In Chicago's Daley Plaza, wedged between – and in front of – the traditional nativity display and a giant menorah, there sits something new this year: an 8-foot-tall letter "A" lit up in red.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) placed the big "A" in downtown Chicago. They say the "A" stands for Atheist, but it also represents Attack, given its timing and placement. While the nativity scene is linked to Christmas, and the menorah is part of Hanukah, the only apparent purpose for this lighted letter "A" is to demean the other displays.
In Florida's State Capitol, the rotunda is available to different groups who apply for space. In early December, a group called the Florida Nativity Scene Committee sponsored a traditional nativity scene of Jesus' birth to mark the Christmas season. FFRF wasted little time in snagging a spot immediately following them, displaying what they describe as a "nativity scene parody in which Ben Franklin, the Statue of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison on bended knee, gaze adoringly at a copy of the Bill of Rights in a crib." This display is not an expression of faith or faithlessness, or even a political statement, but an uncalled-for attack on the traditional nativity. more >>
Baptist Temple Church in Fall River, Mass., has launched its live nativity scene for the 2013 holiday season and features in its online photo gallery of the setting Santa Claus, in full costume, bowing to a baby Jesus.
The "family-friendly" Baptist church's new take on the nativity scene meant to depict the biblical account in Luke 2 of Jesus' birth, was so unusual that it warranted coverage in the local press.
These days, I think the song "Jingle Bells" might start like this:
"Dashing through the snow with a high-def touchscreen display, all the fields we go, tweeting and texting all the way. Bells on smartphones ring, making bandwidth bright, what fun it is to stare and cling to a virtual world tonight..."
Silver bells, tinsel and mistletoe are being replaced with smartphones, tablets, computers and social media. Our youth are catching on to the technology-driven era at younger and younger ages. They pay more attention to screens than people. In fact, one toy maker is even rolling out a bouncy seat for infants with a built-in iPad holder. My co-worker told me his 2-year-old daughter toddled up to the TV to try and swipe it like an iPad. Another father in my office said his 18-month daughter knows how to unlock and navigate his smartphone. more >>
This creative family puts together an awesome Christmas card parody called 'Xmas Jammies.' They create this parody from Will Smith's hit song from the 90's, "Miami."
The dad in this video sings about being in his jammies with each one of his family members and their highlights from the previous year. These adorable children in the video show off their skills in the cutest way! The mom, who was also a star in Iron Man 3, sings at the end to tell of her husband's year end highlights in a hilarious way.
The Holderness family's Christmas card parody is guaranteed to have you laughing! more >>
In the spirit of giving, The Heights Baptist Church in Texas hosted its largest holiday outreach, 'Three Trees,' event giving away Christmas gifts to hundreds of families in need after collecting thousands of dollars worth of donations.
Over the last month, the congregation began gathering toys and $30,000 in gift cards for 325 families and over 1,000 children, compared to the 125 families and 350 children that the church served during the first year of the annual holiday giveaway.
"We feel it is necessary to serve others as this is a pretty clear mandate in the Scripture," said Richard Covington, a pastor with The Heights, to the Christian Post. "We cannot think of any other way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior better than doing the very thing He did and that is to serve others. Serve is one of the four core values around here; worship, grow, serve and share. This is not just a one-off event." more >>
An Arizona woman who was serving as a bell ringer for The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign says she was assaulted by another woman for saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
Kristina Vindiola says she was bell ringing outside a Walmart in Phoenix when a shopper hit her for saying "Happy Holidays," ABC affiliate KNXV-TV Phoenix reports.
"I thought she was going to put money in the kettle," Vindiola told the station. "She came up to me and said, 'Do you believe in God?' And she says, 'You're supposed to say Merry Christmas,' and that's when she hit me." more >>