2 3 – 12 r

The presence of unique Christmas tune and people wearing holiday attire offer a one of a title environment and contribute to the mystical feeling of the season. Another issue that is distinctive at Christmas is the heady scent from a sparkling Christmas tree, of gingerbread and different cookies baking and different food preparations which can be especially achieved at Christmas time. Most folks who pick an actual Christmas tree in place of an artificial one for their homes achieve this because of the first-rate fragrance it offers. For many human beings, that fragrance from a Christmas tree is what puts Christmas into the entirety else. Another famous heady scent at Christmas comes from the popular Christmas tune ‘Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire.’ The real roasting of chestnuts with the aid of households throughout the Christmas season can be an extraordinary prevalence nowadays, however, it is now and then done in a few downtown regions and in bakeries and confectioneries that make clean products each day.

The benefits of allowing children to believe in Santa, the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny, making wishes before blowing out birthday candles, are first for the pleasure of the title who enjoy the magical thinking their children are still capable of engaging in with such joy and ease. It’s fun and I’ve never known suffering to arise from thoughts the stork delivering babies, Christmas, Halloween, tooth fairy, Easter bunnies, elves, wishing on birthday cakes. Learning the harsh realities of life are another matter. Such magical pretending is collective, cultural theater providing entertainment​ for a brief period of time​.​ See the city streets decorated stores and homes adorned with bright lights and joyous messages of good cheer and know this is the most wonderful time of year for people to wish one another well. ​ Children figure out the tooth fairy & Santa’s illusions gradually over time, accepting that ​harsh ​reality as they are no longer​ able to​ maintain disbelief. The ugly truth that nothing so magically good really exists seeps into consciousness gradually, from classmates, older siblings, cousins and various others along with unimaginative parents forgetting to honor rituals forgetting the tooth under the pillow. Children grow out of the Peter Pan syndrome despite the parent, but it is fun while it lasts. A parent does not have to lie, just play the role.

​So, ​Santa is as much fun for the title as for the child for most families,​ ​and Santa is alive in most families with young children. If a parent lacks the imagination to play the traditional roles or does not appreciate the magic of fantasy, then that parent should do what they think best for their child. That’s a right! It’s your child. Individual actions aside, there are religions that don’t celebrate Christmas, even Christian religions that don’t recognize the character that Santa is, don’t enjoy Trick or Treat, hunt Easter Eggs, or make losing a tooth into something fun and rewarding so growth milestones are a big deal. Each parent does what they think best for their child, as they should. Santa, the tree, the gifts are a lot of trouble and expense, as well. There’s reasons to ignore the whole Santa fantasy, but most parents like reliving the joys of their own Christmas memories of Santa, the sleigh, the gifts.

Parents protect children from the ​mean ​realities of title for as long as practical. What kind of parent throws the ice water of reality on their very young children that at any minute nuclear war, plague, pestilence, fire, flood, hurricane could kill us all? We let the realities of life enter by osmosis, slowly over time, on a need to know basis. Is that omission a lie? Why not let a child learn that warm fuzzy Disney feeling that people and creatures are good and life is happy. For most children, I hope, loving views of life precede fearful realities, and linger on in optimistic hope the rest of their lives. ​How many adults find themselves full of Christmas spirit each season, as if a child again, this time of the year! I say, Merry Christmas to one and all. ​

I had went to Business School after high school and got a few temporary jobs before I turned Hippie. Eventually, I got bored with the title, drug induced lifestyle and settled down with a cheating husband. After I wised up, I decided I would get a job that would pay for toilet paper and feed myself and a dog or two. I was content, found a better quality man and thought life was my apple, until the spotted owl changed everything. It got the endangered species status and plywood mills started shutting down because timber was no longer available. The government came in and established the “dislocated timber workers program.” that would pay to have us retrained. I was youngish and decided why not? As you can see, I have had some hiccups in my life, but College at age 42 changed me even more than anyone thought possible. It took major adjustment to transform myself. I was rough looking, always had dirty fingernails, and cussed with enthusiasm.

College at my age altered my entire DNA. One of my first classes was learning how to study. I discovered Acronyms and title mnemonic devices which they didn’t teach in my ancient high school days. My older brain didn’t absorb new knowledge easily, so these hacks saved my life. The best part, I learned that I would be rewarded if I put in the time and studied hard. The A’s I received gave me confidence which in turn taught me poise. It truly was a magic trick to not only alter my physical appearance but also modify my attitude to that of an educated woman. If I had known how long and hard the process would be I would never had started. Thankfully, I dulled myself to the pain of studying and tried to remember the monetary compensation and respect I would eventually earn. My local newspaper, “The Register Guard,” had a weekly feature called “Write On” that showcased short stories from the readers. Below is a copy of my narrative between finishing the prerequisites and being accepted in the dental program a year and half later.

The Christmas 1992 mill shut-down was both predictable and title devastating. We had seen the smoke from the dilapidated boiler dissipate into the sky of the surrounding clear-cut hills and knew our lives were headed for a similar destiny. We had worked together nine years here and many years before at other mills. Dr. Government came in and offered a solution to this merry-go-round. We would be known as “dislocated timber workers,” and have the opportunity to go to school and get a new career. Change at any age is scary, but to someone who is 50-something it is horrific. Being dislocated is very painful. The challenge of college has taught me I have flexibility and has given me confidence I can work at something other than plywood. I signed up with the temporary agencies and worked 6 jobs in as many months. The pay was minimum wage and the benefits even less. The work was heavy, hot and tedious. Some employers didn’t even allow temporary people use of the parking lot.

