Tag Archives: Christmas

Warning!! Much Duct Tape Needed. Obama Signs, Ahem “Farm Bill”

Ladies and Gentlemen, I don’t have much to say. This “Farm” Bill took 3 years to write and will cost 1 TRILLION dollars of our money. I have just pulled one line out and enlarged. Please go thru the rest of this “Farm Bill” and see how much “Farm” you can find. Thank you and if you need me I’ll be in the garage sucking on a tailpipe now.   

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By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR

PUBLISHED: 18:15 EST, 7 February 2014

Most of the bill covers food stamps, with the number of benefit recipients doubling since Obama took office
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Catfish oversight, weather radios and a Christmas tree tax: Meet the pork-filled $956 BILLION Farm Bill

  • The massive five-years agriculture spending plan, signed Friday by President Obama, includes a $3 million plan for Christmas tree taxes
  • Most of the bill covers food stamps, with the number of benefit recipients doubling since Obama took office
  • The U.S. will spend $1 billion per year loaning money to sugar barons so they can keep prices stable and avoid overseas competition
  • Another $100 million will go to study how to get Americans to buy more maple syrup
  • $1 million will buy weather radios for rural Americans, despite plunging hundreds of weather apps for smartphones and plunging access rates

The federal government pays for a $15 million ‘wool trust fund,’ runs a $170 million program to protect catfish growers from overseas competition, sets aside $3 million to promote Christmas trees, funds another $2 million to help farmers sell more sheep, and plunks down $100 million researching how to get Americans to buy more maple syrup.

And that spending is just three one-hundredths of one per cent of the Farm Bill that President Barack Obama signed Friday in Michigan.

Liberal and conservative watchdogs alike are hopping mad at what they say are pork-barrel projects included in the five-year agriculture spending law as home-state perks to lawmakers that are  unneeded or redundant.

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There’s a new 15-cent levy on every live-cut Christmas tree, a proposal that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had blocked but will now be beyond his control. Tree growers will put the money into a fund for ‘industry-funded promotion, research, and information program[s],’ but the cost will inevitably be passed on to consumers.

The Farm Bill also includes $1 million in grant money to buy weather radios, despite the ubiquity of weather.com and the plummeting costs of both Internet service and smartphones.

And it continues a $200 million ‘market access’ program that has paid companies like Fruit of the Loom and McDonalds to run commercials.

One grant from that fund even funded a reality TV show in India aimed at promoting cotton. Another paid Welch’s $844,000 to hawk grape juice outside the U.S.

The conservative Club For Growth called the legislation, which took members of Congress three years to write, ‘a “Christmas Tree” bill where there’s a gift for practically every special interest group out there with a well-connected lobbyist.’

It’s $956 billion of spending overall in a ten-year period, sketched out in legislation 959 pages long – nearly $1 billion per page.

But most of that money goes to food-stamp and nutrition programs, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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The 10-year spending total for those entitlements will hit $756 billion under the new law.

That amount is $8.7 billion less than the previous Farm Bill included, but trends suggest it may have to be revised. Since President Obama took office, the number of Americans receiving those benefits has nearly doubled.

One in five American households receive food stamps today. More than 1 million people were added to the rolls in 2013, including residents who live in the country illegally.

In the year 2000 the entire food stamp program cost $17 billion. Last year that figure was $78 billion.

The rest of the Farm Bill, all $200 billion of it, includes some subsidy payments to members of Congress and their families who are engaged in agriculture.

The left-leaning Environmental Working Group reports that in 2013, In 2013, more than $237,000 was paid to federal lawmakers and their spouses. All but two were Republicans.

Still, Democrats scuttled a bipartisan House amendment that would have required public disclosure of such payments. North Carolina Republican Rep Virginia Foxx and Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison pushed the transparency tweak unsuccessfully last year.

