugged by total strangers is an unusual experience, to say the least.

But they are not total strangers. They cannot be total strangers. For those who have worn the uniform, no one in the military will ever again be a total stranger. Perhaps watching the made-for-TV series, Band of Brothers, can explain that all-too-bloodless term unit cohesion. It might better be called the Bond of Brothers.

The most shocking thing about Fort Hood is that an obvious traitor in our midst was allowed—for reasons of political correctness—to move freely among our troops. Someone at the highest levels should pay with his stars for allowing such a hostile environment to exist.

Our best young soldiers and sailors today say without hesitation Id take a bullet for my brother. Many of them, sadly, have done just that. No one should ever take a bullet from a traitor in the ranks.

This week, thankfully, hundreds of veterans from Iraq have passed through BWI. Theyre given special Christmas cheer as they come home in time for the holidays. They are all volunteers. And the ones who welcome them home are all volunteers, too. Its another reminder that Liberty is the most precious gift under our tree and that we are the land of the free because of the brave.

Two American Idols, One Celebration of Christmas

by Rosalind Bergen

December 15, 2009

The Carrie Underwood Christmas Special aired last week. I was looking forward to it. I put on my fuzzy slippers, dropped a couple of extra marshmallows into my hot cocoa, and snuggled up in front of the TV. I couldnt wait to hear her sing my favorite Christmas song, O Holy Night. I reached for the Kleenex box. One must be prepared for tears, especially when she hits that ever-famous note toward the end: Diviiiiiiiiiine. I was like a kid at Christmas, bursting with anticipation.

So, you can imagine my shock, sitting there on the floor in my living room, staring at the TV, mouth agape, at the opening of the Carrie Underwood Christmas Special: Miss Underwood rises from under the stage in a throne-like chair, smoke swirling and lights flashing. Shes clad in skin-tight, black leather from head to toe. I didnt know hair spray could get hair that high? I didnt know Christmas was about Carrie Underwood. Male dancers (wearing only pants yikes and matching, black leather, of course) flanked her on all sides. They all started dancing… err, more like flailing, all over the stage. The song she sang (though, is it technically a song if it lacks a discernable melody?) was no more a Christmas song than fruitcake is cake.

I grabbed the remote and hit OFF. Sigh. Speaking of fruitcake… I trot off to the kitchen. I figure Ill have better luck getting into the Christmas spirit with a slice of grandmas fruitcake. And thats not sayin much. Sorry, Grandma.

But, Christmas is about rejuvenation and re-birth, and last night, I got my second chance. I was on the treadmill at the gym, of all places, barely eeking out that first mile. (One too many marshmallows, apparently). There were about eight TVs on the wall, each broadcasting a different channel. Lets see, what can I watch to help me reach mile two? TV one: news. Pass. TV two: news. Pass. TV three: …whats this? I see a church sanctuary, brightly lit with candles and adorned with wreaths and garland. A gospel choir is swaying back and forth. I see Jennifer Hudson belting something out at a microphone. Could it be? I scrambled for my headset so I could listen. Theyre singing, Silent Night!

Alleluia! Throughout the next forty-five minutes, I was delighted by one traditional, Christmas carol after the next. No self-glorification or self-aggrandizement. No dance choreography. Not even any Rudolf. Only the beautiful singing of the old, great Christmas carols and hymns. Only the celebration of love, giving and family. At one point, during an interview before a song, Jennifer Hudson tells us, Jesus is the light of the world. Now this is a Christmas Special. I was invigorated. I looked down at my treadmills screen. Five miles?! I havent run five miles in at least five years! (Okay, a decade, at least).

Thank you, Jennifer Hudson, for producing an appropriate, traditional Christmas special. In an age where Christmas decorations are stripped from public buildings, and citizens are forced to take down nativity scenes displayed in their yards, I know I speak for many when I say, I appreciate you remembering Christ in Christmas. And thank you ABC (did I actually say that?) for your bravery in broadcasting Hudsons show. And P.S., Miss Hudson, the note you struck in Diiiiiiiiiivine, was far more beautiful than Carrie Underwoods ever could have been.

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