Many U.S. Shoppers Racked Up Debt This Holiday Season

Many U.S. consumers racked up debt this holiday season, and most of them won’t be able to pay it off immediately, according to a report published Wednesday.

Around 36% of consumers went into debt, spending on presents, plane tickets and decorations, owing an average of $1,249, up from 31% in 2020, according to a report by LendingTree. Despite the percentage of holiday borrowers increasing in 2021, the average amount of spending dropped by 10% from 2020.

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Commentary: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ Helped Make the Modern Santa – and Led to a Literary Whodunit

close-up of Santa Claus suit

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known by its opening line “‘Twas the Night before Christmas,” has a special place among Christmas traditions, right alongside hot chocolate, caroling and bright lights. It has also inspired the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly old man sporting red and a round belly.

But this poem has been steeped in controversy, and debate still looms over who the true author is. Traditionally, Clement C. Moore – a 19th-century scholar at the General Theological Seminary in New York, where I work as a reference librarian – has been credited with writing the poem in 1822 for his children. Every December, library staff shares our multiple copies of the poem in an exhibit to celebrate the holiday season.

No matter who wrote it, the poem is a fascinating object that has shaped Christmases past, present – and maybe yet to come.

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Commentary: The Magnificent History of the Maligned and Misunderstood Fruitcake

Traditional fruitcake

Nothing says Christmas quite like a fruitcake – or, at the very least, a fruitcake joke.

A quip attributed to former “Tonight Show” host Johnny Carson has it that “There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.”

It’s certainly earned its reputation for longevity.

Two friends from Iowa have been exchanging the same fruitcake since the late 1950s. Even older is the fruitcake left behind in Antarctica by the explorer Robert Falcon Scott in 1910. But the honor for the oldest known existing fruitcake goes to one that was baked in 1878 when Rutherford B. Hayes was president of the United States.

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Commentary: Saying Christians Fuel ‘Martyr Dreams of Being Ostracized’ During Christmas Ignores International Persecution

An opinion piece published in The Battalion, a student-operated newspaper at Texas A&M University, recently argued that the Christmas season is a time when conservative Christians “perpetuate their martyr dreams of being ostracized.”

“Winter is Coming,” penned by Abbie Beckley, is an opinion piece that takes a deeper drive into Christmas’ purported true meaning.

According to the author, the commercialization of the holiday is not necessarily a bad thing as she attributes that trend to the expansion of inclusivity.

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‘Naughty and Nice Retail List’ Takes Defense of Christmas Into Commercial Arena

Legal challenges to Christmas and holiday displays have been going on for decades. In order to combat the anti-Christmas sentiment outside of the courtroom, a nonprofit religious liberty organization is encouraging shoppers to do so with their wallets.

Liberty Counsel’s Naughty and Nice List classifies retailers according to whether they censor or celebrate Christmas — an allusion, of course, to Santa’s list of naughty and nice children from the Christmas standard “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

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Commentary: Christmas Movies Without the Hollywoke Scrooge

Christmas tree, TV playing The Grinch and stockings on chimney

Hollywoke may be spearheading the War on Christmas, but three cable channels are mounting a far more effective counteroffensive, running traditionalist Christmas movies 24/7. And one of them, Lifetime, is a surprising beachhead. While HBO Max is showcasing the insufferable Seth Rogan’s latest bomb, Santa, Inc. (angry elf girl wants to succeed white male Santa Claus), the once male-bashing Lifetime “for Women” now boasts such romantic “heteronormative” fare as My Sweet Holiday, A Sweet Christmas Romance, and A Christmas Village Romance. Lifetime has joined the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries to reflect a realistic rather than fantastical vision of and for women, and their genuine desire for true love over a feminist-fueled man-light career pursuit.

Some Grinches criticize the films as bland, corny, and predictable. They’re certainly not on par with Yuletide classics by Ernst Lubitch (The Shop Around the Corner) or Leo McCarey (An Affair to Remember), and they do stress a secular more than spiritual Christmas magic. But normal viewers gleam from them values no longer found in the tiresomely “dark, edgy” mainstream series and feature films, such as beauty, sensitivity, warmth, uplift, and niceness.

Start with beauty. The movies are gorgeously photographed to resemble, yes, Hallmark cards. Many depict Robert Frostian villages and valleys in holiday winter, but even major cities like San Francisco in A Christmas Village Romance, Chicago in A Kiss Before Christmas, and New York in the majority appear as lovely metropoles instead of the crime-ridden progressive hellholes the Left has made of them.

