Bill OReilly really shouldnt talk to atheists, because every time he does, he looks like an idiot.

The last time he did this, (Feb 2011) it was in reference to the tides, saying ‘you cant explain that’

This ridiculousness happens at 1:50 into the clip.

And, Im by no means any type of science scholar, but a quick visit to wiki can give you this: tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of the Earth.

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But, Ive veered off the topic I wanted to cover in this post…..

Once again, Bill OReilly brings David Silverman in for an interview – this time, calling atheists fascists for fighting the separation between church and state. (11-2-12)

You see, Bill OReilly and many other conservative people want you to believe that there is a war on Christmas.

The simple fact is that they are attempting to have public facilities not endorse ANY religion over another. You dont see this man arguing about whether a church or someones personal property can have certain Christmas displays, just equal time for ALL (or none) on public property.

And, while we are on the subject of the wrong-ness of Bill OReilly, lets just inform him that Christianity IS a religion, NOT a philosophy.

Being a Methodist, Catholic, Baptist or whatever are DENOMINATIONS of the Christian faith.

But, watch the video for yourself:

Oh, and before I forget, the ‘Christmas’ tree adorned in silver and gold, as well as several other traditions Christians use to celebrate, are not in fact Christian in nature. They are pagan. (Some Christian churches have openly refused to put up Christmas decorations due to this fact)

See Jer 10:2-4: “Do not learn the ways of the nations . . . For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter.”

(Please refer to the section on decorations: Christmas & Did Christians Steal Christmas?)

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And that, is where the line is drawn.

Because of the economy, many of my friends have stated that they are cutting back on what and how much they buy. Some of these same friends have complained that they have had to purchase gifts for various people in their lives.

Heres my idea…Instead of “cutting back” or even complaining about it, why not CHANGE the way we celebrate? We do not have to forego tradition when changing these celebrations, instead change the mindsets of those involved.

We need to celebrate this holiday within our means! So, while contemplating on these things, we need to understand what is specifically important to us. These priorities will be different for everyone.

Here are some of my Christmas “tips”

DECORATIONS

I still need my decorations, but unless something breaks, I will not purchase new ones. How about where you store your decorations? If you dont have room for it, dont keep it. This allows you to concentrate on saving/using only the decorations you absolutely love! This also helps when it comes to setting everything up – and putting it away for the following year.

When you are pairing down your collection of Christmas decorations, there are many ways to “get rid of” any extras. You can always give it to another family member, box some of them and give them to your adult children, donate to your church, or donate somewhere else. I suggest that ornaments/decorations that are broken in any way, be thrown away.

CHRISTMAS DINNER

I like to host Christmas dinner. This is mostly due to everyone else in the family having animals or a smaller space to celebrate…but no matter who hosts the Christmas dinner, we have to remember to economize.

Instead of having the host family prepare everything, make your Christmas dinner “potluck”. Since most of us are pretty traditional when it comes to our Christmas dinners, we dont really take a chance with crazy off-the-wall dishes. If this is a concern, make sure to speak with those attending, and “assign” dishes to each person.

THE HORROR! GIFTS!

If there ever has been a year to cut back, it is 2008. Most families remember Christmas pasts when they got “that awesome video game system” or the year that they got that “big screen tv”. Many of our Christmas memories just straight up involved gifts….and most of us can recall some time in our lives when under our Christmas tree, was a mountain of perfectly wrapped gifts.

Even though some of my friends still bought a couple of the big ticket items – Im sure they saved awhile for it-or will face a sticker shock come January when the bill rolls in.

DIVING INTO CHANGE

Last Christmas, I had JUST moved. I beleive that my gift was that the house sold quickly, and we were able to find exactly what we wanted. But anyway, because of all that was involved in showing the house, packing, painting-etc we really could not have fit in shopping…not to mention keep track of what was bought.

So we spoke to our friends and families and said, Hey-we still want to host Christmas (potluck idea started last year too) but can we NOT exchange gifts? Amazingly, everyone thought that was a good idea. I dont think anyone minded.

THE LUCKY ONES!

We did however still get my daughter and son presents. They wrote lists of ideas with a certain money limit – and we got the top two things they wanted. Both were happy with their gifts.

I have to mention that our one tradition has evolved into something else that has made Christmas a little less stressful. When I was a kid, I was allowed to open ONE gift Christmas Eve. Granted, those gifts were basically Christmas pajamas from your folks….and youd better wear em for the morning for when they take pictures!!

