Christmas is not the right time to tell your young child that he or she is imaginary.
We don’t like the name “Black Friday.” Too ominous. Join us in renaming the day after Thanksgiving “Solvency Friday.”
Q: What’s the name of the guy in the Magritte painting with the apple in front of his face? A: Art.
E-Z Top is a rock group whose music comes in jars that are not hard to open. One twist of the wrist, and out comes the music, like evil from Pandora’s Jar.
The Dry Tortugas are an island group of southern Florida west of Key West. “West of Key West” sounds like where the Elves go at the end of the Third Age. “Dry Tortugas” sounds as if Baptists discovered them, but in fact Ponce de Leon found them in 1513, and he was no Baptist. “Dry” means “no fresh water.” The islands support a U.S. National Park these days. In heaven there are Wet Tortugas, where Bobeshi goes for a drink and to get away from her immaculate celestial house, which has come to bore her.
Have you heard the Grinch’s cover of Kermit’s “It Isn’t Easy Being Green”? Brings tears to your eyes.
Nothing in the text of the Matthean Infancy Narrative numbers the Magi. The number three is probably based on reverse engineering from the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Legend added names, given as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, but there are variants.
Danger, danger. Adding things to the Bible, like subtracting from the Bible, opens the door to syncretism, a mixing of true and false religion on which the Almighty has a record of frowning mightily.
Before you know it, the Christmas tale involves Conan the Barbarian throwing Rudolph into the flaming maw of Ba’al Moloch.
Not to mention the beloved hoofer Stanley Holloway dancing about in a well-choreographed crowd in front of some idol and singing “Just a little bit (cha-cha-cha), just a little bit (cha-cha-cha), just a lit-tle bit of hu-man blood.”
By Zoroaster’s thumb, that would be unfortunate. Don’t let it happen. Stay close to Scripture and celebrate “Unspecified Number of Kings Day.”
If you get books for Christmas and ask yourself, “Where the heck am I going to put all these books?” comfort yourself with the thought that there is no “right” way to organize books. There’s nothing sacred about the Dewey Decimal System or the Library of Congress Classification System, or even the “fiction alphabetical by author” rule. If organization by color of cover or size of volume works for you, do it. Ditto the pile-the-books-on-the-floor system, a popular favorite.
Metaphysics, the science of being qua being, takes its name from the position in Aristotle’s collected works of his work on the subject: “After (‘meta’) the Physics.” Nietzsche and many modern materialist philosophers hate metaphysics because they think it involves what they deride as a “two-story universe” (natural and supernatural).
“At sixes and sevens” is a British expression for being in confusion or disarray. It isn’t much known or used among Americans.
An Irish expression is “BS&M.” It stands for “bull[sauce] and molasses.”
Chuck Norris completes crossword puzzles without using clues.
The Colonel’s Lady, her Canadian brother-in-law, and we all visited Gillette Castle togrther on the 23rd. It’s off-season and closed but not fully deserted. We love the sign that says, “During Thunder & Lightning Storms, DO NOT SEEK SHELTER in Pavilions, Porches, or Restroom Buildings.” One expects it to go on “Just Man Up and Face Your Fate.”
“My life is like that village that had to be destroyed to be saved.” --Wallah Stevens
Emoji is a Japanese word that means something like emoticon, but the etymologies of the two words are different. Emoticon is from emotion plus icon. Emoji is from Japanese e (picture) and moji (letter, character).
“People always equate beauty with good, but it just ain’t so. [There are] beings of haunting beauty, mesmerizing beauty, disarming beauty, flawless beauty, maddening beauty, bloodthirsty beauty. [I]n this mortal world, a lot of predators are beautiful, and if you’re quick and motivated enough, you can admire that beauty while they kill you and eat you.” --Cold Days, by Jim Butcher.
“It’s Not Easy Being Green”:
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus,
You're as charming as an eel,
You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel.
“All men are brothers, we like to say, half-wishing sometimes in secret it were not true. But perhaps it is true. And is the evolutionary line from protozoan to Spinoza any less certain? That also may be true. We are obliged, therefore, to spread the news, painful and bitter though it may be for some to hear, that all living things on earth are kindred.” -Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (1927-1989)
Q: What do you call a cross between an iPad and a Christmas tree?
A: A pineapple!
Evening prayer of St. Augustine of Canterbury (as good for Christmas Eve as any eve):
Watch Thou, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight
And give Thine Angels and Saints watch over those who sleep.
Tend Thy sick ones, O Lord Christ
Rest Thy weary ones
Bless Thy dying ones
Soothe Thy suffering ones
Pity Thy afflicted ones
All for Thy Love’s sake.
Hebrew bedtime blessing:
I will both lay me down, and sleep: for Thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. --Psalm 4:8
Last full measure of devotion:
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” --Job 13:15
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Luke 23:46.
Merry Christmas, everybody, and may every particle of your being sparkle with the light that is uniquely yours, and brighten the whole world thereby. It’s the practical thing to do, and good manners require no less.