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Lucas Hoge Performs Songs from His New Holiday Record, ‘12.25,’ at the Listening Room

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Lucas Hoge has released a new Christmas album, 12.25 that is not to be missed. He along with some help from friends, Jamie O’Neal and the Swon Brothers played a (mostly) Christmas show featuring new and traditional music at the renowned Listening Room.

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Commentary: One Chart Explains Biden’s Inflation Disaster

We’ve told you before about Stephen Moore’s Committee to Unleash Prosperity and his must-read Hotline but the Friday, December 10 edition was a Pulitzer Prize winner, or would be if conservatives ever got Pulitzer Prizes. You can read the entire newsletter through this link and we highly recommend you do so, because in one edition it pretty well destroys the entire Biden Democrat agenda.

The lead article shows the effects of Biden’s inflation disaster in one chart. And Steve Moore explains “inflation isn’t going away. No, it isn’t transitory. And, sorry, no, CNN, it isn’t good for you!”

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Santa Shortage Spurs Pennsylvania Lawmaker to Consider Tax Credit

A shortage of Santas this holiday season prompted a Pennsylvania state representative to propose a tax credit for those who suit up, as well as the businesses that employ Old Saint Nick.

Rep. Jonathan Fritz, R-Susquehanna, posted a memoranda on the House website this week seeking co-sponsors for legislation he said is aimed at the revelation recently highlighted in media reports.

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European Efforts to Purge ‘Christmas’ from Seasonal Lexicon Meet Resistance

Moves by officials in the EU and U.K. to cleanse the insufficiently inclusive term “Christmas” from holiday season nomenclature are meeting resistance amid signs that authorities may be backtracking from a sweeping top-down campaign to weed out speech rooted in traditional Western usage that could be construed as insensitive to minorities.

In the European Union, an internal document by EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, first reported on by Italian daily Il Giornale, recommends that expressions that are offensive to minorities or “aren’t inclusive enough” — including “Christmas” — shouldn’t be used ahead of the Christmas season.

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More Americans Than Ever Say They Won’t Be Buying Christmas Gifts This Year

A record number of Americans say they won’t be purchasing gifts for the holidays this year amid ongoing inflation concerns and supply chain disruptions, a survey shows.

Roughly 11% of Americans said they expected to spend no money at all on gifts during the holiday season, according to a holiday retail survey by Deloitte. The number is the highest since Deloitte began its holiday retail survey in the 1980s and more than double the share of shoppers in 2020 who said they wouldn’t be buying presents.

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Black Lives Matter Launches Christmas Campaign Against ‘White-Supremacist Capitalism’

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is attacking two of America’s most revered holidays, accusing Americans of “eating dry turkey and overcooked stuffing on stolen land” on Thanksgiving and promoting “white-supremacist capitalism” with Christmas.

The official Twitter account of the self-described “collective of liberators” posted, “YOU ARE ON STOLEN LAND” (original emphasis), with the subheading “Colonization never ended, it just became normalized.”

BLM posted a series of Tweets on Thanksgiving about its ideology.

For example, one tweet said, “This #Thanksgiving we send our deepest love to families whose loved ones were stolen by state-sanctioned violence and white-supremacy.

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Along with Coins This Christmas, Salvation Army Wants White Donors to Offer a ‘Sincere Apology’ for Their Racism

The Salvation Army wants its white donors to give it more than just money this Christmas season. Its leadership is also demanding they apologize for being racist.

It’s part of a push by the Christian charitable organization to embrace the ideas of Black Lives Matter, an activist group working to, among other things, “dismantle white privilege” and “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”

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After Backlash over NBC Interview, Fauci Tells CNN He Encourages People to Spend Christmas with Family

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday said that he would be spending Christmas with his family, and encouraged others to do the same, after saying over the weekend that it was too soon to tell if Americans could spend the holiday together.

“I will be spending Christmas with my family. I encourage people — to have a good, normal Christmas with your family,” he told CNN host Kate Bolduan.

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Swift Backlash for Fauci after He Suggests ‘Too Soon’ to Say Americans Can Gather for Christmas

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci came under fire this weekend for suggesting that he may ultimately advise against group gatherings for Christmas this year.

Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that it remains “too soon to tell” whether Americans for a second year in a rowwill be told not to gather in groups around the holidays.

“We have to concentrate on continuing to get those numbers down and not try to jump ahead by weeks or months and say what we’re going to do at a particular time,” he said.

Backlash against the White House’s chief medical adviser was swift as many right-leaning commentators and pundits said that enough will never be enough for Fauci when it comes to lockdowns and extreme precautions against COVID-19.

