The War on Christmas
Penguin Group (USA); October 2005
At first it was just nativity scenes in the town square and other overtly Christian symbols. But now the secular militants have expanded their war on Christmas to go after things regarded by most Americans and even by the Supreme Court as innocent symbols of the federal holiday that is Christmas. You can't say "Merry Christmas" at a school or office anymore; only "Happy Holidays" is acceptable. No more caroling in public. Friendship trees instead of Christmas trees. No more Santa Claus, treetop stars, wreaths, Christmas music (even instrumental versions!), or school performances of Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Even the colours red and green are under attack. Gibson unveils the coordinated work of American Civil Liberties Union lawyers, professional atheists, and Christian haters who have taken the war on Christmas to your front door. Secular liberals say they're just protecting the constitutional rights of non-Christians who don't want to see or hear about Christmas. But what about the constitutional rights of millions of Americans who simply want to celebrate their traditional holidaywithout insulting anyone else but also without having to hide behind closed doors?
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
HarperCollins; September 2005 (reprint edition)
The Herdmans are absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie and steal and smoke cigars (even the girls). They talk dirty, hit little kids, cuss their teachers, set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken-down toolhouse, and take the name of the Lord in vain. So no one is prepared when the Herdmans invade church one Sunday-and decide to take over the annual Christmas pageant. None of them has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation--the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating--has a lot of people up in arms. But the actual pageant is full of surprises for everyone, starting with the Herdmans themselves.
Deseret Book Company; October 2005
Journalist Hope Jensen is devastated when her adoptive mother dies from ovarian cancer shortly after Christmas. Adding to her woes, her apartment is broken into and all of her emergency cash stolen. Hope then discovers that someone has left her a gift--a glass mason jar labeled "Christmas Jar," filled with money. Using her investigative skills, she learns that in recent years, several people have reported receiving these mysterious jars in times of need. Hope's search leads her to the Maxwell family and their generous Christmas tradition, and to some truths about her birth mother. In the tradition of Catherine Ryan Hyde's Pay It Forward, Wright's holiday novel could inspire others to Christmas generosity.
Compiled by: Sanyat Sattar
(R) thedailystar.net 2005