Friday Free-for-All: Christmas Eve Edition

Happy Christmas Eve! Things might be a little quiet around here today, as the InsideCatholic staff goes about its last-minute preparations for tomorrow (please tell me I’m not the only one who still has presents left to buy?…). In the meantime, below are a few quick holiday links to tide you over.

And from all of us at IC to all of you: Best wishes for a very merry Christmas!

  • In a nod to his visit to the UK earlier this year, Pope Benedict recorded a Christmas message for the BBC’s “Thought for the Day” spot today. It’s unusual for the pope to address one nation in particular at Christmastime; you can read the full transcript here.
  • How did December 25 become Christmas? In the Biblical Archaeology Review, Andrew McGowan argues that, contrary to popular belief, it may not have much to do with the pagan solstice celebrations at all.
  • In the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) the Rev. Scott Black Johnston says that, rather than complain about once-a-year parishioners who only show up at Christmastime, he will welcome them — because, like the rest of us, “they will come to see if angels are going to show up and proclaim (once again) that there is a God who loves us and that heaven’s great desire for us is peace.”
  • Finally, a great recording of Louis Armstrong reading “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” (h/t Terry Teachout):
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Margaret Cabaniss


Margaret Cabaniss is the former managing editor of Crisis Magazine. She joined Crisis in 2002 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in English Literature and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She now blogs at

  • bill bannon

    Gifts were completely wrapped as of yesterday afternoon…..what to do?……what to do?….lol. I will drive down to the harbor where I pray and stare at hundreds of Atlantic Brants as they sleep on the surface of the icy waters….and I will wish I could feed the seagulls but it’s not good for them to be trained to expect park denizens to get them through the winter with bread.

  • dan

    “rather than complain about once-a-year parishioners who only show up at Christmastime, he will welcome them”

    Yes, perhaps they are prodigal sons and daughters, and we need to let them know that we know God loves them.