Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Archive for December, 2007

Hooray! Atheist movie bombs!

Posted by infinitygoods on December 16, 2007

On opening weekend the atheist assault on the Christmas season, “The Golden Compass,” bombed at the box office taking in only $25,783,232 at latest count.  The trilogy’s plot is about two children on a quest to kill God, which Philip Pullman wrote in a jealous response to C. S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

By comparison, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” earned $65,556,312 on its opening weekend and earned an approximate total of $800 million worldwide, proving that Christian viewers will indeed bring in the big bucks despite Hollywood’s anti-values drumbeat.

Because of “Compass'” very soft opening on a weekend with no competition, sources from New Line, the studio, have already been quoted saying that they are unsure the next movie in the trilogy will get a green light.

“Prince Caspian” is coming out in 2008.

The New Yorker has described Pullman as one of England’s most outspoken atheists.  The Washington Post quoted him in 2001 as saying, “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”  He continues “I’m not in the business of offending people.”

I think that he does a fine job of offending Christians for an amateur.

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Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 2

Posted by infinitygoods on December 13, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog. If you missed Part 1, it’s right here.

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Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Of course! Several actually. Like with our Christmas trees, I like to have at least one in each room. I have one I splurged on as a teenager. It is a Fontanini, which I bought from the San Francisco Music Box Company. The manger has a real Reuge movement which plays “Silent Night,” bringing me warm childhood memories of my entire extended family singing that carol in German, French, Italian and English. Each year I add at least one new piece to my nativity. I have another nativity made of porcelain and also with a music box. My mom gave it to me because it is small and one solid piece so that I could take it with me wherever I traveled. This one plays “O, Little Town of Bethlehem.” We have a nativity we inherited from my mother-in-law. It is nothing special, but has great sentimental value to us. I have one Santon from France which is dressed in fabric clothes. I love that little old lady very much, and she reminds me of the Santons my aunt and uncle collect during their travels to the small villages in France. Each one is designed after a real person in the village.

8. Who is your hardest person to buy for? It was my mother-in-law. She was one of those people who has everything, needs nothing, buys anything she might remotely want or wish for, long before anyone else even had the chance to get it for her. When you encounter someone like that, I advise you do as the Wise Men did, and bring lots of gold. Diamonds work well, too.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Our son has loved everything we have ever given him. He is so enthusiastic with every gift, it is a real joy to see him react to even the most basic item.

10. Worst gift you ever received? A scale so I could GAIN weight. I was in high school and my very own parents thought 90 pounds was not an appropriate weight. My feelings were very hurt.

11. Do you mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Both. I send far fewer cards than I used to, but I still send to my relatives scattered around the world and a few dear people who have remained friends over the decades. I do not feel obligated to send a card to every person I have ever met. I send a few e-cards to people who write to me via e-mail throughout the year. I do not write annual Christmas letters, obviously not because I do not like to write, but because if there is someone out there who hasn’t kept in touch with me (and vice versa) since the previous Christmas, then I’m sure they would not be interested in my Christmas letter. I also do not send Christmas cards to atheists, even if they celebrate “christmas” with a tree and gifts. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. The tree and the gifts should be symbolic, not an atheist excuse for consumerism and greed. I also send a few Hanukkah cards.

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Hmmm. … One year I found myself having to shop on Christmas Eve, one year I did some year-round shopping, a couple of years I did most of my shopping during all the AFTER Christmas sales and clearances for the following Christmas, so I was a full year ahead. I highly recommend being a year ahead of the game. Not only will you enjoy the Advent season far more if you don’t have to battle those crazed people in the malls, but you’ll save money twice (once because everything is on sale and another time because you’ll have beat inflation since by the next year, all the prices will have gone up. I wouldn’t recommend buying technology-related items like computers or iPods of course.) I prefer making my own gifts for those I love. I just pour all of my love into it. It’s usually projects which require many hours, but the people I love are well worth it, and I think it is much better than a store-bought gift. I also love to create memories more than buying something for under the tree. As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I find myself buying fewer and fewer gifts as a reaction to the world getting more and more commercial. One huge pet peeve is that the store clerks are no longer allowed to wish us a Merry Christmas. What a bunch of double-standard, bah humbug Scrooges all these store owners and managers are!