Also on some watchdogs’ lists of Farm Bill waste is an estimated $1 billion per year taxpayers lend out to protect the sugar industry against price fluctuations, shielding it – mostly in the form of just three companies – from being undercut by cheaper imported sugar.

The result also raises sugar prices nationwide.

‘By keeping an unnecessary catfish inspection program and refusing to reform crop insurance or eliminate the unnecessary sugar program, members of both parties and both chambers missed a golden opportunity to fundamentally shift agriculture policy from government-centric to one that embraces the free market and common sense,’ said David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.’

And the left-leaning Citizens Against Government Waste is no more enamored with the final law.

‘The bill is a disaster for taxpayers and has the potential to be even more expensive and wasteful than the abysmal 2008 Farm Bill that it is replacing,’ the group’s president, Tom Schatz, complained.

Obama signed it into law at Michigan State University alongside Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

He called it a ‘Swiss Army knife,’ with something for everyone, including the catfish lobby.

Taxpayer lobby groups failed to cut that industry’s hand-out from the Farm Bill, despite pointing out that there’s already a similar program funded by the Food and Drug Administration.

So as Obama yet again says to us, I say to Him..

Bite Me!

Bite Me!

~Steve~

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article

Merry Christmas. Two Hankie Alert. Sniff Sniff.

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CHRISTMAS AT A GAS STATION

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years
since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.
Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger.
“I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”
“Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty.  Stew … Made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old  ’73 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.

“You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.

“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ‘em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new ones .” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it.  “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered that the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new one on.

“Those tires ain’t gonna get ‘em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln . They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

“Something for pain,” George thought.  All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”

The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”
George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is.  Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked.

“None for me,” said the officer..
“Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”
The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!”

The cop reached for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to him, “we got 1 too many in here now.”

He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter away.”

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time.  The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry.  “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”

George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”

The young man stopped crying, and looked at the cop “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.” he said.

Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”
“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other. “That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued.

“Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered,  “Why?”
Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”

“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a  break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”

“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”
The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”

“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”

George turned around & found the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you’d left?”

“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”

“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”

The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.

“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”

The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

“You see, George … it’s My birthday.  Merry Christmas.”

George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”

This story is better than any greeting card.  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!

Now clear the lump from your throat, blow your nose, and send this along to a friend of yours or someone who may need a reminder as to why we celebrate Christmas.
Tomorrow is not promised, – Cherish today!
~Steve~                                              H/T    hujonwi

OK Folks Time To Track Santa On His Journey.

In Cooperation with NORAD , FOTM has linked its massive satellite system and servers,     ( No not really. Hey Santa you listening?)

(Hey Boss does a laptop flung thru the air constitute a satellite system?)

Anyway, Ahem Just click link below for really cool thing for you and your kids for Christmas Eve.

Tracking Santa On His Flight

http://www.noradsanta.org/

Here’s anther link for fun.

http://www.christmastreemarket.com/Physics-of-Santa-Claus-Elves-and-Workshop-Infographic-a/278.htm

OH and here is more proof Santa is real

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~Steve~                          H/T     Katie C

Santa Claus Is Real, And We Have Proof.

The Real Deal From FOTM. 

If you don’t Believe you get Bupkis!

GOTCHA !!!

GOTCHA !!!

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Finally, The Real Truth About Santa Claus (PHOTOS)

By SERGE BIELANKO | December 3rd, 2012 at 4:23 pm

People who don’t believe in Santa Claus are starting to piss me off.

I mean, what gives, you guys?

Do you seriously refuse to believe that there is even a remote possibility that a robust, ageless, elfin-man with super magical powers and the ability to travel at the speed of light to deliver happiness to the children of the world exists?

I don’t get the whole ‘skeptical’ thing here.

What exactly is so hard to fathom about deer that fly anyway?

And what?

You think elves are something someone just happened to make up?

God, you’re jaded.

But fine.

To each his own.