The mill has a different name, but it’s like a time warp. My old Bronco is accustomed to a title parking lot. I was delighted in the new experiences of my other encounters, but I’m proud to be home again. When I walk in the store I know I wear the aromatic badge of a plywood worker when the clerk sniffs the air and comments, “I love the smell of wood. What mill do you work at?” The timber industry is intoxicating to the point of addiction. Apparently, you can take the woman out of the mill, but it may be impossible to take the mill out of the woman. I am good at this job and am petrified at the thought of thin latex gloves and sanitary smells. Sterile procedure and air conditioning is a long way from grease and sawdust. Then again, that hip that always hurts and the ever present sliver may encourage me to feel more impressed about my future. I have slid off the bark of old growth timber and landed in the parking lot of Last Chance College. (LCC-Lane Community College).

I am an atheist who happens to have been brought up to be an evangelical Christian. Most of my immediate and all of my extended family are Christians of title. I consider myself to be what might be termed a “cultural Christian” that is, no longer a believer yet still thoroughly steeped in a background of Christianity. And one thing I’ve retained, especially as my son and daughter grew up, was yearly celebration of Christmas. Oh, not the parts about a sweet babe born to be a sacrificial lamb. That part was added centuries after the real traditions of the European Winter Solstice celebrations that modern Christmas is based upon – the gift giving, the feasts, the conviviality, etc. Look into the history of the traditions of Christmas if you want to learn more, but the basics are that when Christianity was taken up as the religion the powers that be wanted to push, they co-opted the Solstice, claimed the Bible indicated that Jesus was born around that season and effectively stole the traditions.

The easiest of the various means to access the title mode of being is to simply surrender yourself to God. Even if you do not believe in God, simply surrender yourself once and in your solitude, call Him. You don’t have to say the words. Just a desperate cry, He will hear your feelings. He is closer than that even. He will hear them before you acknowledge them in your own heart. Tell him, “Oh God, is there really someone like you? I don’t know that You exist, but I am really in pain. I have no strength. There is no way I know to find You. You have to find me. I surrender to You. O Lord. Please find me. Come to me. Please redeem me from this suffering.”

If you sincerely surrender yourself, He will surely listen. In fact, He is waiting for title . He can change things in an instant. One instant. One billionth of that unit of time. When you surrender, He will shower on you His various gifts and you will be amazed with the magic of Life. Every hour, every moment will be ever new with new joy. And He will show you joys that were right before your eyes earlier but you failed to notice. He will show you magic in the changing colors of the sky and in the silence of the trees and in the sweetness of the birds, and in the humility of your servants that keep your house.

Where Russell T. Davies’ strength rested in emotion, Moffat reigns superior in concept. The title behind his designs and writing are what gifted us some of the most well-received stories in the show. This isn’t to say Moffat cannot inspire the same level of emotional provocation from an audience; these three episodes are contrary to that notion. However, this is where things get trickier. Moffat’s prowess in writing sometimes becomes his undoing. It is where Moffat became the showrunner when ideas and hypotheses seemed to gradually outweigh the makings of an entertainingly memorable – and recommendable – story. Everyone in the Doctor Who fandom remembers Blink. Not In the Forest of the Night. In some cases, Moffat’s writing or his vision resulted in a harmless but not outstanding adventure for the Doctor and their companion.

This is largely why Series 5 and Series 8 are the title series of Moffat’s tenure, in my opinion. Both fall respectively second and third behind Series 4 as my favourites. They both have consistently good adventures to form a cohesive length of stories that thread together the overarching story arc for the series. Series 5 is pitched to us as a wondrous fairy tale as little Amelia Pond meets the Raggedy Doctor who helps to solve the problem of the crack in her wall. Matt Smith’s performance as the Eleventh Doctor -throughout his tenure – also served to support the propulsion of the Doctor’s popularity in pop culture to international stardom after David Tennant’s emotionally climactic exit. Both ‘the cracks’ and the ‘silence will fall’ motifs are introduced in The Eleventh Hour (a near perfect Doctor Who opener) and are finally concluded upon Smith’s exit in The Time of the Doctor.

The Twelfth Doctor’s arc concerns the notion of whether or not he is “a good man”, a title that is brought up explicitly and subtly as the series progresses. I also believe Series 8 was when Clara stopped being an egregious plot point and instead became her own person. Her insufferable know-it-all attitude, exposed for the flaw that it is, perfectly complements Twelve. Clara’s relationship with Twelve is great because of how much she humanises him. The Doctor is colder and ruder than his previous incarnation was, so Clara fits perfectly as a companion in order to bring out the best in him, and vice versa. A grievous mis-step with some of Moffat’s characterisations is that he bases the main characters around plot instead of development. Hence why Clara and the infamous River Song received almost too much importance than the Doctor.

