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Our Christmas traditions have some ancient beginnings

Did you ever wonder who wrote the first Christmas Carol? Or perhaps when the first nativity scene, so common in our churches here in Stafford, became popular? Or, maybe the tradition of Christmas trees and lights? None of these instantly popped into being as Christianity began to spread in the second and third centuries. For that matter, in those early years there wasn’t even agreement on when, or for that matter, if, the birth of Jesus should be celebrated. But, by the middle of the first millennium, Christmas celebrations slowly began to emerge. For example, the tradition of Christmas Carols began with rhyming stanzas composed by Roman churchmen in fourth century Milan. The familiar Christmas Hymn, “Adeste Fidelis,” or in translation, “Oh Come all Ye Faithful” probably began with verses written by monks in the 13th century. The modern

Read more: Our Christmas traditions have some ancient beginnings

Christmas Memories, David Kerr has a few

When it comes to my generation, which grew up with television in the 1960’s  and 70’s, all sorts of media generated images come with thoughts of Christmas.

What do people think of when they think of Christmas?  For many of us, the first reaction is often about its religious significance. Others are likely to think about Christmas trees, presents, and good food. Just the thought of my grandmother’s chocolate chess pie, a true southern delight, makes me hungry.

Read more: Christmas Memories, David Kerr has a few

What’s on the table in the budget talks?

The dynamics of the current budget discussion, the ones aimed at averting a fiscal cliff, are hard to follow. For instance, who is doing the negotiating?  And, having said that, will the legislative bodies some of the negotiators represent actually do their leaders’ bidding.

Read more: What’s on the table in the budget talks?

Sequestration: Maybe it’s time to take our medicine

Congress doesn’t seem to like its own legislation. Back in 2011, Congress enacted the Budget Control Act. It had two key features. First, there was a twelve member body called the Super Committee. This was a bipartisan group from both chambers, half Democrat and half Republican, that would propose a package to reduce the deficit and give it to both Houses for an up or down vote. If it had worked, if there had been a grand bargain, it might have been considered a turning point and a piece of creative and courageous

Read more: Sequestration: Maybe it’s time to take our medicine

Pilgrim Legacy started it

It was Daniel Webster, the famous orator and Massachusetts Senator, who in a speech commemorating the 200th anniversary of the landing at Plymouth Rock first coined the word “Pilgrim.”

Read more: Pilgrim Legacy started it

A Requiem for Mitt Romney

No, no one died, and life, for the candidate, will go on.  He fought well, he fought hard, and he lost.  That happens.  

He is also a decent and honorable man.  But, election night was probably the last chapter in Mitt Romney’s political biography.  Though I didn’t vote for him, almost exclusively for reasons of political philosophy, Mitt Romney isn’t someone I dislike.  In fact, I like him.  He is affable, good natured, highly intelligent, and a leader.  His political credentials are impeccable.  

Read more: A Requiem for Mitt Romney

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