No, Christmas is Not Pagan. Just Stop.

Well, it’s time for a good Christmas rant. This requires a rant, because every year, we see the same ignorant silliness. (Sorry, but it’s just true.) Supposedly, Christmas is secretly pagan, secretly syncretist, secretly a co-opting of pagan stuff and ignorantly claiming it to be Christian. But the truth about these things is so available that it’s literally staring out at you even from…

Who Shall I Be at Christmas?

Eve of the Nativity, December 24, 2016 Galatians 3:8-12; Luke 13:18-29 V. Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. Who shall I be at Christmas? Shall I be as old Israel, caught in captivity and under the domination of powers and attitudes and thoughts alien to the person…

How Many Days is Orthodox Christmas?

Well, Christmas is almost here (on the New Calendar, anyway), so we’re planning out how many days of ham we’re going to be eating, right? Or perhaps it’s several days of turkey leftovers. You’ve got to be able to cover every day of Christmas so that we’re not just singing Christmas but also eating it for the whole festal period. But we have a…

Christmas is About Death

In 1980, my great-grandfather Fred Isleib died on Christmas day at the age of 83. I was five years old and too small to remember being able to feel sad. I scarcely remember even impressions of him. I do remember a little about his funeral, mainly running and jumping between the gravestones where his remains were placed. But the idea of losing someone on…

What Do I Want for Christmas This Year?

It’s a question we get asked a lot, and it’s a question that gets harder to answer as I get older. I have an Amazon wishlist, of course. But, really, I do know what would make me feel like it was a really good Christmas. I know exactly what I want. I’m afraid it’s a long list. Here’s what I want: I want for…