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? If I am given a gift which I have no use for, I will give it to someone I know will be able to use it or enjoy it, otherwise I give it to charity. I see nothing wrong with making others happy.

14. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear lights. I think it looks much better. I still have some old strings of colored lights and they do get used around the house, but not on any of the trees.

Part 3 is here.

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Thursday Thirteen #10 — Carol’s 13 True Meanings

Posted by infinitygoods on December 12, 2007

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Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen, where you get to learn little-known details about me or things important to me. For the complete list of this week’s participants, just head over to Thursday Thirteen.

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I have loved the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” for many years, but when I recently learned the true meaning of that song, I appreciated this carol even more. This is one of the favorites at my church too, and we always get great audience participation during our Christmas concerts.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” has hidden meanings which were taught to Catholic children during times of persecution, much like the Jews used dreidels during their own times of persecution. Here’s what I learned on how to decipher the code:

  1. On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me; Who could possibly be my True Love? Why, God, is my True Love of course!
  2. A Partridge in a pear tree = The partridge is Jesus Christ (none of the sources I found said what the pear tree stood for, but I think it would be safe to think it is the cross);
  3. Two Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments;
  4. Three French Hens = Faith, Hope and Love;
  5. Four Calling Birds (some people claim it is Colley Birds or black birds) = The four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John;
  6. Five Gold Rings = The Torah, which is the first five books of the Old Testament;
  7. Six Geese A-Laying = The six days of creation (on the seventh day God rested);
  8. Seven Swans A-Swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, wonder/awe in God);
  9. Eight Maids A-Milking = The eight Beatitudes
  10. Nine Ladies Dancing = The fruits of the Holy Spirit (from the Old Testament: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control);
  11. Ten Lords A-Leaping = The Ten Commandments;
  12. Eleven Pipers Piping = The eleven faithful disciples;
  13. Twelve Drummers Drumming = The twelve beliefs in the Apostles’ Creed

Be sure to check my Christmas Tips, Ideas and Resources and my Household Tips.

Happy Thursday!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

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Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, carnival, Chanukkah, Children, Christianity, Christmas, culture, education, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Judaism, life, spirituality, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

WFMW — Where’s Santa? NORAD Tracks Jolly Fellow

Posted by infinitygoods on December 11, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgSince 1955, the United States government has been tracking Santa’s progress around the globe on Christmas Eve as the Jolly Fellow delivers presents to all the good boys and girls of the world. Today,footer_norad_logo.jpg the Canadian and the United States governments use the bi-national air defense command for the North American continent called the North American Air Defense Command, known as NORAD, to track Santa’s movements.

You can help your children or grandchildren track Santa’s whereabouts by going to NORAD’s website, where Petersen Air Force Base in Colorado uses the latest military technology. There you will also be able to find out how and why NORAD tracks Santa. The history and technology will be quite interesting to children and adults alike.

There is a countdown to Christmas games, and starting at 2 a.m. Mountain Time on Christmas Eve, you can even see Santa and the Reindeers using the Santa Cams. It is a multilingual website with sound, music, photos, three-dimensional graphics and maps.

For a list of all the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my previous Christmas tips, just click below.

If you missed any of my previous household tips, just click below.

Posted in Advent, America, blog, blogging, Blogroll, carnival, Children, Christianity, Christmas, culture, Earth, education, Family, government agencies, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Media, Rocks In My Dryer, technology, Tips, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, Website, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

WFMW — Magic Reindeer Food

Posted by infinitygoods on December 11, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgWhen our son was about 2 years old, one of our neighbors gave him some magic reindeer food. Although we had never heard of this tradition, our son enjoyed it so much that we have continued it without fail each Christmas Eve. Just like many people leave milk and cookies for Santa, we also leave food for Rudolph, Donder, et al, and it is MAGIC no less. According to our neighbor, to help the reindeer find your house faster, just sprinkle a bit of magic food on your front lawn or even on your balcony. If you’ve been good, they will zero in on your house lickety-split and they will find new energy to visit the next house. On Christmas Eve, before your children go to sleep, have your children sprinkle the food. Our first year, I was ready early the next morning with my broom to sweep the food away from our small covered balcony, but the wind had blown it all away. Not one bit has ever been left over, especially now that we have a yard, but I’ve always been ready with my excuse that the reindeer must have been too full should the need ever arise. Just like my neighbor, you can also make them as gifts to young children. It’s inexpensive, easy and fast to make, yet it will bring a lot of joy and good memories to the children. Here’s the super easy recipe.