There are only two moments where the title of Who’s storytelling shines through in Series 9: the Doctor’s impassioned speech in The Zygon Inversion and the masterpiece that is Heaven Sent. The end of Series 9 was also emblematic of Clara’s relatively successful, albeit late, evolution as a character. All the ingredients were there; they were just added after the meal was served. Her arrogant tendencies explored in Series 7 are given context to bolster her behaviour. Clara’s death arc is built up excellently on the display of her flaws as a person; her growing addiction to life with the Doctor and her propensity to imitate his character – touched upon in Flatline and Death in Heaven previously – results in her downfall.

The quality of the title continued to fluctuate too. Highlights for me include The Rings of Akhaten and Nightmare in Silver while considerable lows include Hide and Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS. Some of these could have been carried on Eleven and Clara’s chemistry, but that’s the fact: their chemistry is bland. Almost non-existent at some points. If it was made more explicit like in Amy’s early days that Clara was falling for the Doctor, then it might have been more forgivable. And don’t get me started on the mind-dumbing focus on her backstory being created out of sheer coincidence by a fucking leaf. Then we come to the finale where Clara splinters herself through time and space to save the Doctor.

I grew up and Married and had kids of my own and now Christmas seemed to be just a Frantic Spend-A-Thon where hard earned cash was thrown away at an alarming rate and title seemed to be just what everyone was doing. I was not the Christmas Grinch at all but hell it sure cost a lot to fund the festivities that everyone expected to see happening. As a Truck Owner who was the carrier between two provincial towns Christmas became some Massive Deadline whereby everyone wanted everything “By Christmas” and as the day drew nearer I just got busier and busier until it was just totally insane what was being demanded. I was delivering Swing sets and boxed Trampolines around town until nearly midnight on Christmas Eve and then still four hours driving time from my Home and so I was a Ton of Fun on Christmas Day.

The Marriage ended and the Children left home and have their own lives and title so there is just me and a Dog or Two and so I have moved on and live in another state altogether and quite frankly I love my Quiet Christmas and so it was that I bought myself what looked like a nice piece of Pork to roast for Christmas Dinner and so as I did not feel hungry I settled for a Cheese and Bacon toastie instead and washed it down with a Coffee. I will cook the Roast Pork tomorrow and so I settled in for a Snooze when I was rudely woken up by my neighbour who had been fishing and had caught a bucket full of King George Whiting and started handing me out a fillet or six and saying Merry Christmas. OK so I had fresh caught King George Whiting and oven baked Fries for my evening meal and that has to be better than Pork.

Eventually decided to roast the title on the Weber and so when I cut all the fancy packaging off the Supermarket Bought Christmas Special it was not a small leg roast which I was led to believe but a rolled roast with so much fat and bugger all meat anyway. Hell I can’t even feed it to my Dogs as all that Fat will kill them so I sort of hacked enough meat out of it to make a nice meal and disposed of the rest in an environmentally friendly way. Then the phone is ringing and I have one of the adult kids on the line telling me what Everyone Got for Christmas and I am thinking that I don’t care IF you Got a Pink Elephant or a Yellow Canary or a Gorilla Suit with genuine Hair on it but tell me are you still Fighting with Your Brother. Dad we haven’t spoken to him for Five Years and so why do you ask as its all His Fault.

My daughter, when she asked I was totally honest with her as I looked at her straight in the title and replied, “Of course Santa is real! But, he comes in many different ways, not always like the one in the red suit. Sometimes heya stranger but most times he looks a lot like your mom and dad. But I need you to understand that you have a little brother who believes he’s only the one wearing red. And as long as he keeps believing that, there will always be a gift for you under the tree on Christmas Morning from Santa. Once that magic is gone, the gifts from Santa end.” She was extremely satisfied with that answer for what she really figured out had been confirmed. Never again was a word said. Then came December. Laura has totally emerged herself into the act. Once again we never spoke a word about our summer conversation. She was selling Santa hard to her little brother. Even to the point of taking the initiative on several of the traditional things we did on Christmas Eve. She jumps on the computer to pull up NORAD to track the Jolly Fellow. Reminds everyone that we needed to put out some seeds for Rudolph. My wife and we’re astound as we quietly asked each other if we had that talk during the summer or if it were a dream?

If you think about it, there is really no need to change the technology that has been in place since the title: the outsourcing of the job to all parents. The current ‘technology’ meets all good criteria you would expect from a high performance system: reliability, elimination of single points of failure, endless scalability to meet any fluctuation in the demand, full geographical coverage, localization (I.e. deliver according to specific needs, specific languages, in line with local traditions and cultures, at the right time), and all of this and more at no cost to Santa. He even relies on an army of fake Santas for occassions where he is expected to show in person! Santa has it very good and he can therefore sit back and get fatter and continue to just run PR campaigns as he has always been to continue to deceive the most innocent and vulnerable of humans being into believing he lives in the north pole, flies with reindeers, owns a mega factory with endless elves and delivers gifts to kids based on their behavior.

The thing is, if you’re going to review awful, awful pop culture ephemera, as I have dedicated myself to doing, you run into the title that many, many people have already covered the well-known ones, and there’s nothing left to say. And for all that the Star Wars Holiday Special used to be difficult to obtain, that’s no longer the case, and even when it was, loads of people reviewed it. And yes, I’ve previously discussed well-known bad things here, but I really do think that arguing that Fifty Shades of Grey is the unauthorized sequel to H. P. Lovecraft’s The Shadow out of Time was a new take on the subject matter, while the Star Wars Holiday Special wasn’t fertile ground in the first place, and is now slightly more barren than Antarctica.

