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Right on Time, Here Comes Punxsutawney Phil

When I start writing about the weather, my readers might logically suppose that I’m feeling uninspired, dull and unimaginative, and short of things to write about. They would be right. My apologies.

Strange. I just looked back at a…

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January 20: Penguin Awareness Day

I may need to apologize to a penguin.

Are you aware that Friday, January 20, 2023, was Penguin Awareness Day? I wasn’t, either, until I ran across a “news” blurb flashing across one of my screens late that day, and…

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Selling the Moments of Our Lives

A new year. In the dance of the universe, the annual calendar flip always seems to me to be mostly a non-event, plastic hype, modern media “News Alert” news. I never notice much difference between 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31…

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“The Light Shines in the Darkness”

Four candles. At church, we lit four candles this morning. I’m talking about Advent candles. One for each of the four Sundays before Christmas. And now, only the “Christ candle,” the large white one in the center of the…

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“What Then Can I Give Him?”

I’ve been enjoying reading Stephen Nissenbaum’s fine book The Battle for Christmas. Most Americans tend naturally to think that the Christmas traditions we share have been relatively unchanged for a very, very long time. Not so.

For example…

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“Presents Did Not Fly About as They Do Now”

In 1850, which was before she wrote her classic Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote a story for Christmas. One of her characters describes the difficulty of buying gifts, Christmas presents:

“‘Oh, dear! Christmas is coming in…

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A Turkey-induced Stupor—or Not

I am writing, or trying to write, in a turkey-induced stupor.

Well, that’s at least partly correct. But not, I think, the turkey part.

Our family had a really nice Thanksgiving. I hope you and yours did, too. Into a…

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“Don’t Forget to Say Grace”

Saying grace.

It’s an interesting term. What about . . .

Saying mercy. Saying hope. Saying love.

We don’t “say” those things. But we “say grace.” And we know exactly what we mean.

Wikipedia says that “the term comes…

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