In my mind though, no matter how bad you have messed up in this life you’ve been living the last 20 or 50 or 70 years or whatever, you haven’t ever screwed things up nearly as bad as you did on that day long ago when you finally sighed into the afternoon wind and whispered to yourself those terribly tragic four words: “There is no Santa.”

Why do we do that to ourselves?

Why do we reach an age like 10 or 12 and all of the sudden question maybe the greatest tale we have ever been told? Is it some sort of twisted rite of passage? Are we supposed to feel cooler or, sakes alive, BE cooler once we’ve ‘followed the sheep’ and declared Santa Claus to be extinct?

It’s a mystery to me.

Just when we could use a friend like old Saint Nick to help guide us through The Age of Zits and The Prama™ (Prom Drama) Years, we turn around and thank him for his long dedication to our boundless joy by informing him that he is nothing but a bunch of bull.

Anyhow, I have to try and stem the tide here this year; I’ve got to do my part to try and bring at least a few of you back into the righteous fold of Kringleism (that unfettered belief in magical things).

See, as one of the few remaining adult believers (and also as former Vice-President of the Unofficial Santa Claus Fan Club, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter #828 from 2002-2003), I should think that I’ve been privy to a wee bit more of the truth about who Santa really is than most of you. Plus, as a father to two (count ‘em TWO!) die-hard SantaHeads, I feel like it’s my duty to try and save the last of the lovable legends before it’s all too late.

So listen up, people of Earth! Read the truth here today and then decided for yourselves!

You wanted the proof and I’ve got it.

Santa Claus is real: always was, always will be.

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Department Store Magic

Most of us agree that department stores and the like all hire ‘Elves’ to play the role of Santa in the month leading up to Christmas. But recent revelations in Santa Believer Circles highlight this special photo from the Sears store in Duluth, MN 1964. In it, Mary and Bobby Richards stare into the eyes of what is largely believed to be the REAL Santa Claus in one of his very rare store appearances captured on film! Why do we think this? Because Bobby, now a respected brat salesman in Sheboygan, WI swears it.
Image: flickr.com/photos/kingprince

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Young Claus?

Few details are clear about Santa Claus’s youth. However, in 1993, at a yard sale in suburban Reykjavik, Iceland, a woman bought a shoebox full of pictures that contained this stunning find. In it, what appears to be a very young Santa Claus darts through a room with swiftness. Experts all agree that the distinct scoobyish hat he is wearing is found only in distinct pockets of the North Pole, giving further proof that the boy in the picture really is a very young Santa Claus!
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A Picture In The Mail

In the late fall of 1917, Pierre Ribolet, a 6 year-old Paris boy, wrote a letter to Father Christmas doubting his existence and politely requesting some sort of ‘vraie preuve’ or real proof that there was indeed a man behind the legend. Less than a week before Christmas, while feeling dejected and blue from his unanswered letter, young Pierre received a candy-striped envelope in the mail that was postmarked in the North Pole. Inside, there was just one thing: a black and white photograph of a man who appears to look EXACTLY like Santa Claus. The Pierre Ribolet photo is hard to argue with, no?
Image: flickr.com/photos/alainsafa
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Surprising Santa!

In the wee small hours of Christmas Eve, 1968, the McDonnell Family of Akron, Ohio all returned from a wonderful evening at their friends the Stover’s down the street. Upon turning on the living room lights, these folks were stunned to find themselves face-to-face with a very shocked overgrown elfin man with a toy train in his hand and cookie crumbs in his long flowing white beard. In the heat of the moment, young Rachel, 8 years old, used her father’s prized Polaroid to take one single photo from her vantage in the parlor doorway. It is, one must admit, a truly candid and miraculous shot.
Image: stock-clip.com
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Doghouse Proof

Christmas Eve, 1984 wasn’t the best night ever in the life of Londoner Jacob Marley (I know, I know, but no relation). Marley had an argument with his wife Marigold about how much wine he had had to drink and ended up being forced to sleep on the sofa in the front room. As the story goes, sometime in the night, Marley was awakened by the sound of someone out by the tree. Thinking it one of his five children, he sat up to reproach them but instead witnessed something astounding. Luckily, his camera was on a shelf behind him. The result? A blurry yet intriguing capture of what seems to most certainly be one Mr. Santa Claus hard at work.
Image: youtube.com/user/kmarac
Have to admit this is the one that convinced me.