Magic Reindeer Food
1 pouch of instant oatmeal or about 2-5 tablespoons
1-2 teaspoons of shiny foil confetti (young children are especially attracted to the shiny foil and 1 teaspoon is a drop in the global environment, but if you have “green concerns,” you can use colored sugar sprinkles instead).
Mix the oatmeal and confetti and put it in the center of some plastic wrap, closing it with some curly ribbon to form a pretty pouch. Colored wrap makes it more festive. Hand one pouch to each child. Older kids will want to make it themselves. Children will sprinkle it with glee for the reindeer, loving not only the magic, but also the fact that they are caring for and feeding Santa’s reindeer.

For a list of all the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

If you missed any of my previous Christmas tips, just click below.

If you missed any of my previous household tips, just click below.

Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Caring, carnival, Children, Christianity, Christmas, Cooking, crafts, Faith, Family, God, Holidays, Home, Household Tip, Household Tips, How To, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Recipe, religion, Rocks In My Dryer, Tips, Tradition, Uncategorized, WFMW, works for me wednesday, Works For Me Wednesdays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Getting To Know Your Friends — Christmas Edition Part 1

Posted by infinitygoods on December 6, 2007

This is just for fun, although I’ve added some household tips and Christmas ideas, so you might find it worth your while to read on. I’ve been tagged by a friend and I’m sharing the fun along with my readers. You too can participate either in your blog or through e-mail if you don’t have a blog.

 

Welcome to the Christmas edition of Getting To Know Your Friends.

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!!

Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then either publish it in your blog or send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person who sent it to you … ‘Tis the Season to be NICE!

 

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, depending on size and shape of present. I’ve also wrapped over-sized presents in large white garbage bags with huge bows and ribbons. By the time I was finished with the fancy presentation, no one had any idea it was a garbage bag. I like to reuse the bags we receive too. If the wrapping paper strikes my fancy, it will often get reused into a Christmas craft.

2. Real tree or artificial? Both. Most years, the main tree is real. I remember one year where all the trees were outrageous highway robberies so we skipped the real tree that year. We decorate trees in every room. We have a slim, white, wall tree we purchased when our son was born and it goes in his bedroom. The decorations are red, old-fashioned toys and garlands of tiny hearts. We have two, 3 foot, green tabletop trees. One is pre-lit. The other is not, but one year I took the time to wrap the lights just so around every branch and we put it back in it’s box with the lights still attached and it’s just ready to go for the next year. I have a tiny one about 10″ tall with burgundy roses, ribbon garlands and a gold stand which my best friend made for me one year. It looks very Victorian and is a treasured memory. I have another tree about 12-14 inches tall with tiny old-fashioned glass ornaments which I used to decorate my cubicle back in the days before I worked for our church. We have a ceramic tree with one colored light at each tip. Our trees range from a few inches to floor to ceiling height. Some years not all have gone up. All of our trees and most of our ornaments have very special memories attached to them. Each year we all decorate together and as we pull out the ornaments we tell our son about each memory. Last year he started telling us the stories and had quite a bit of joy recalling all the ones he remembered.

3. When do you put up the tree? Most of the time we decorate the Friday of Thanksgiving week-end. I know some people are very much against it because it is before the start of Advent, but it is very convenient for a busy family. We decorate together and it is an enjoyable family activity with lots of music, singing, story telling, egg nog, cookies and general merriment rather than the chore some people unfortunately experience.