SEE, I AINT LIKE MY MOM & DAD

I have always let my kids do the same, but I never did the pajamas thing to them. I gave them real gifts (like a cd or dvd) My motive wasnt for the pictures tho-mine was to have them occupied so that we could get stuff separated for the “morning set-up”.

SLEEPING IN CHRISTMAS DAY = PRICELESS!

Anyway, a couple of years ago, we started letting them open everything Christmas Eve (after Mass the years we were able to go) so that we could sleep in Christmas morning. This alleviated alot of stress Christmas day…mostly because the kids stopped waking up at the crack of dawn to open and play with whatever they got.

CHRISTMAS MUSIC

Heres an awesome discovery-Comcast has a Christmas digital music channel. For those of you who are starting out….you wont need to purchase music to set the mood. For those of us with umpteen Christmas tunes cds-we can keep them in the cd rack. There is something for everyones taste.

I STILL SEND SNAIL MAIL!

I have neglected to mention something that I need to address now.
Christmas cards.
I dont feel like Christmas is complete without sending Christmas cards. I have a Christmas card list that is somewhere around 90-100 names long. I really try not to bump anyone off this list, no matter how much money I will save on postage. I know everyone feels differently about sending cards-even if they love getting them….and maybe my card is cheering one of them up. So I do NOT skimp here.

THE MORAL OF THIS STORY

We spent hundreds of dollars less this year, but enjoyed Christmas 100% more!
Not only did we save money, our ideas have been passed around amongst our closest friends and we have heard stories about how much they saved!

Theres another bonus as well….no malls, no lines!
NO ADDITONAL DEBT!

So what are your thoughts? Do you think you could implement any of these ideas?

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. Since changing some of the financial obligations of celebrating Christmas, we had a most relaxing day.

I may blog about how to change those obligations, since it adds to the meaning of Christmas instead of going into debt. But, before I do that, I must get something off my chest…something that has been bothering me for some time now.

I have noticed recently (within the past 5 years) that Christmas decorations are less Christmas-and more ridiculous.

Here are some violators:

* blue lights – Unless you have green, red, yellow, white, you should not have blue. Decorating your house or yard with blue lights does NOT make me think of Christmas. It makes me think you are depressed.

* characters inside snow globes OR any other type of blow up decoration – These things make me crazy. Some of these do not even contain Christmas-like scenarios. For the amount of electricity these things consume-you could have lights all over the place! The other issue with these type of decorations is that when they are not “up” they lay in a pile on the front lawn. Not attractive!

* Nativity sets that do not use Biblical characters. Mickey Mouse playing Joseph is WRONG! Minnie Mouse as Mary is WRONG! If you are going to have a Nativity scene, please stay true.

* The reason for the season is NOT Santa. Really….you didnt know that?

* Unless you live on Baltimore’s Christmas Street, you should not insist on having decorations on every inch of yard. Its just tacky especially if there is no “theme”.

* Decorations saying “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings” – Come on…if you decorate for Christmas, why are you being so politically correct? Your friends, who may not share your religious beliefs really shouldnt be offended…I mean, you dont expect to see the same types of decorations in a Jewish friends home.

* This really isnt a decoration, but – Christmas songs with words changed
(for example – “Silent Night, Holy Night” changed to “Silent Night, Regular Night”)

* While I am talking about songs….I love Christmas music at Christmas. I do not like to hear it non stop BEFORE Thanksgiving. I would like to be able to enjoy one holiday before another thrusts itself in my face. Do like most of us do–the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving to the first weekend in January.

* Speaking of enjoying holidays….for some of my friends, I ask that you please attempt to hide the fact that you dont take your decorations down all year! I have friends (and you know if this is you!) who have led me to their house by telling me, you cant miss it-it has the Christmas lights on it–in July.

* And my last one, well, Im sure will make some of my friends will be mad.
BLINKING LIGHTS!!
Before you think about commenting me on this, hear me out — Unless you have them synchronized-its gonna look horrid. Seriously-your roof blinks and your porch blink, and your bushes blink…problem is — 4 or five strands on each thing blink and you kinda cant tell what its supposed to be lighting up….(I have the same issue with blinking Christmas trees) And those chaser lights – need I say seizure?

I am very sorry if Ive offended anyone….personally-Ive been guilty of one of these–but saw the error of my ways!

Well, Im off to “un-Christmas”. Gonna do little bits at a time tho-dont want to wear myself out.
Comments are of course, welcome….but please keep it polite.