Here's why I'm gone...

I've been sick, is the reason, and away from the Internet connection at my office, so this blog has been slow. Here's a couple of things to check out: The first is a piece by Mark Shea, from his blog, about how belief is shifting toward Christmas being a Christian holiday first, and a pagan holiday second, in response to the Christian celebration! Tip of the hat goes to my dad for linking this over to me.

"For the fact is, our records of a tradition associating Jesus' birth with December 25 are decades older than any records concerning a pagan feast on that day.

[T]he definitive "Handbook of Biblical Chronology" by professor Jack Finegan (Hendrickson, 1998 revised edition) cites an important reference in the "Chronicle" written by Hippolytus of Rome three decades before Aurelian launched his festival. Hippolytus said Jesus' birth "took place eight days before the kalends of January," that is, Dec. 25.

Tighe said there's evidence that as early as the second and third centuries, Christians sought to fix the birth date to help determine the time of Jesus' death and resurrection for the liturgical calendar—long before Christmas also became a festival."

The second is a recipe for my mother's party punch and remarkable get-better beverage, of which I am drinking large quantities, partly for the bolus of vitamin C, partly for the sheer liquid joy that makes my throat feel nicer, but mostly because it's something I don't make very often.

A can of orange juice
A can of cranberry juice
A can of lemonade
A 2-liter bottle of ginger ale.

Pour a third of each juice concentrate, add three cans of water and a third of the bottle of ginger ale, into a pitcher. Shake it, stir it, whatever; drink it when it's as fresh as possible.

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