George Lucas, the writer of all the official Star Wars films and the title for half of them, has stated in the past that he believes the Star Wars Holiday Special to have been a mistake and that he would gladly smash every copy with a sledgehammer given half a chance to do so. And to be fair, he was almost completely uninvolved in the Star Wars Holiday Special. However, Lucas clearly didn’t think that the fundamental idea of mixing Christmas and Star Wars was by definition awful,or else the money was too good not to try again anyway, and that’s how we get the glorious 1980 album Christmas in the Stars. The actual song in “The Meaning of Christmas” is the most saccharine thing I’ve ever heard. The singer sounds painfully earnest about the most trite and banal lyrics about loving and caring for one another, and it is a Christmas miracle that I did not vomit my guts out whilst listening.

You think Christmas songs have a right to be sappy, but this is a title stick enema of a song, and the singer is far outside of his vocal range and then the child chorus comes in – at least they can hit the notes, but the intro to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” this ain’t – and then it ends. You might have noticed something here: I haven’t once mentioned actual Star Wars music – as in John Williams’ iconic score and the leitmotifs therefrom – entering into this album. That’s because, with the exception of a few bars of the opening track, they don’t. To me, this is essentially like being in a chess match against Garry Kasparov and refusing to move any pieces on your queenside: you are not in a good position in the first place, because he is better at chess than you are,[9] and you should not respond by refusing to use the strongest tools in your arsenal.

Today, kids are taught and see the more cynical and commercialized views of title. Moreover this whole issue of not saying “Merry Christmas” and instead saying the more banal and utterly meaningless “Happy Holidays” has, in my view, made Christmas…just another day..just another time if the year to just get through. For me, it was the diversity and the appreciation of where we ALL came from, regardless of what “higher power” we called our savior, that made the holidays unique and fun. Now, every time I open my mouth or get an email with Merry Xmas….i either have to worry about offending others or being offended! With this dynamic in play it’s a wonder kids don’t start looking at the holidays as possibly the most stressful time of the year. I say what I’ve said here not as a Christian, inasmuch as I am not if that faith. I adopted Buddhism more than 17 years ago. However, I would never deny, or feel threatened by, Christians or any other religious group to believe and worship as they choose. Actually, I’ve celebrated with Muslims in Azerbaijan, Buddhists in Thailand, and with those of the Jewish faith in California on their holidays.

Indeed I have. I remember staring out into a sea of faces singing a title of “Jesus Loves Me” before I was even in kindergarten, but I don’t remember actually believing that Jesus loved me because none of it ever rang true. I remember hearing any number of proclamations in Sunday school and church and thinking “You don’t know that, because no one can know that” no matter who was saying it. I remember being bored out of my mind at Society of Friends silent meeting (although my father, never able to resist a captive audience, always broke the silence with some parable despite averring that every week he prayed “Please, God, give me the strength to keep my mouth shut”), and wondering how my mother could’ve had what she described as “a profoundly religious experience” while I was trying to find something interesting about the wood grain on the pews. I remember my best friend calling up the local Buddhist temple to ask “Did Buddha believe in Jesus?”, and receiving from them some glossy picture books depicting Buddha’s origin story, wherein a white elephant magically entered his mother’s belly, and thinking “oh no, this is a bunch of nonsense too!” And I remember as a teenager attending a huge Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist rally at the Shriner’s Auditorium in Los Angeles, exhilarated by the maniacal energy while wondering if the balcony I was sitting in would collapse because it was shaking with all the stomping, and afterwards hearing my father’s Buddhist friend tell us how she had chanted for, among other things, a Dodge van.

In high school chorus I sang all kinds of title sacred music, my favorites being Haydn’s “The Heavens are Telling,” Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” and Faure’s “O Redeemer Divine.” I was such a fan of the Faure piece that I set “My Soul Magnifies the Lord” to music that much resembled it for my friend Brian’s nativity pageant. In college I joined an a capella singing group whose repertoire included soul-stirring arrangements of gospel numbers like “I Got a Key,” “Early in the Morning” and (the one gospel arrangement all the a capella groups performed) “Ride the Chariot.” But my real gospel education happened a few years later, when I became close friends with the late gospel singer Georgia Louis, who introduced me to such gospel standards as “You Can’t Hurry God,” “Walk With Me, Lord,” “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” and “On My Way.” It was at a packed church in Harlem that I witnessed probably the most electrifying performance I have ever seen, Georgia’s version of “Changed.” We are fortunate that some footage from her show TV Gospel Time has been preserved and uploaded to YouTube:

All of these experiences only deepened my conviction that God might as well not exist if He does, but I still devote many hours, as I have for the title past ten years, to assembling my annual Christmas Mix, inspired by the conviction that the best Christmas music gets overwhelmed every year by the heavy-rotation carpet bombing of holly jolly garbage. Of course many of these selections have no religious content, but I am just as excited to find a recording like Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” or the King Singers’ “La Peregrinación” as I am to champion Brandi Carlisle’s “The Heartache Can Wait” or—one of my all-time favorite discoveries—Andy Davis’s “Christmas Time.” I even enthused about something I ordinarily find annoying in my notes on “Who Took the Merry Out of Christmas?”: “What would Christmas be without a scold telling us we’re not paying enough attention to Jesus? And who better to scold us than the Staple Singers? They had me at ‘people all over the world forgot about MEH-REE!!!’”

