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Christmas

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Editor's Note: Regrettably, Hector Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ is little known today, aside from "The Shepherds' Farewell to the Holy Family," which is often programmed independently of the oratorio on classical Christmas albums. This chorus'...
Gezin bij de kerstboom
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Not unlike the times of Our Lord, we live in the paradox of a world in disorder yet under the appearance of order. Beneath the veneer of optimism and prosperity, many people experience lives of...
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Advent has only just begun but many of us are already thinking of Christmas. In one sense, this is fair enough. Advent is a time of preparation for our celebration of the...
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'Twas the week before finals and all through the school All the students were panicked and losing their cool. The deadlines flew by because no one would heed The dates in the syllabus no one would read. The children were buried nose-deep in their...
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In the 1820s, Washington Irving was credited with inspiring the romantic revival of Christmas in America. His Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gentleman relayed sentimental tales of the British holiday with all its romance and traditions. The...
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Editor's Note: French composer Guy Ropartz wrote Le Miracle de Saint Nicolas in 1905, based on a text by René Avril. This legend in sixteen scenes tells the story of St. Nicholas bringing back to life three runaway boys who were...
Christmas Gifts for Men who Work with Their Hands as Well as Their Heads
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I suspect that our ancestors were better prepared for Christmas than we tend to be. Unless you’re the sort of person who breathlessly anticipates the holy day, like we all did when we were kids, it has...
Uncommon Goods
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Christmas gift recommendations are one thing, but what if I took you shopping for all things bookish? In the space of half-an-hour, we can visit five unique shops and spend as little or as much as we like without even buying a book. 1.
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There are several attitudes towards Christmas, Some of which we may disregard: The social, the torpid, the patently commercial, The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight), And the childish — which is not that of the child For whom the candle is a star,...
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The Adoration of the Magi, by Sandro Botticelli (1476) Editor’s Note: Ottorino Respighi composed his Trittico Botticelliano (Three Botticelli Pictures) in 1927. Each of the three movements of the work is based on a painting by the...
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Editor's Note: "The Gloucestershire Wassail" is a traditional English carol associated with the eve of Epiphany, when revelers drank wassail punch, a hot-mulled sherry- or brandy-based cider, sweetened with sugar and seasoned with other spices, and including yeast, apples, and toast. According to British Food History, "wassailing...
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Over the years, the Czech Christmas Mass, "Hej, mistře" (Hail, master!), by Jakub Jan Ryba has become an inherent part of Czech tradition. This is mainly owing to the simplicity, the emotional impact and pure comprehensiveness of Ryba's music. Ryba...
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Judith had no real interest in men, but she had a burning desire for motherhood and family life. She wanted a husband and a house full of children. She wanted to...
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Myths are the best way we have of conveying truths that are otherwise inexpressible. Santa is a myth, but Santa is a myth that images the True Myth of Christ—the myth that exists in the realm of fact as well as in the realm of truth...