Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Dentist Visit

A guy goes into his dentist's office, because something is wrong with his mouth. After a brief examination, the dentist exclaims, "Holy Smoke! That plate I installed in your mouth about six months ago has nearly completely corroded! What on earth have you been eating?"

"Well... the only thing I can think of is this... my wife made me some asparagus about four months ago with this stuff on it... Hollandaise sauce she called it... and doctor, I'm talkin' DELICIOUS! I've never tasted anything like it, and ever since then I've been putting it on everything... meat, fish, toast, vegetables... you name it!"

"That's probably it," replied the dentist "Hollandaise sauce is made with lemon juice, which is acidic and highly corrosive. It seems as thought I'll have to install a new plate, but made out of chrome this time."

"Why chrome?" the man asked.

"Well, everyone knows that there's no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise!"
Hanukkah Vocabulary
Part 1

In an effort to enrich our lives by learning something of another religion (if, of course you are not Jewish), I've provided a vocabulary quiz for you, my loyal reader. I am not being PC by including Hanukkah during the Christian holidays, but rather embracing a very small part of the Jewish religion - it's language. And remember, the eight days of Hanukkah are important days in the Jewish religion. That they generally co-incide with the Christian holiday of Christmas is a reminder of the ancestry and history we share.

I'm not going to give you the word and ask you to define it; rather, I'll give you the definition and ask you to supply the word. I'll bet that most of you know alot of the words and may not even know it!

1. A children's game played with a small four-sided top with Hebrew letters marked on the sides, usu. at Hanukkah.

2. The third month of the Jewish lunisolar calendar, occurring from late November through early December in the Gregorian calendar.

3. A pancake, esp. one made of grated potatoes.

4. A candelabrum or candlestick with seven or nine branches, used in Jewish worship.

5. An event that cannot be explained by the known laws of nature and is therefore attributed to a supernatural or divine power.

6. A building or place where a deity or deities are worshiped.

7. A cylindrical stick of wax or waxlike substance enclosing a wick and burned to give light.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Santa Claus Around the World

In the United States and Canada, his name is Santa Claus. He flies through the sky in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer.

In England his name is Father Christmas. He looks much like Santa Claus, but he has a longer coat and a longer beard.

In Wales (a principality in the United Kingdom), Santa is called Sion Corn - this translates as "Chimney John" relating to the story that Santa comes down the chimney of each house to bring his gifts to the children within.

In France, he's known as Pere Noel. He is also called Pere Noel in Canada.

In Brazil and Peru, he's called Papai Noel.

In Germany, children get presents from Christkind, the Christ Child on the 24th of December. Also, in Germany Knecht Ruprecht and his helpers come on the 6th of December. Krampus brings coal or a wooden stick to the children that have not been good, Knecht Ruprecht brings mostly cookies, nuts and a small toy to the good children. Belsnickel - German version of Santa who carries a switch to beat the bad children. In Germany, Father Christmas can also be called der Weihnachtsmann.

In Poland, Santa is "Gwiazdor" ("star man") -- for the North Star. He visits children on Christmas Eve, bringing presents. The Christmas Eve meal begins once the first star is seen. "Swiety Mikolaj" (Saint Nicholas) was a cardinal in the Catholic Church, he visits children on December 6th and he brings presents, mostly sweets, which he leaves in children clean (it is very important) shoes.

In Costa Rica, Colombia, and parts of Mexico, the gift bringer is El Nino Jesus, "the infant Jesus."

In Puerto Rico, children receive gifts from the Three Kings on January 6th. Each child puts grass under their bed for the camels and in the morning the grass is replaced with gifts.

Jultomten or Tomten Sweden. Jultomten visits in the evening before Christmas day, pulling a big bag of julklappar (Christmas presents) in the deep snow.

På norsk (in Norwegian) "Julenissen" arrives on the evening of the 24th.

In the Netherlands, he is called Kerstman. He flies through the sky with his reindeers and puts gifts under the Christmas tree on the 25th of December. De Kerstman lives in Finland. His counterpart "Sinterklaas" is another saint, who is celebrated on the 5th of December.