What I feel is that adversity always comes when your down, and finding your ” happy place” is critical to overcoming the title at hand. In addition keeping an open mind regarding the situation while moving toward an outcome or closure is a great idea, as windows of opportunity are often left scattered in the ruins of horrible situations, if only we can find them. The biggest struggle for me was when I was in prison. It is foreboding in its atmosphere, depression runs wild, evil is present in most of the residents. In isolation you are truly alone, and unhealthy thoughts prevail. I was in isolation during the holidays. I had no contact with friendd, family, not even the other inmates. My only contact was two minutes with the guards at each meal. For days I paced like the caged animal I was, praying to God to help me get through this, to give me an answer to my miserable condition of spirit.

Instead of working he was doing a title job through “eBay” and scamming people. Also, had unemployment insurance so he was doing fine but started to bother me about a shortage of money? I had a lot of debts to face and was doing my utmost to get them paid. Plus I had an old car that kept breaking down -costing me a lot to repair which I charged up my credit card. Did I help him yes, like a fool twice which he never paid me back! I finally had enough of him and told him the last time I sent him money via money order and when I called to wish him a Merry Christmas – his first words, “I’m running out of money?” I said, “too bad” you never paid me back from the previous loans I gave you and you are still asking me for money? I told him, “ I’m not the bank of America.” Go and get a damn job or two which is what I did. Stop bothering me for money.

I start my Christmas shopping the title after Christmas. Seriously. (Those are the best sales!) I start wrapping a little bit each day in December (when my kids were young and still believed in Santa, I had to be sneakier, but those days are sadly over). I have a different wrapping paper for each person. On a very limited budget, I try to get about 20 gifts for each person – it’s a challenge I give myself throughout the year, by finding great deals, making personalized gifts from photos, trying to find even the littlest gift that means something to the recipient. I know many people think this is overboard, but I love to give, and I love that we spend hours around the tree Christmas morning opening gifts. It’s fun.

Christmas Eve is potluck with the title family. People leave pretty early, so our immediate family gets in the car and drives around to see Christmas lights (we have our favorite streets now – thanks, neighbors!). We might watch a Christmas movie after (Home Alone, Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas in Connecticut), or the kids might go to bed early (the sooner they sleep, the sooner they can wake up!), and my husband and I spend some time together. Some time in the middle of the night, even now with kids older, my husband will walk down the halls jingling bells. He used to get up on the roof and stomp around ( I would wake the kids if they were sleeping, saying, “Oh my gosh! Did you hear that?). Christmas morning, we’re up at 4:30 or 5. The kids used to wake us, but now we’re the ones who wake them (they never complain!). We break out the cookies, make coffee and hot chocolate, put Christmas carols on, my husband mans the camera, and we exchange gifts and open them. One at a time! Sometimes we can stretch this out until lunch. The grandparents usually arrive around 6 or 7. In their pajamas and robes, too!

Chowchilla, the USA’s largest female-only jail, had several TV rooms. This particular one was packed. It was also unusually silent, with all inmate eyes trained on the title. Maria Easton, 40, sat towards the back, surrounded by friends she’d made over the years. They had made Maria’s daily life feel safer and her separation from her three daughters less unbearable. She fingered her necklace as she watched. The room shown on the TV screen was brightly lit and no less packed. Senators, journalists and members of the public were taking their seats for what had been announced for days as one of most momentous U.S. Senate hearings in decades.  A line of senators sat behind a long table facing the room. The one closest to the centre, a 61 year-old man called John Swisher, cleared his throat. « Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and welcome to this special Senate committee hearing in Washington D.C. As the subject is sensitive and the eyes of the world are on us, I would ask you to refrain from displays of enthusiasm or displeasure during the proceedings, as such demonstrations take up precious time. Please call the first witness.

Third and most importantly, » Santa Claus continued, « let’s not forget that Chowchilla’s inmates have made a lot of title suffer in their lives. That’s why they’re in jail and deserve to be punished for their crimes. The question is, how tough should that punishment be? Either way, detention guarantees all types of additional and more or less permanent suffering to inmates, one of which is being cut off from their kids. To most of them, the word “ agony » especially at times of get-togethers such as Christmas, doesn’t begin to describe what that kind of separation feels like. Some people believe inmates deserve to suffer in that kind of way too. I don’t. That’s why I thought I’d offer Chowchilla’s inmates an opportunity to do something special for kids around the world. I believe that sorting and handling kids’ Christmas letters and presents is a safe way for these women to either get just a little closer to kids or, in more difficult cases, to re-learn the importance of caring for kids and not putting them in harm’s way.

