Christmas is a time for families, friends and loved ones to come together. It also affords a rare opportunity to freeze such social gatherings in time by building long-lasting traditions. The traditions people value are what anchors them as they go from past to present, present to future, say family experts.
"Traditions provide an opportunity to build a touchstone for why we have a holiday in the first place," said Dr. Juli Slattery, an author, family psychologist and broadcast co-host for Focus on the Family. "They provide a sense of cohesion."
Slattery said holidays like Christmas find most people drawn together by families. A key reason for this, she said, is the innate human need for belonging. Without having a place to call home, she contends, any celebration can feel extremely lonely. more >>
About one-third of the United States had snow cover early Saturday and forecasters say some more places may also get to see a white Christmas. But overall, less number of Americans will get to see snow on Sunday than usual.
Parts of the Northeast and Southwest are almost certain to have more than 1 inch of snowfall on Sunday, but chances are not too bright elsewhere in the U.S., except southern New Mexico and southwest Texas.
A Christmas is called white when there is a snow depth of at least an inch on Christmas morning. And this year, there’s likely to be more snow than 1 inch in northern New England and the Great Lakes region, western Kansas, the Oklahoma and northern Texas panhandles, northern and southern Rocky Mountains region, and the Cascades and Sierra Nevada ranges. more >>
Christmas is a major event in modern America, involving weeks of shopping, lights, caroling and church services. It also is a federal holiday, where millions get off work and are with family every Dec. 25.
So it may come as a surprise to learn that for the early church, Christmas was actually a fairly unimportant holy day eclipsed by other spiritual observances.
“As far as I know the evidence of a celebration of Christmas is late and controversial,” said Professor Timothy E. Gregory of Ohio State University in an interview with The Christian Post. more >>
Almost all symbols used during Christmas point to the message of the Gospel. But there’s one emblem that has sweetened our palettes for years while seeking to touch our hearts even before it touches the tongue.
It started with a choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral in Germany seeking a remedy for the noise children would make in church during the Living Crèche tradition of Christmas Eve, according to tradition. In 1670, he got a brilliant idea. He asked a candy maker for some sweet sticks which would act as pacifiers for children. He also wanted the candy maker to add a crook to the top to symbolize the shepherds who paid visit to infant Jesus. And it had to be pure white, signifying the sinless nature of Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate as Christmas, as recorded in the book Great Traditions of Christmas published by Zondervan.
Yes, it’s J-shaped candy canes. more >>
As Christmas approaches, a time to celebrate the spirit of Christ, Angel Tree ministry allows His light to shine through in the form of gift donations to children of incarcerated parents.
This prison fellowship program allows parents in prison to give their child a Christmas present through the help of mainly local church volunteers. Liberty Church in New York City has seen a tremendous outpouring of Good Will from its congregation towards this charity.
Shawna Sutherland told The Christian Post that a church member, who as a child was an Angel Tree recipient, is the inspiration behind their involvement with the ministry. more >>
The newly discovered Comet Lovejoy provided quite a light show earlier this week as if on cue for Christmas, giving NASA’s International Space Station commander a story to tell that left even the seasoned astronaut in awe.
The comet, which was discovered by amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy in early December, was viewed by astronauts in the space station and described as leaving “a sliver of blue and purple and then there was this long, green arc.”
When discovered, scientists did not expect Comet Lovejoy to survive the sun’s searing heat as it passed through its corona last week. more >>