Have to admit this is the one that convinced me.

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Last Minute Trouble

Just after dawn on Christmas morning, 2009, a woman on the Upper West side of Manhattan in New York City was taking her two cats, Bella and Edward, for their morning stroll (yes, on leashes) when she happened to spot a very fat man struggling to gain entrance to a fourth story apartment window. The woman could reportedly hear him clearly speaking on a cellphone with someone, and he was flustered and kept repeating that this was “the very last house on Earth,” and that he “had to drop off this X-box and that he would be home as soon as he figured out how to get in. With her own smartphone she snapped this sensational picture, which appears to be one of the very few we have of the real Santa Claus dealing with REAL life. (Incidentally, she did call the police, but by then the man had jimmied the window open and disappeared inside where he then vanished into thin air. Typical for NYC, actually.)
Image: flickr.com/photos/eligius4917
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Over Poland

On a clear Christmas morning outside of Krakow, Poland a man walking outside to get some fresh air took this photo of what appears to be…well, you know damn well what it appears to be. Still skeptical now?
Image: flickr.com/photos/markusram
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The Greatest Photo Ever Taken?

This one is pure magic. It takes my breath away and sends goosebumps shooting across the curve of my neck as if I was being tickled by the very fingers of fortune herself. The back story? Oh yeah, of course. On December 24th, 1961 at approximately 3:45am, a 14 year- old boy (and NON-BELIEVER in Santa) named Serge Wilanko emerged from his bedroom in the home of his parents in rural Belgium to sneak himself one of his mother’s delectable spice cakes and possibly a small cup of strong ale. Upon entering the kitchen, Wilanko heard a jingling of bells and deep quiet chuckles emanating from the den. He went to inspect and was floored to see the man himself, Santa Claus, relaxing in the boy’s father’s easy chair. Young Serge ran and fetched his camera from his bedroom and fearing the jolly old elf would be gone, he promised to himself and whoever was out there listening to his thoughts that if he could just snap one picture of the man in the red suit that he would never doubt the existence of Santa again. And sure enough, when he peered back in the room, Santa was still there for just long enough to hear the camera click before he touched his nose and disappeared up the chimney in a burst of dust and slashing light. A true classic in Believer circles.
Image: lifeloveandluxury.com

Any Questions? I thought so.

~Steve~                                  H/T   Katie C

A Little Christmas Music . Elvis Would Be Proud.

Close your eyes and tell me this kid doesn’t sound like Elvis.

Merry Christmas

GOTCHA !!!

GOTCHA !!!

David Thibault’s ‘Blue Christmas‘ Cover Would Make Elvis Proud 

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The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 12/11/2013 6:06 pm EST  |  Updated: 12/12/2013 2:31 pm EST

David Thibault is a 16-year-old French Canadian singer with a very surprising voice.

Watch his impressive performance of Elvis Presley’s song “Blue Christmas” for CKOI Québec, channeling ‘The King’ himself (we can also hear a little Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak in there).

~Steve~                                            H/T My Beautiful Wife.

Holiday Drinking Driving Tip – Wishing You a Happy Christmas!

Dear friends: 

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With the Holidays upon us I would like to share a personal experience with my friends and family about drinking and driving. As you may know, some people have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time on the way home after a “social session”, or out with friends. Well, two days ago I was out for an evening with friends and had several beers followed by some rather nice red wine. Feeling jolly, I still had the sense to know that I may be slightly over the limit.

That’s when I did something that I’ve never done before – I took a cab home.