Sinterklaas comes back every year from his home in Spain by steamboat, together with him are a whole group of "zwarte pieten" who help him while he's riding on the roofs - distributing gifts through the chimney.

In Finland, he is called Joulupukki and his home is in Lapland in the north part of Finland called Korvatunturl. Also in Finland, the Swedish-speaking Finns (finlandssvenskar) call him Julgubben.

In Spain the children the night of January 5th put their shoes under the Christmas tree and have presents from the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos: Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar). Santa Claus is called Papa Noel and there are children who have presents both days on December 25th (from Papa Noel) and on January 6th (from the Three Kings).

In Russia, he is called Grandfather Frost or Ded Moroz. Also, there is Babooska the person who was searching for Christ the night he was born. She spoke to the Three Wise Men or Three Kings on their way to find him, they offered their company to her. But she replied I am too old, so the Three Men went on without her and she set search the following day but the "King" had gone from his birth place and when Babooska heard the news she decided to give her presents for Christ to the childern in her country Russia every year on the 13th of Dec to make them happy.

He is also called Kriss Kringle - origin unknown.

He is also called St. Nick origin Turkey.

Karácsony Apó, is Santa in Hungarian.

In Italy, he is called Babbo Natale. Also, they recieve their presents on January 6th from the gift bringer an old lady called Befana.

Black Peter, St Nick's helper which originates from Morocco or Liberia.

In China, he is called Shengdan Laoren.

In Denmark they call him, Julemand.

In Hong Kong they call him Sing dan lo ian in Cantonese.

In Slovenia they call him Bozicek.

In Latvia Santa Claus is called Ziemmassve'tku veci'tis.

In the country Uruguay he is called Papá Noel.

In Lithuania Santa Claus is called Kaledu Senis.

In Portugal Santa Claus is known as Pai Natal. He brings presents on Christmas Eve. However, the portuguese tradition says the presents in that night are brought by the Newborn Jesus "Menino Jesus".

In Estonia he is called Jouluvana.

In Ireland he is called Santa Claus and children abbreviate this to just Santy.

Many children in the Hindu religion receive gifts from their god Ganesha during the Holiday Season.

In Austria, children get presents from Christkindl, the Christ Child on the 24th of December.

In Greece, Santa Claus is called "Aghios Vassilis" and he comes on the night of 31st December leaving the presents under the tree for the children to find them on New Year's Day.

In Hawaii, Santa Claus is known as Kanakaloka.

In Armenian, Santa Clause is Gaghant Baba and he brings presents to all the good girls and boys.

The name for Santa in Yugoslavia is Deda Mraz.

In Croatia, he is called Bozicnjak.

In Bulgaria they call him Diado Coleda.

In El Salvador, for some families Santa Claus brings gifts on Christmas Eve to those children who are well behaved. People get together with the family, children go to bed and find a gift on December 25th.

In Urdu he is called Baba Christmass.

In Romania, Santa Claus is Mos Craciun and he comes on the night of the 24th of December bringing presents. Also, the night of the 5th of December is Mos Nicolae (St. Nicholas) puts candies in the good children boots or a stick in the bad ones.
Send the ACLU a Christmas Card

It has been suggested that with the ACLU trying to make all of us drop "Merry Christmas" that we send them a Christmas card and really frustrate them.

Hope you have one religious Christmas card and a stamp so it could be mailed to:

125 Brood Street 18th floor
NY, NY 10004

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Has Been Cancelled!!!

And it's all YOUR fault!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

You told Santa you've been GOOD this year.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And he died laughing!!
Name That Christmas Carol!

1. Listen to the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds.

2. Embellish the interior passageways.

3. Twelve o’clock on a clement night witnessed its arrival.

4. The Christmas preceding all others.

5. Small municipality in Judi south of Jerusalem.

6. Omnipotent supreme being who elicits respite in distinguished males.

7. Nocturnal time span of unbroken quietness.

8. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals.

9. Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted, metallic resonant cups.

10. In awe of the eventide of characterized by religiosity.
answers next week

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Month Before Christmas!

Twas the month before Christmas,
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.

See, the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing
About Shepherds, and Wise Men, and Angels and things.

"It might hurt people's feelings,"the teachers would say.
"December 25th is just a holiday."
Yet the shoppers were readywith cash, checks and credit,
Pushing folks to the floor just to get it!

CDs by Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod,
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down,
At Lowe's, the word "Christmas" was nowhere to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples, at Penney's and Sears'
you won't hear the word Christmas;
It won't touch your ears.

Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!

At the top of the Senate,
There arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus,
In all public matter.

And we spoke not a word,
As they took away our faith,
Forbidden to speak
Of salvation and Grace!

The true Gift of Christmas
Was exchanged and discarded.
The reason for the season,
Stopped before it started.

As you celebrate "Winter Break" Under your "Dream" or "Wish" tree,
Sipping your Starbucks, Please listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, Choose what you'll say ...

"A Christmas-themed event to raise money at a public elementary school in Warwick, N.Y., has been altered to accommodate a parent's complaints that the program would illegally spotlight a 'religious" figure' - Santa Claus. 'Breakfast With Santa' has since been changed to 'Winter Wonderland Breakfast,' and -- in an effort to be inclusive of all beliefs -- the bearded one will now be joined at the Dec. 9 event by Frosty the Snowman.

"Organizers made the changes after one parent charged that she and others in the community were offended that the Parent Teacher Association at the Sanfordville Elementary School was sponsoring a program geared toward one religion. . . . That parent, who did not wish to have her name used, wrote a letter to the school board asserting that Santa represents Christmas -- a Christian holiday -- and by law, a public school is not allowed to promote religion."

- CNS News, 11/30/06

People, we have got to get rid of this PC mindset that so many of us have developled in the last twenty years or so.

Christmas itself, is indeed a religious holiday. I do not dispute that. However, I have never read in the Bible an account of Santa being present at the birth of Christ. He doesn't carry a Bible or espouse belief in Christ. So, how is he a religious figure? Maybe because he rewards children for being nice, not naughty? As Christians, we want our children to behave nicely, at home or in public. But isn't this true of all parents, Christian or not? Believers or not? They are reflections of us, especially outside our immediate influence when we are not present to give guidance or correction as needed.

Santa represents the secular side of Christmas, not the religious side. Santa is celebrated by those who who do not believe in Christ, or those, like the vast majority of us, who want to enjoy both sides of Christmas. And yes, Christians can enjoy the secular side of Christmas every bit as much as the religious side.

I believe in the reasons that Christ was born. I love going to Christmas programs at church and singing the hymns that are associated with the birth of Christ. I love being reminded of "the reason for the season". I also enjoy the secular side. I like the decorations, the gift giving (and receiving), and the food! I love the songs and the joyous celebration of the season. I love that people seem to be just a little nicer to each other.

Yes, the two sides intermix. They are separate sides of the coin, two threads woven into the cloth. It's hard to conceive of the holiday without one or the other. But, to make Santa Claus a "religious" figure, is just ridiculous. Christ has been removed from the schools. Now Santa? Unbelieveable!

Isn't there someone somewhere who can tell this parent that they are being, yes, I'll say it, stupid? The parent who objected to Santa has the right to their opinion, that goes without saying. But there is nothing in the Constitution that says the parent is protected from being offended.

Am I offended that the program was changed? Am I offended that Frosty has been invited to appear with Santa? No, I'm not. I am offended that Santa has been declared a religious figure. I'm offended that the school caved to one parent. I'm offended that the parent would not allow herself to be identified. If she feels so strongly about this, she should own it. She's not proud of the fact that she has changed an icon like Santa from a secular figure to a religious figure?

One more thought. It wasn't until about 1935 that the notion of separation of church and state came into being. I don't remember the details of how this all started in that courtroom, but maybe we ought to revisit this issue. Especially now that Santa has been made into a religious figure.