No commentary today, just links.

Christmas expression opinions:

  • Tree expression | It's an unfortunate irony that a season meant to promote peace, empathy and unity so often leads to anger and insult (Editorial, The Indianapolis Star)

  • Don't mention the c word | With depressing predictability, Tessa Jowell's Department of Culture, Media and Sport is sending out cards this year without mentioning the dreaded C-word (Richard Littlejohn, The Sun, U.K.)

  • Merry at Christmas, and proud | This world, it seems, has gone overboard with being politically correct (Editorial, Toronto Star)

  • Like it or not, this country is a Christian one | Where is the proof that people feel "excluded" by the use of Christian terminology in Britain, any more than I feel excluded by Diwali or Ramadan if I am abroad? (Katie Grant, The Scotsman)

  • At library, Jesus was too graphic for walls | Boiled down, Jesus was a victim of his own celebrity (Helen Ubiñas, The Hartford Courant, Conn.)

The Christmas spirit:

  • Religion leads to a merrier Christmas | Those who keep their religious practices intact at yuletide, the study found, are happier than those who rely on the pleasures of shopping for their holiday meaning. (Washington Times)

  • Religion is prime mover for giving | Nonprofits seek attention of young (The Commercial Appeal, Memphis)

  • Thinking outside the gift box | From livestock to aid, givers pick 'alternative' presents for the world's needy (The Washington Post)

  • Christians respond to world hunger | Last March farmers in the Wellsburg area were asked to do just that … to donate some of their land, either what they owned or what they rented, and give the proceeds to an organization called Food Resource Bank. (Iowa Falls Times Citizen)

  • Mideast initiative pushes beyond platitudes | Given the range in this group and some very real theological and political divisions among the members, the statement on Tuesday was remarkably specific and substantive (Peter Steinfels, The New York Times)

  • Christmas spirit—in a shoebox | Melissa Dyson, Jennifer Nelson and Gillian Rudat are giving up their Christmas holidays with family and friends to help children in Trinidad. They will join 47 other young Canadians who will spend 12 days distributing 6,500 shoeboxes full of toys, toothbrushes and school supplies to poor children in the West Indian country. (The Edmonton Journal)

  • Families reclaim Christmas by celebrating traditions of Advent | It's easy to get caught up in the holiday shopping sprees, but celebrating Advent keeps them grounded, Matt Zepeda said (The Olympian, Wash.)

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  • Looking at Christianity and the world this Christmas | The Christian faith does not have to take second place to commercialism during Christmas, nor should it always be seen as conservative or reactionary, as Jesus Christ was a great preacher of social justice, according to Galway pastor Rev Raymond Blair. (Galway Advertiser, Ireland)

  • Church ordered to dump traditional Christmas tree | this year, the 20-foot tall tree will have to be removed from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hampton, because it violates a ban against using fresh cut trees in areas without sprinklers. (Knight Ridder/Tribune)

  • Avoiding excess-mass: For some, it's about spirituality | Many Christians worry that children know more about Santa than Jesus (The Miami Herald)

  • A gift to feed the spirit | I'll probably get in trouble for saying this, but Christmas is not about Santa Claus. At best, St. Nick is a cultural hitchhiker (News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.)

  • Avoid holiday pitfalls in planning the company party | Companies across America still struggle with the religious nature of the holidays (Newhouse News Service)

  • Traditional Christmas cards in decline | The decline in popularity of cards, featuring what many people would consider traditional images, is yet another sign that the true meaning of Christmas is being lost, according to some (Eastern Daily Press, Norfolk, England)

Church life:


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Joyce Meyer responds to newspaper accusations:

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