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Saturday, June 23, 2018  |  185 Days Until Christmas

holly holly and candycane bar holly
Christmas Chronicles

Christmas Tree SafetyChristmas Tree Safety

Remember that scene from The Christmas Story during which the family patriarch, in an enthusiastic effort to plug in his "beloved major award" (for those of who haven't seen the film, let's just say it's a lamp that elevates "tacky" to an entirely new level), considers which cord to pull from an extension device already smoking and stacked with countless plugs? The device pops and cuts the electricity -- including the major award and the lit-and-leaning Christmas tree -- when Dad finally makes his decision. But perseverance pays off, and moments later, the electricity is back on (despite the fire hazard hanging out of the wall), the major award gleaming from its prominent position in the center of the front window ... much to the mortification of the compliant family matriarch, and to the fascination of curious neighbors. Full story...

The Symbols of ChristmasThe Symbols of Christmas

Stockings hanging up, poinsettias on our office desks, holly draped everywhere - are so familiar that many of us barely notice them anymore. But each of those well-known  symbols has a history and tradition all its own. Candy canes, for instance, are thought to represent the staffs used by the shepherds who journeyed to Bethlehem to see the Baby Jesus. Here are some of the other stories behind the familiar symbols of Christmas.

Why are red and green the colors of Christmas? The colors have come down to us from the ancient Britons and Romans, who used holly to decorate their homes for winter. Because holly is an evergreen which weathers the cold of winter, ancient peoples believed that the plant would lend its strength to their homes and families. Holly also has meaning as a Christian symbol; the thorns are said to represent Christ's crown of thorns, and the red berries symbolize His blood. Full story...

Christmas Around the World Christmas Around the World

The spirit of Christmas is the same everywhere it's celebrated, but the many different ways that people celebrate are part of what makes Christmas so much fun. Take a quick look at a few celebrations from all over the world. Full story...

The NativityThe Nativity

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
Luke 2:1-20 (KJV).

Hanukkah - Festival of LightsHanukkah - Festival of Lights

Get the menorah ready - Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins on Thursday, December 2nd this year.


Celebrate family, community and culture with the African American holiday, Kwanzaa, that begins December 26.


Learn more about this Muslim event with our 10 questions and answers about Ramadan.

holly holly and candycane bar holly
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