Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day Special

The second day of the Christmas season starting with the feast of Saint Stephen...

And what is Boxing Day you ask?

Many historians think the holiday’s name is derived from the church practice of opening alms boxes the day after Christmas and distributing money to the poor.

 Historically, British employers followed the church’s lead by sliding workers and servants gifts or cash on December 26. Merchants tossed servants a few coins, too, for bringing in a household's business.

Facts about the Boxer breed because Boxers:

As their name suggests, these dogs have an impressive left hook. When playing, the breed has a tendency to stand on its back legs and kick out its front paws like a human boxer might do. Most people believe this behavior is what led to the moniker, but since there are no records on the name’s origin, we can only guess.

The second Christmas at the front:

On Christmas Eve, 1915, John Ayscough, a Catholic chaplain with the British Expeditionary Force in France, wrote a letter to his mother which probably captured the feelings of many Europeans during the second Christmas of the war: 
By the time you get this… Christmas Day will have passed, and I confess I shall be glad. I don’t think you quite understand my feeling, and perhaps I cannot explain it very intelligently; but it comes from the contrast between the sense that Christmas should be a time of such immense joy and the unutterable suffering in which all Europe lies bleeding.

And yet for twenty-four hours, men stopped vicious fighting and became comrades.

Pudding recipes and drinks for the season.

(Sidebar: don't drink and drive.)

A tale of two leaders:

Shortly after the Oct.19 election, the son and grandchildren of Alberta man Brian Ironside were out for a walk in the Tuscany neighbourhood of Calgary.

Located at the extreme northwest edge of the city, Tuscany is a confusing tangle of twisting streets where Stephen Harper lives. As the trio made their way down a nondescript suburban street, they saw the recently defeated former Conservative leader similarly out for a stroll.

Harper was wearing running shoes and the exact same “Canada” jacket that he’s worn to countless press events since 2010. Sold as part of the Bay’s Olympic collection, it’s puffy black jacket with the word “CANADA” across the chest.

(The children, like true Calgarians, were enjoying the fall weather in flip flops).

When he later viewed a picture of the encounter, Ironside was not the first to notice that a few weeks out of the PMO seems to have done wonders for Harper’s constitution.

“I think Stephen Harper looks happier, younger, and more relaxed than he has in a long time!” reported Ironside.

President Barack Obama’s 16-day Christmas getaway in Hawaii will bring the cost of his family’s personal travel during his time in office to more than $70 million, according to a new study.

This year alone the estimated bill for the first family’s holidays was $11.6 million, including golf trips to Florida and California, and Michelle Obama going skiing in Aspen.

One is a douchebag and the other is Stephen Harper.

Pope Francis asks believers to return to the Spirit and not materialism:

Celebrating a Christmas eve Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, Francis, whose nearly three-year-old papacy has been marked by calls for sobriety and compassion for the less fortunate, said Christmas was the time to "once more discover who we are".

He said everyone should allow the simplicity of the child Jesus, born into poverty in a manger despite his divinity, to infuse their spirit and inspire their lives.

"In a society so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism, wealth and extravagance, appearances and narcissism, this Child calls us to act soberly, in other words, in a way that is simple, balanced, consistent, capable of seeing and doing what is essential," he said in his homily.

A religious group in Regina is getting a lot of attention for a Christmas billboard they've put up. 

The sign by the Sikh Society of Regina reads "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year". It is located outside their temple on Princess Street.

Former president of the Sikh Society Kuldip Singh Sahota said his community is happy to embrace all religions and festivals.

"When you say Merry Christmas you wish the other person peace, love and prosperity," he said. "And that's what we want to tell the people."

Sahota said they've had a positive response to the sign so far. 

He added that they hope it helps build the community relationship between the Sikh Society and their neighbours.

And a merry Parkash Utsav Dasveh Patshah to you.

Syed Soharwardy, the lead Imam and founder of the Al-Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly, said some people may not be aware of the connection between Islam and Christianity.

"Jesus Christ is mentioned in the Qur'an more than any other human being by name, so I think it is a very good occasion to show solidarity and unity between Christians and Muslims," Soharwardy said.

Oh really?

The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.

The joy and peace of Christmas for those living under the banner of Islamism:

Amel Shimoun Nona is the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul. When the Islamic State captured northern Iraq, it drove 30,000 Christians from the Nineveh plain where they had lived since not long after the time of Christ. In August 2014, Nona predicted that the same thing would happen to Christians in the West: “Our sufferings today,” he said, “are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future.” And now, as the few remaining Christians in the Middle East prepare to celebrate Christmas and hope that Muslims won’t murder them for doing so, that future is now.



Christmas Day Massacre in Beni


According to human rights activist Sardar Mushtaq Gill, who is involved with many of the above-mentioned cases, "Violence against women and children of religious minorities, the weak and vulnerable, is widespread in Pakistan and is often carried out in silence. These cases and the stories do not come to light and when victims talk about it they are intimidated."


Churches in Bangladesh skipped the traditional Christmas midnight mass services this year due to the increasing number of threats against Christian leaders, allegedly by Muslim extremists. Catholic houses of worship in the town of Dinajpur were among those that took the unusual step of opting out of holding the annual late night services because of security concerns voiced by the community.

The audacity Syed Soharwardy possesses to think that this ploy of generalisation would work.

No one is buying it.

Enjoy the rest of your Christmas season, everyone.

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