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At 1PM Saturday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Says No Person or Persons of Interest Identified as Responsible for Christmas Morning Bombing

  During an early afternoon press conference in Nashville Saturday, authorities asserted that investigators had not identified a person or persons of interest in the Christmas morning bombing. Shortly before the press briefing, CBSNews.com reported that person of interest had been identified: “A law enforcement source told CBS News a…

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44 Percent of People Say They’re Not Doing Christmas in Person Due to Coronavirus

A study found 44% of Americans said they’re not gathering for Christmas with their loved ones, a Civic Science infographic said.

More respondents in December reported canceling in-person Christmas than in October, the study’s infographic said. In October, 36% responded that they still planned in-person gatherings, but that number dropped to 30% just before the holiday.

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Analysis Ranks Top U.S. Cities for Christmas

Two cities in North Carolina and two in California are in the top five among the best cities in the country for celebrating Christmas, according to a new study from WalletHub.

Durham, N.C., edged out San Jose, Calif., by less than one point to take the top spot with a cumulative score of 68.16, compared to 67.99. Honolulu, Hawaii, took third with 67.92 points, followed by Oakland, Calif., (67.09) and Raleigh, N.C. (67).

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Favorite Christmas Songs by State

Christmas Day has finally arrived and although many people’s plans may look quite different this year, there is one thing about the holiday season that can never be changed: catchy, calming and irresistible Christmas songs.

Whether a person listens to Christmas music all 365 days of the year or only starts once winter has set in, almost everybody has a favorite jingle that inevitably gets played more often around the holidays.

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Commentary: Charlie Brown’s Christmas Message to America

Parents and children across America breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that “A Charlie Brown Christmas” would air on public television after all. This classic favorite seemed ready to disappear like everything else in 2020 when Apple TV obtained the rights and planned to air the program on its streaming service, instead of broadcast TV as has been done since 1965.

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Fauci: Americans Should Not to See Their Kids for Christmas

Dr Anthony Fauci has revealed that he and his wife won’t be spending time with their three adult children for Christmas this year and urged other Americans to do the same as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the U.S.

The nation’s alleged top infectious disease expert told The Washington Post it would mark the first Christmas not spent with his three daughters since they were born.

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Commentary: On the First day of Christmas…Teachers Got a Legal Headache Over Blurring the Line Between Church and State

During a school year disrupted by pandemic-related closures, students across the U.S. will soon be absent for a scheduled reason: the annual Christmas break.

In New York City, the U.S.‘s largest school district, children will be off from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1. Officially called “winter” recess, the December hiatus coincides with Christian celebrations, adding to the number of approved days that many students take off from school on religious holidays, including Eid al-Fitr and Yom Kippur.

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CDC Tells Americans to ‘Stay at Home and Not Travel’ for Christmas

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discouraged Americans from Christmas travel due to the coronavirus pandemic during a telephone press conference Wednesday.

“We did put out a message to postpone and stay at home […] around Thanksgiving and we’re putting out the same message: The best thing for Americans to do in the upcoming holiday season is to stay at home and not travel,” Dr. Henry Walke, director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections (DPEI) in the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said in the briefing.

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Gov. Whitmer: Michigan’s Hospitals Nearing Capacity, Family Holiday Gatherings Limited to 10 People

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urgently stressed the need for social distancing, masking up and frequent hand washing during a news conference held Thursday afternoon,.

Once again, Whitmer assailed the state’s legislators for not codifying the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ mask mandates by passing a bipartisan law.

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Thousands of Christmas Wreaths Laid on Headstones of Fallen Soldiers at Fort Snelling National Cemetery

More than 3,000 Christmas wreaths were laid on the headstones of fallen soldiers at Fort Snelling National Cemetery as part of the national Wreaths Across America campaign.

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John James: ‘Our Hope Isn’t in Washington, D.C., It’s in Heaven Above’

Michigan Senate candidate John James spoke at length about his Christian faith during President Donald Trump’s “Merry Christmas Rally” in Battle Creek, Michigan, repeatedly urging the audience not to put their hope in the federal government.

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Commentary: The Powerful Messages of Christmas Carols

This is the time of year when we hear Christmas music on the radio, in the mall, and in school concerts. Unfortunately, attempts to meet the mandates of political correctness have resulted in less air time for traditional selections. “Away in a Manger” and “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” have been replaced by such insipid fare as “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” or festive but somewhat meaningless songs such as “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.” While cultural literacy wanes for some, others know that powerful messages can be found in the old favorites.

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