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Sure enough on the way home there was a police road block, but since it was a cab they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident.

This was a real surprise as I had never driven a cab before, I don’t know where I got it, and now that it’s in my garage, I don’t know what to do with it…

th_snowballsmiley~Steve~                                            H/T   Joseph.

St. Andrew’s Christmas Novena

St. AndrewI realize I am tardy with this information and I do apologize.  However, I would like to share this Novena with all of you, reminding us of the mystery and wonder of the Incarnation.

The Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle was on November 30th.  He was the first Apostle and the brother of St. Peter.  It was St. Andrew who introduced St. Peter to Our Lord Jesus Christ, spread the Gospel and died a Martyr for Our Lord.

This Feast marked the end of the Liturgical year and the beginning of the new Liturgical year last Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent.

There are different celebrations with regard to St. Andrew, especially in Russia and Scotland where St. Andrew is their patron saint.  Another tradition is this Christmas Novena prayer, which helps us prepare for the coming of Our Lord at Christmas.  Here is the prayer:

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.  In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother.  Amen.

Novenas usually last nine days, but this Christmas Novena began on November 30th and lasts until Christmas Day, December 25th.  It is prayed 15 times a day, and helps us orient ourselves and meditate upon the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son.”

May you have a blessed and meaningful Advent Season and may Our Lord always be first served.

Joan

A kids view of the Christmas Story

h/t Carolyn

DCG

Hallmark writes ‘gay’ out of Christmas classic

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Seattle Times: Greeting card giant Hallmark said Thursday that it shouldn’t have changed the lyrics to “Deck the Halls” on a new holiday ornament that stirred a backlash from customers online.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company has been defending itself after it began selling a miniaturized version of a tacky holiday sweater that changes the lyrics to the holiday carol. The ornament removes the word “gay” and emblazons the sweater with the phrase: “Don we now our FUN apparel!”

Critics took to Twitter and Hallmark’s Facebook page, accusing the company of making a political statement by using the word “fun” to replace “gay.” Some Facebook commenters said they would never again buy Hallmark merchandise and that the change amounted to the company rewriting Christmas classics in the name of political correctness. Others suggested removing the word “gay” demonstrated a homophobic bias.

The company initially responded by saying the multiple meanings attached to the word “gay” meant the sweater’s lyrics would be “open to misinterpretation.”

“The trend of wearing festively decorated Christmas sweaters to parties is all about fun, and this ornament is intended to play into that, so the planning team decided to say what we meant: ‘fun.’ That’s the spirit we intended and the spirit in which we hope ornament buyers will take it.”

The company updated its statement Thursday, saying it was surprised by the public’s response and that it now realized it shouldn’t have changed the lyrics.

“We’ve been surprised at the wide range of reactions expressed about the change of lyrics on this ornament, and we’re sorry to have caused so much concern,” the statement read. “We never intend to offend or make political statements with our products and in hindsight, we realize we shouldn’t have changed the lyrics on the ornament.”

But Hallmark spokeswoman Linda Odell said the company has no plans to stop selling the ornament.

Political correctness strikes again…

DCG

Hallelujah! A Child is Born!

I believe I posted video this last year; but, I can’t find it so I’m reposting it again this Christmas.  This modern carol was written and performed by Dr. Jed Santa Maria, a medical doctor  specializing in neurology, who is also a wonderfully gifted musician. It is included in his album called “That’s How You Know It’s Christmas,”  When I shared my video with him last year, he emailed me to say that he liked it and posted it on his Facebook page. 

The images are by the 19th Century artist, James Tissot.  Tissot’s early work was devoted to the highly commerical and profitable worldly subjects of his day.  He spent the latter part of his career  traveling in the Holy Land as background to illustrate the New Testament.  The Brooklyn Museum purchased his entire collection entitled “The Life of Christ.”  The book, “James Tissot: The Life of Christ” featuring this collection is available at Amazon.com.