Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Christ

Matthew 2: 1-12

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:  ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. A special word of gratitude to our wonderful troops serving throughout the world!

Click here for the amazing story of “O, Holy NIght.” Declared ‘unfit for church services’ in France and later embraced by U.S. abolitionists, the song continues to inspire. Abolitionists were considered radical for demanding the immediate end to slavery. Obviously, they weren’t radical at all. They were very active in the thirty years leading up the Civil War.

O, Holy Night:

The same song by the three tenors:

Silent Night was first composed in 1818 in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. The song was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at the St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf.

Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the church service. Both performed the carol during the mass on the night of December 24.

One story about the origins of the song is that the church organ was no longer working so that Mohr and Gruber therefore created a song for accompaniment by guitar. Whatever the reason, it remains one of the most beautiful songs of all time.

This rendition is sung by a Norwegian sensation:

The song was first sang to a guitar so I included one such version here in the interest of history:

This video and the amazing light show is great!

via Newsmax

Cardinal Wuerl’s Christmas message is a wonderful reminder that the best we give one another is our love for one another:

 

At 3:32, Nancy Reagan and Ronald Reagan speak:

Check out Forbes. They have a list of ten surprising Christmas stories that you might want to read.

Some of them are:

Theodore Roosevelt didn’t believe in cutting down trees and banned them from the White House. His wife and children had a different idea and in 1903, they hid a Christmas tree in the sewing room closet.

The War of 1812 was ended on Christmas Eve with the Treaty of Ghent.

The first Christmas dinner in the White House was given by John Adams.

The first National Christmas tree lighting was thanks to Calvin Coolidge.

On Christmas day in 1868, President Andrew Johnson gave unconditional amnesty to all Confederates so the nation could heal.

In June, 1870, Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July to be National holidays.

What did Jack and Jackie Kennedy give to close friends on Christmas in 1962, their last Christmas together? You will have to click the link to find out.

Have a great day to everyone!

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