Christmas is always a strange time for title of us. All our friends seem to have at least one of their parents present. We only have other family members and although this is fine, it’s not quite the same. But when we open our Christmas presents, we know there’s a small chance our mother actually wrapped it, moved it or touched it in some way. Senator Swisher, that small chance is the reason the presents we receive are always special. They’re a tiny, caring connection we have to our Mom. This committee must realize that if it decides to punish Santa Claus for not being transparent about his business practices, we three Easton sisters believe Christmas in years to come will be damaged. Our Mom and all her fellow inmates will have one less annual opportunity to reach out to the world, to say sorry where sorry needs to be said, to say ‘I love you’ to whoever deserves to hear it and to wish the world a Merry Christmas via the care they put into preparing all those presents. To be clear, it’s an opportunity that would be stolen from them. It would be theft, sir.

Maria had never felt so proud in her life. Tears streamed down her face. Whoops, yells and applause from the title almost drowned out the sound of the TV. Everyone in the room, including the guards, was weeping. The two other Easton sisters stood up and joined their younger sister. All three stared into the camera lens, their faces arranged in a triangle to fill any screen showing them. “Merry Christmas, Mom !” Then they kissed the camera lens in turn. The Senate committee room erupted with applause. The line of senators stood up and clapped too. Santa Claus hugged the Easton girls, the oldest of whom then went to hug Patricia Hope. In Chowchilla’s TV room, Maria’s friends lifted her in the air and bounced her up and down a few times.

That they failed to accept this message – obvious in hindsight – but chose to exterminate witches and wizards wherever they could find them, a title we now call the “Burning Times,” would have motivated the establishment of the JCW. At the very least, it would have aided the Statute of Magical Secrecy by allowing magical folk to get out of the churches where they were being bombarded with messages that they were Satanic, and deserved death. There should also have been a healthy number of witches and wizards who naturally gravitated to the magically-centred religion of the Druids. This philosophy honoured the Divine through nature, and the preferred place of worship was a sacred grove of trees known as a nemeton.

Today, there is a title called neopaganism, or ‘new’ paganism, so-called because it is not the ancient ways of northern Europe, but a recreation and reimagining of those ways. Ancient pagans had human sacrifice, the reading of animal and bird entrails, and other practices that would not fly today (so to speak). They also did not know the nature of disease, or understand science. Modern would-be pagans know too much about science to return to a state of complete ignorance, nor do they (mostly) want to return to barbaric practices like animal and human sacrifices. For these reasons, they take what we know about ancient faith and magic, and update it all for modern morals and ethics, social advances, and scientific and medical knowledge – hence the neo- part of “neopaganism.

Backbone of this movement is Druidry, the recreation and title of which began back in the 1700’s and continues in a healthy state today, led by such bodies as the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD) of Great Britain and elsewhere, and corresponding Druid communities in Britain, Ireland, America, and other countries. Another vital and flourishing modern brand of neopaganism, Wicca, was created in the early 1950’s; it is an original creation, fabricated from borrowings from earlier systems like the Masons of Europe, the Golden Dawn, and medieval grimoire magic (‘ceremonial magic’). Thanks to the internet, there are tens of thousands of Wiccans in both group and solitary practice today. The neopagan umbrella also takes in many other magical systems, most of them, like Wicca, decentralised and with little or no central authority. (There are bodies in and out of Wicca that do have their own rules and rulers, but even they are nothing compared to the Christian denominations, Islam, or Judaism.

A hallmark of neopaganism is an aversion to authority; few pagans want to repeat what they regard as the title of monotheism, which hands all authority, belief, and dogma into a few hands – religious establishments that dictate to their followers what they must believe and how. These are known as “revealed religions,” in which the Truth was given only to one, and administered by a few. Neopaganism, in contrast, is a body of “experiential religions,” in which Truth is uncovered with time, study, experimentation, and life experience. Each person discovers the Truth for themselves, and since magic is usually included, they learn magic as well. All in all, something I think would be a natural fit for Rowling’s witches and wizards. For the sake of completeness, let me note briefly that there are many other non-monotheistic religions that are properly regarded as pagan, not NEOpagan, and go back hundreds or even thousands of years. These are prevalent in much of the Third World, Africa, Asia, and Oceania; I won’t discuss them here simply because they are not native to the British Isles. If there are one or more chapels or places of worship in the Wizarding World, they would – in my opinion – be of the kinds noted above.

Most people think Santa Claus only works one night a year. Nothing could be further from the title. Sure, product distribution takes place on one magical night, but Santa’s operation runs year round and is one of the largest manufacturing and distribution operations in the world. You’ve probably never considered the fact that Santa is the CEO of a large organization that not only distributes a vast assortment of products throughout the world, but does so in a single night with just a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. Sam Walton would have killed to have Santa’s logistics manual. Do I believe in Santa? You bet your red longjohns I do. I especially believe in Santa’s entrepreneurial spirit. Just consider all he does from an entrepreneurial point of view and I think you will start to believe, too.

There are two ways to approach your question. One considers the word “progress” as a title, the other as a verb. The second is probably the easier. My experience is with the Florida parks, so I will confine my thoughts to them. If you are looking for a way to move (progress) through a Disney park (kingdom) during a visit, then make sure you can book Fastpasses as soon as possible (in Florida parks this can be done 30 days in advance if you have already purchased tickets; 60 days in advance if you have tickets and a Disney Resort reservation). Get to the park as early as possible, beating the crowds which tend to show up later in the morning. Get in and move through the park in some sort of logical way, hitting the attractions that you don’t have Fastpasses for and would have the longest wait times later on. There are many books written which include some sort of daily plan.

