Tag: Christmas


Microsoft Celebrates Christmas Without God

Can one really celebrate Christmas, or any other religious holiday for that matter, without at least some acknowledgment of God? Well, that depends on what you mean by “really”, but my answer to that question is, “Of course you can!” Just ask the tens of millions of Americans who do so, not to mention the folks at Microsoft, which released a new Christmas ad designed to do just that — and it does it with genuine beauty to boot! The ad is causing some real consternation, probably because it is genuinely beautiful......

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Big Brother, Self-Care and Jesus: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (Dec. 14-18), we discussed the need to choose our language with care, the lawsuit over a major museum’s “racist” art, the impulse to tune out troubling news, the Star Wars fans blending science fiction into the Christmas story and more. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Talking About Donald Trump: Why We Should Channel George Orwell – Michael Bernstein Donald Trump makes me think of George Orwell, but perhaps not for the reason one might expect. My......

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The Parallels Between Christmas and...Star Wars?

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: Believe it or not, a church in Germany and a church in New Jersey are both going to celebrate the Christmas story by incorporating characters from George Lucas’ Star Wars movie franchise. To many, this mash-up seems shocking. Is it sacreligious? Is it smart? Consider this: “Every sacred practice demands a little bit of borrowing from a previous culture so that it can be understood.” Watch my video for more insight and discussion.     Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action......

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When It Comes to Holiday Greetings, Assume the Best

Back in 2009, Gap released one of my favorite holiday commercials. It featured a group of happy, sweater wearing, scarf-clad people dancing while chanting the following: Two, four, six, eight ’tis the time to liberate! Go Christmas! Go Chanukah! Go Kwanza! Go Solstice! Go classic tree! Go plastic tree! Go plant a tree! Go without a tree! You 86 the rules. You do what just feels right. Happy do whatever you wannukah and to all a cheery night! My then eight-year-old daughter loved the commercial as well and quickly memorized the lyrics.......

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Playing the Victim at Starbucks

From Odyssey Networks’ Faith on the Record series: What is going on with the internet activist who wants his followers to order Starbucks coffee, and trick baristas into writing “Merry Christmas” on the chain’s plain red cups? More importantly, what’s behind the large number of Americans who discuss, every year it seems, how much or how little celebration of this one holiday is seen publicly? “Is there even a ‘war’ on Christmas? If there is, what does it mean?” Watch my video below for more insight and discussion.     Odyssey Networks......

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What Gifts Do You Want...That Money Can't Buy?

Stressed about gift-giving? You’re not alone. Millions of other people are right there with you!?With so many shoppers worrying about what they’re giving to whom for the holidays – not to mention the very real problem of people spending more than they can afford – gift-giving is not always as easy and straightforward as we’d like. Here’s a bit of insight that might help. Should we focus on gifts which money can’t buy – as this one-minute UpWorthy clip does, in asking passersby what non-material items they wish for? Perhaps… The video......

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Hanukkah Not 'Jewish Christmas,' Or Is It?

Hanukkah 2014 begins tonight, December 15, at sundown. That date corresponds to the 25th of the Hebrew month of Kislev, for you Jewish calendar buffs. And why does the holiday begin at Sundown, not midnight, as all days on the secular calendar? Because according to Jewish tradition, every day begins at sundown. Think of this as both a tribute to how time is counted in the Genesis creation story – “And it was evening and it was morning…” – and also as a way to let people know that even though most......

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Crossing Borders: Jews and Christmas in America 2013

Over the past few days there has been a series of social media threads around the question what “we” make of the number of Jews and Jewish professionals who posted photos of themselves / their families on Facebook in front of a Christmas tree or who wrote posts on personal and public platforms about the wisdom of Christmas. I was one of those who posted – Christmas and Our Children. The tone of the threads were uniformly of “concern” “worry” “anxiety” “annoyance” and even “anger” about the blurring of boundaries and the......

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The Holiness of Every Child

About fifteen years ago, I had an experience that transformed Christmas for me.? My wife and I were sitting with a couple – he was well into his 60’s and Jewish and she a good twenty years younger and from a traditional Christian home. This was his second marriage and they had two young children.? We were guests at their ski home for a few days during winter break. Sitting after dinner at the dining room table, with their kids and our kids playing in the den, we wound up having a......

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