In American society, the celebration of Christmas includes more than displays, carols, and services dedicated to remembering the birth of Jesus Christ.
For millions of homes, stories like those of Santa Claus are prevalent. While some question the focus on the jolly bearded red-suited figure during the Christmas season, many businessmen involved in Christmas-themed enterprises feel there is no conflict between the Santa Claus story and the Nativity story.
Carla Bronner Spletzer is vice president of Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, a Frankenmuth, Mich.-based business that boasts of being "The World Largest Christmas Store." more >>
Did you know that-
The United States has 78 people registered under the name S. Claus - and one under Kris Kringle? December is the most popular month for nose jobs? The average wage of a mall Santa: $11 an hour? With real beard: $20? The weight of Santa's sleigh loaded with one small stuffed animal for every kid on earth: 333,333 tons? The number of reindeer required to pull a 333,333-ton sleigh: 214,206? (Plus Rudolph of course!) To deliver all his gifts in one night, Santa would simply need to make 822.6 visits per second? Which means his 333,333 ton sleigh would need to travel at a mere 2,000,000 miles per hour.
(Source: "Santa Stats," humormatters.com) more >>
Residents and workers in the city of Costa Mesa in Orange County, Calif., may be experiencing a brighter Christmas season this year thanks to a local church that decided to shower its community with gifts of love and service for 25 days.
This past week, 25 school principals and vice principals in the local school district were given tickets to attend concerts, sporting events, and gift certificates for such services as massages and spa treatments. Last week, among the "25 Days of Christmas" giving opportunities for volunteers at The Crossing Church, mail carriers and trash truck drivers were given baskets of cookies.
At sober living homes in the area this week, gift baskets were delivered along with invitations to have Christmas dinner with church members. On another day, drivers in the city were randomly given $25 gas cards. more >>
The makers of the popular Bible app YouVersion, who have logged 72 million downloads onto smartphones and tablets, are tracking downloads of their Christmas Story reading plan in somewhat similar fashion to the way the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) does with Santa Claus every year.
Every Christmas season NORAD "helps ordinary citizens track Santa's progress as he delivers gifts to good little boys and girls around the world.
"Now, for the first time, you'll also be able to track the beloved story that gave birth to the season," stated YouVersion this week. more >>
A panel discussion on NBC's Today Show about hiring others to do Christmas chores became sidetracked on Tuesday after one of the panelists blamed the stress that comes around the holiday season on religion.
"I don't like the religion part," said NBC's Chief Medical Editor Nancy Snyderman during the discussion. "I think religion is what mucks the whole thing up ... I think that's what makes the holidays so stressful."
Snyderman's comments came after Star Jones said she wouldn't mind receiving help with setting up Christmas decorations, but she couldn't "out-source" religious observances, like prayer, that are a part of the holiday. The panel, which also included Matt Lauer and Donny Deutsch, laughed at Snyderman's seemingly unexpected comments, and Jones continued the conversation. more >>
The U.S. Navy has ordered service members on a military base in Bahrain to discontinue a long-standing tradition of a "Live Nativity" after a military atheist group complained that the manger scene not only violated the Constitution, but endangered Americans serving in a Muslim country as well.
The Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty and others in the armed services community have expressed disappointment over the Navy's decision to "inhibit the religious liberty" of military personnel at the military facility in Bahrain.
"This is another example of the military wrongly yielding to those who promote freedom from religion while squelching the constitutional protections for the free exercise of religion," said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director of the chaplain alliance. "Every American, especially those who wear the uniform, should be allowed to exercise their religious liberties. We are very disappointed in the Navy's decision not to support the free exercise of religion of the personnel assigned to NSA Bahrain." more >>