Links of the Day for Christmas

Merry Christmas to all.  I’ve had a wonderful day celebrating with my family and friends.  I hope it was a happy, hopeful day for everyone.

Here are some Christmassy stories for the day:

  • National Geographic features an essay about Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus: “Bethlehem, 2007 A.D.” by Michael Finkel (December 2007).
  • Snopes has the scoop on one of my favorite historical events, the Christmas truce of 1914. It’s kind of hard to believe something like this would happen during the first World War.  I also had always assumed it lasted just a few hours but it turns out that it lasted through New Year’s Day in some places.  And it figures that the Germans would beat the English in the soccer match as they have done for decades since.
  • This Holiday Season London’s Streets Are “Absolutely Jammed” due to streets being open only to pedestrians reports Streetsblog (by Aaron Naparstek, Dec. 10, 2007).
  • Robert McHenry of the Britannica Blog takes on the phony war on Christmas in “This Christmas, Just Say “No” to War” (December 24, 2007).
  • Jonathan Schwartz decries the commercialization of decrying the commercialization of Christmas in “My Christmas Message” at A Tiny Revolution (December 24, 2007).
  • The World Almanac remembers the Christmas when Nancy Reagan sat in Mr. T’s lap (Posted by Edward Thomas on December 25, 2007).
  • Bad Astronomy skeptically explores the star of Bethlehem.
  • I close with this lovely quote from Saint of the Day (Christmas at Greccio, Dec. 24, 2007):
    • God’s choice to give human beings free will was, from the beginning, a decision to be helpless in human hands. With the birth of Jesus, God made the divine helplessness very clear to us, for a human infant is totally dependent on the loving response of other people. Our natural response to a baby is to open our arms, as Francis did, to the infant of Bethlehem and to the God who made us all.