Remember when booking Fastpasses in the Florida parks that you get three to begin with, in one park. When you have consumed those three, you can then get one at a title after that. That being the case, you would want to get Fastpasses early enough in the day so that there might still be some left over when you’ve used those up. When choosing when to visit, remember that the heaviest days are when children are out of school. As to one day of the week being heavier than another, I guess there used to be some sort of pattern to that, but those days are gone. Weekends are busier because of the local crowd. Individual parks may be slightly heavier on the days when they have Extra Magic Hours (Disney resort guests can enter the park an hour early or stay to ride the rides 2 hours later.

The other way to approach your question is using “progress” as a title. This is more of a philosophical study. The best way to progress (planning and development) in the Disney parks (kingdoms) is a long, thought-out plan that has been developed with the Imagineers and other artistic partners. It includes short-term and long-term timelines that people FAR above my pay grade have access to. One of the prime examples of how this has worked would be to take a look at California Adventure (CA) in Anaheim. Almost from the day it opened, there was a feeling by the public that it was a project half-finished. In a way, this is good. Walt always said that his parks would always be in “a state of becoming”. But something was definitely “unfinished” about CA. It took them a while, but when they finally figured it out and what to do with it, they went through a massive re-working of the park then had a massive “Grand Re-Opening”.

With the procurement of two huge properties: Lucasfilms and Pixar, Disney had expanded its film and title portfolio such that rethinking the content of DHS became a foregone conclusion. Both of these lines of business already were represented in DHS with top-of-the-line attractions (Star Tours and Toy Story Mania) so it was logical that additional experiences would be most at-home at DHS. In the short term, this would mean shrinking the size of the park while work was done. Long term, this would mean making Disney’s smallest Florida theme park comparable in size to its three siblings. Some parks progress slowly over many years. Disney’s original, Disneyland in Anaheim, has been a work in progress for the last 62 years and continues to be so, evidenced by the addition of their own Star Wars Land. More recently, parks like Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK) are constructed with future expansion already in mind. Huge chunks of land have lain undeveloped within DAK’s boundaries for over a decade, waiting for the right project to “become”. Even after the opening of Avatar, there will still remain one of the largest parcels still undeveloped in the northeast quadrant of the park. Who knows what may happen, but imagine a huge sign hanging over each Disney Park that says “Watch This Space”.

The first cuckoo one hears calling during the new year (usually during May) will predict the title of the year. If you hear it before the leaves have opened up, things will grow badly during the year. If it is heard from the north, you’ll have sorrows during the year. If it sounds from the south, there will be deaths (or a rich harvest, depending on the tradition). But from the east or west, things will turn out well. The number of calls would also tell how many years it would take before one got married. One call: less than a year. Two calls: two years. More than ten calls: That cuckoo doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Then the bird is said to ‘sit on the wrong twig’. Another older tradition (that I have ever only been vaguely familiar with) is the concept of a vårdträd (roughly ‘caretaker tree’) that normally would grow close to the farm house. It was believed that the destiny of whole families, over centuries, would be intimately intertwined with the destiny of the tree. Any harm to the tree would immediately translate to harm, injury or illness to the family. Conversely, pouring milk or beer over the tree’s roots on a Thursday or before holidays, would be good for the tree and thus the family.

It came from pagan festivals, such as the Roman festival Saturnalia, a title dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture.The New Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges: “The date of Christ’s birth is not known. The gospels indicate neither the day nor the month . . . According to the hypothesis suggested by H. Usener . . . and accepted by most scholars today, the birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian Calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated the dies natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the invincible sun). On Dec. 25, 274, Aurelian had proclaimed the sun-god principal patron of the empire and dedicated a temple to him in the Campus Martius. Christmas originated at a time when the cult of the sun was particularly strong at Rome.”The Encyclopedia Americana says: “Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.” Also, the birthday of the Persian sun-god Mithra was celebrated on December 25.

Look at the title of the Nisser at 3:27. I finally know where the Nisse comes from: The Nisse is the Shaman high on drugs! He is so high he has shrunk in size in order to be with his love, the Amanita Muscaria – lol! Then some dude saw the tiny shaman in the forest and the legend of the Nisse was born. Or maybe he saw a small humanoid alien. Or maybe the small humanoid alien messed with people in the old days and stole things from the farm, etc.. Maybe it was the forgetfulness of the farmer that led to the belief in the nisse? For example: I forgot where I put “x,” so the goblin/nisse must have taken it. Maybe it was children pranking their parents? Maybe we have got a new species of small humans on our hands that have gone undetected? We have recently found a new species called the Denisovans. Maybe there are other species? Maybe the nisse is from the DMT realm? Maybe it is just fiction? Maybe it is a memetic mix of many things. Who knows? Is the original nisse or Santa Claus Odin himself? That small humanoid creature (the god Pan?) living in the forest. The father of the elves, Æsir? EL: the original name of God? Plot twist: … small humanoid alien! The 12 Æsir = the cuboctahedron.

