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Christmas

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The Adoration of the Magi, by Sandro Botticelli (1476) Editor’s Note: Ottorino Respighi composed his Trittico Botticelliano (Three Botticelli Pictures) in 1927. Each of the three movements of the work is based on a painting by the...
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Editor's Note: "The Gloucestershire Wassail" is a traditional English carol associated with the eve of Epiphany, when revelers drank wassail punch, a hot-mulled sherry- or brandy-based cider, sweetened with sugar and seasoned with other spices, and including yeast, apples, and toast. According to British Food History, "wassailing...
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Over the years, the Czech Christmas Mass, "Hej, mistře" (Hail, master!), by Jakub Jan Ryba has become an inherent part of Czech tradition. This is mainly owing to the simplicity, the emotional impact and pure comprehensiveness of Ryba's music. Ryba...
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Judith had no real interest in men, but she had a burning desire for motherhood and family life. She wanted a husband and a house full of children. She wanted to...
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Myths are the best way we have of conveying truths that are otherwise inexpressible. Santa is a myth, but Santa is a myth that images the True Myth of Christ—the myth that exists in the realm of fact as well as in the realm of truth...
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Yes, there are always the Scrooges who seek to spoil the Christmas party, staying out in the cold and dark. Meanwhile, warming ourselves at the hearth, let’s get into the spirit of the Season and enjoy a modern Christmas carol translated into Old English...
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People are not abandoning the churches because they are too religious, but because they are not religious enough. They understand that if a religion is about no more than mouthing spiritual platitudes and working at the soup kitchen, then they don’t need to get up early on...
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Editor's Note: American composer William Henry Fry wrote the highly enjoyable Santa Claus: Christmas Symphony in 1853, deeming it "the longest instrumental composition ever written on a single subject, with unbroken continuity." This claim, which is...
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The author doing his best James Bond impression It has been quipped that every man wants to be James Bond and every woman wants to be with him. If you really want to know James Bond...
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The Miracle of the Bells doesn’t claim to be great literature, but it is a richly-drawn story about faith and Hollywood, a time capsule of a bygone era that retains its inspirational charm... The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney (510 pages, Forgotten...
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There is that special category of exquisite, practical gift that, by the very nature of its fussy simplicity, imparts an unusual kind of sensuousness to the beholder, who thus becomes the proud owner of a refined bit...
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Father Christmas and the Christian father share a domestic priesthood that presides over the Christmas mysteries. Christmas calls on fathers far and wide to take up the books of Christmas, to draw their children into a ring round fire or tree to be read to...
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Gold, frankincense, and myrrh were the richest of gifts that could be offered to a newborn king, but their significance lies not so much in their religious symbolism, nor in the fabulous wealth they represented. Instead the gifts themselves are clues to the identity of the wise men...
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The cover of a book is like the door of a quaint cottage in the woods. It entices, appeals, and even tempts you to peek in the window before you walk inside the story. These beauties are ones families can give and purchase for a lifetime of use...