Merry Christmas to All

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. read more

Family over Politics – the Hunt for a Christmas Tree

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

No Audio Version

Sorry folks, but no Podcast today. For those unfamiliar, I do a video podcast every weekend that airs today. But not this time. No – this time it has nothing at all to do with production problems. It has nothing to do with technical issues, more often than not caused by my own ineptitude.

This time it was pure pleasure. I had a choice to make and I chose family over politics.

Every year my sons and I revel in a trek into the woods in search of a Christmas tree. Sure, we could do it the easy way and pick one out one from the many lots around town. And to be sure, we would likely get a beautiful one.

We could also choose the blasphemous path and buy a synthetic “Fake” tree – maybe hang some pine tree air-fresheners on it to replicate that outdoorsy scent. Yummy!

But we Smith’s enjoy the thrill of the hunt. So off we went, two weekends ago, into the wilderness, to scout for and tag a tree. This year we were exceptionally lucky and found a beautiful 7 ft white pine. And best yet, it was only about a mile in. In years past we’ve been known to trek twice that in seeking out the perfect wild tree. As we strode through the woods, invariably one or the other of my sons, or both, would recount a story from a previous year – “Remember that year when…?” read more

Juxtaposition of Two Christmases

by: the Common Constitutionalist

Christmas is one the happiest times of the year. Actually, I guess the song says “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” It’s a time for giving. It’s a time for family, charity and kindness toward others. And yes, it’s also a time for us to all gather around the tree Christmas morning and exchange gifts.

But what happens if the gifts aren’t there to exchange? What happens if it’s not up to Santa? What happens if, for instance, a delivery company doesn’t get them there on time?

Well, that’s exactly what’s happened to possibly tens of thousands of Americans this holiday season as package delivery giant FedEx admitted they were not able to absolutely, positively get there. FedEx guarantees on time delivery, but for many customers, it could not make good on that guarantee. Many of the delays were due to severe weather across the Southeast, but FedEx is also blaming a flood of last minute shoppers.

Okay, so thousands of packages didn’t get to be opened on Christmas day. Considering FedEx estimated deliveries between black Friday and December 25th to be about 317 million, that’s really not bad. And as I said – this is the season of love and giving and understanding – right? read more

Witness the Tolerance of Islam

by: the Common Constitutionalist

I’d like build upon the article I wrote yesterday entitled, “Stop Making Excuses for Islam.” In it I expressed my frustration over the constant refrain from Islam apologists that “That Is Not Islam,” every time a Muslim expresses his intolerance of something outside his “faith.”

I am reminded of the idiotic remark said by president Obama in Egypt while on his infamous “Apology Tour” of 2009.  Actually, he said a lot of stupid things like, “The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars.” Well, he’s half right, but it certainly isn’t the “coexistence and cooperation” part.

But what should have garnered the biggest laugh was this:

“I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” read more

Give the Gift of Lead This Christmas

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –

The gift of a gun may be high on many Floridians’ holiday shopping lists.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says it is on target to conduct nearly 1 million background checks this year on private firearm purchases. The projection comes as the department is reporting a record number of reviews conducted over the Thanksgiving weekend that typically kicks off the year-end holiday shopping season.

We have definitely seen an increase in the number of background checks over the past several years,” FDLE spokeswoman Samantha Andrews said Monday.

“You can see November and December are relatively larger” for sales. read more

Christmas in the Air

Christmas illuminations line the Champs Elysees in ParisChristmas illuminations line the Champs Elysees in Paris

Fireworks explode over a giant floating Christmas tree in Lagoa lake at the annual tree lighting event in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilFireworks explode over a giant floating Christmas tree in Lagoa lake at the annual tree lighting event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

giant illuminated Christmas bauble on Rossio square in LisbonGiant illuminated Christmas bauble on Rossio square in Lisbon

LED Christmas lights in Tokyo's ShiodomeLED Christmas lights in Tokyo’s Shiodome

lights shaped like Champagne flutes at a shopping mall in TokyoLights shaped like Champagne flutes at a shopping mall in Tokyo

Medellin's annual display uses millions of bulbs over a huge area of the cityMedellin’s annual display uses millions of bulbs over a huge area of the city

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York is litThe Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York is lit

Attribution: UK Telegraph

Joke of the Day

Actual Children’s quotes:

1. Never trust a dog to watch your food. – Patrick, age 10

2. When your dad is mad and asks you, ‘Do I look stupid?’ don’t answer him. – Michael, 14

3. Never tell your mom her diet’s not working. – Michael, 14

4. Stay away from prunes. – Randy, 9

5. Never pee on an electric fence. – Robert, 13

6. Don’t squat with your spurs on. – Noronha, 13

7. Don’t pull dad’s finger when he tells you to. – Emily, 10

8. When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair. – Taylia, 11

9. Never allow your three-year old brother in the same room as your school assignment. – Traci, 14

10. Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time. – Kyoyo, 9

11. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. – Armir, 9

12. Felt markers are not good to use as lipstick. – Lauren, 9

13. Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat. – Joel, 10

14. When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she’s on the phone. – Alyesha, 13

15. Never try to baptize a cat. – Eileen, 8

Joke of the Day

A 4-year-old, Sammy was asked to give thanks before Sunday dinner? The family members bowed their heads in expectation, and he began his prayer:

“Thank you God for all my friends: Joey, an’ Susan, an’ Billy, an’ Tommy,” and on and on he went, naming each friend one by one.

Next he thanked God for Mommy, Daddy, brother, sister, Grandma, Grandpa, and all his aunts and uncles.

Finally he got to the food.

“Thank you God for the turkey, an’ the dressing, an’ the fruit salad, an’ the pies, an’ the Cool Whip…”

And then he paused.

The pause was quite long and all eyes were focused on young Sammy with his head still bowed in prayer.

Finally as his Father was about to interject an “Amen”, Sammy looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the brussel sprouts, won’t he know that I’m lying?”