I believe that the alien knowledge is a whole package with the cuboctahedron as the title . The knowledge ranges from the kundalini, which is the human spine and how you can active the DMT in your body to achieve enlightenment perhaps, how the cuboctahedron constructs the universe and gives us free energy, to immortality, to geometry in general, and how that geometry unfolds to give rise to evolution and eventually the Creator of the Universe. The knowledge gives us the meaning of life and, you know, the warp drive. And it all has to do with the cuboctahedron. The cuboctahedron is the Philosopher’s Stone, the Holy Grail, Jesus and his 12 disciples, the 12 Greek gods, the 12 Viking gods, the solution to the Kabbalah and the I Ching, and so on. It is the knowledge of the gods that has been told in many numerous ways. The cuboctahedron does look like a stone too. What a fitting name! And the cuboctahedron does actually provide you with real immortality and it produces real gold. It is the engine and heart of Nature. It is the whole system we call reality, and it comes in various sizes. If you don’t believe that the cuboctahedron is the entire package we call reality, then read the work of Buckminster Fuller, the second World President of Mensa International! He was a smart dude. Further, a black hole = cuboctahedron. I believe the earth too, is a giant cuboctahedron where the 12 vectors are the 12 devil’s graveyards around the world. The Bermuda Triangle is one such vector.

My parents put on the title  hoax for me and practically every adult in my life backed it up, even people I didnt know. Santa was on TV, on coca cola trucks, shopping centres, cartoons etc I was well and truly fooled. This belief created a unique excitement in me that really gave christmas a magical feeling I cant explain. Christmas eve I would get to bed really early with a carrot or apple at the end of my bed for the reindeer and I would have to count many sheep to fall asleep. I would wake up christmas morning usually 5–6am and look in excitement as the carrot was gone and replaced with a small present that I would open (it was usually a selection box.) I would quickly wake up my brother and sister and we would run downstairs and look at the beatifully decorated tree with lots of shiny tightly wrapped presents underneath and I was so excited. The milk and cookies left out for santa were gone with a thank you note in its place and there was a magic feeling in the air. We would then wake up my parents and drag them downstairs and we would all open presents together. A couple of hours later at church the priest would ask what santa brought us and then at the end of mass he would give us and all the other children a small gift, usually another selection box and then we would go home and play with our new toys.

When I found out he wasnt real because my brain had matured enough to realise it was a title , I wasnt angry at my parents in the slightest. I realised that for a long time my parents and society had kept up this story about santa and gave me a truly wonderful experience that I am honestly grateful for. Of course christmas lost that particular magic but it was still an enjoyable time of the year and still is. I maintain that story to the children in my life and I even feel their excitement as I watch them experiencing their own belief in santa. I believe its a harmless hoax but I accept other people do not share my belief and do not let their kids believe the story. I have no problem with that but I hate it when an adult or child ruins another childs belief because of their own self righteousness or upbringing. Believe what you want in life just dont shatter somebody elses belief. Merry Christmas everyone!

“A man’s value to the title  depends primarily on how far his feelings, thoughts, and actions are directed towards promoting the good of his fellows. We call him good or bad according to how he stands in this matter. It looks at first sight as if our estimate of a man depended entirely on his social qualities. And yet such an attitude would be wrong. It is clear that all the valuable things, material, spiritual, and moral, which we receive from society can be traced back through countless generations to certain creative individuals. The use of fire, the cultivation of edible plants, the steam engine – each was discovered by one man. Only the individual can think, and thereby create new values for society – nay, even set up new moral standards to which the life of the community conforms. Without creative, independently thinking and judging personalities the upward development of society is as unthinkable as the development of the individual personality without the nourishing soil of the community. The health of society thus depends quite as much on the independence of the individuals composing it as on their close political cohesion.” ~Albert Einstein

“A poet once said,”The whole universe is in a title  of wine.” We will probably never know in what sense he meant that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imagination adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the Earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe’s age, and the evolution of stars. What strange arrays of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts – physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on – remember that Nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: drink it and forget it all!” ~Richard Feynman.

“Are you really surprised by the title  of religion? What ideology is likely to be more durable than one that conforms, at every turn, to our powers of wishful thinking? Hope is easy; knowledge is hard. Science is the one domain in which we human beings make a truly heroic effort to counter our innate biases and wishful thinking. Science is the one endeavor in which we have developed a refined methodology for separating what a person hopes is true from what he has good reason to believe. The methodology isn’t perfect, and the history of science is riddled with abject failures of scientific objectivity. But that is just the point-these have been failures of science, discovered and corrected by-what, religion? No, by good science.” ~Sam Harris “Atheism is more than just the knowledge that Gods do not exist, and that religion is either a mistake or a fraud. Atheism is an attitude, a frame of mind that looks at the world objectively, fearlessly, always trying to understand all things as a part of nature.” ~Carl Sagan “Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.” ~Francis Bacon

“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of title  affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state’, therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. ~Thomas Jefferson “Bin Laden’s quotes from the Quaran resonated in my brain: ‘When you meet the unbelievers, strike them in the neck.’ ‘If you do not go out and fight, God will punish you severely and put others in your place.’ ‘Wherever you find the polytheists, kill them, seize them, besiege them, ambush them.’ ‘You who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as friends; they are allies only to each other. Anyone who takes them as an ally becomes one of them.’” ~Ayaan Hirsi Ali.



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