4. When do you take down the tree? The real tree is checked daily for any signs of dryness and it’s branches go into our fireplace as soon as it is deemed too much of a hazard. The trunk is chopped and left to dry for later fireplace use. We keep our real tree watered and add plant food or sugar, sometimes even Seven-Up to keep it from drying out too quickly. It usually lasts past Christmas day. At least one artificial tree is kept for the full 12 days of Christmas until Epiphany on January 6. All remnants of Christmas disappear by the week-end. Sometime between December 26 and January 1, the house has also undergone a slower transformation by decorating with a New Year theme.

5. Do you like egg nog? I love egg nog. I add milk to mine as I do not usually drink it with added alcohol and it is often too thick without the added liquid. It also makes it last longer. Sometimes when I don’t want something too heavy, but I still want the flavor of egg nog, I will mix mostly milk and only a little bit of egg nog since the flavor goes a really long way. I alway add freshly grated nutmeg. It makes quite a difference for my taste buds. Did you know egg nog was used as a restorative in the Victorian days when someone was ill or recuperating from an illness? All those eggs, cream, milk and alcohol are good for you!

6. What was your favorite gift received as a child? Books, books, and more books. And non-fiction, please. I loved to learn and still do.

You’ll find the rest of this Christmas questionnaire in a future post on a computer screen near you, so be sure to check back.  😉   Click here for Part 2

Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, Christmas, Friendship, Holidays, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Thursday Thirteen #9 — Favorite Christmas Carols

Posted by infinitygoods on December 5, 2007

Welcome back to Thursday Thirteen, where I let my readers in on some trivia about me. Today I share with you 13 favorite Christmas Carols, and let me tell you it was a very tough choice because I not only love everything about Christmas, but I was also in my church choir, so I have so many fond memories connected with so many carols and hymns. It was sort of like asking a mother to pick her favorite children; it’s just not possible. So, in no particular order, here are my 13 favorites for the day. Ask me next week, and I’m sure I’ll come up with at least another 8 or 10 different favorites.

  1. Silent Night
  2. Do You Hear What I Hear
  3. Mary Did You Know
  4. Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant
  5. The Twelve Days of Christmas
  6. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  7. Joy To The World!
  8. Handel’s Messiah
  9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  10. Jingle Bells
  11. O, Tannenbaum!
  12. O, Little Town of Bethlehem
  13. Carol of the Bells

Be sure to check my pages full of Christmas Tips, Ideas and Resources and my Household Tips.

Happy Thursday!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Posted in Advent, blog, blogging, Blogroll, carnival, Christianity, Christmas, culture, Faith, Family, Holidays, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, life, Music, religion, spirituality, Thursday 13, Thursday Thirteen, Tradition | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

WFMW — 10 Minutes Flat

Posted by infinitygoods on December 4, 2007

If you came here looking for household tips or Christmas tips, ideas or resources, just click on those pages, and for more of this week’s WFMW go see Shannon.

wfmwbluebanner.jpgWell Shannon, at Rocks in My Dryer has given us a theme this week and she wants recipes for Works For Me Wednesday. Here’s the setup: It’s 5:30 p.m., we’re tired, we have a headache from having barely survived the worst day of our life and of course our cook is Missing In Action and we’re too poor for takeout. We don’t have any leftovers in the fridge or anything in the freezer that we can just zap because, you know, it’s the worst day from hell and we didn’t even think ahead to use our Crockpot, so what is going to work for me? And you?

Here’s four ideas:

1. Refer to my own blog for my Tomato Chicken Salad Recipe which I make in 10 minutes flat! Round it out with a cheese platter and fruit (no cooking there either, just pull it out of the fridge and slap it on a tray) and you still have a gourmet French meal! Now that works for me!

2. Grab my very best cookbook and look up the section “Dinners in half an hour”. What cookbook would that be, you ask? Dinners in half an hour is in The French Chef Cookbook. Well any cookbook by Julia Child will work too. Julia has the very best cookbooks because she not only tells us how to cook the recipes, but also tells us what NOT to do. With Julia by my side it wouldn’t matter if my brain were turned off, I know I don’t have to be concerned about anything because she will have tested every step right down to the last grain of salt. I could cook a recipe for the very first time and even serve it to a stereotypical mother-in-law from hell and not have one iota of concern. Now that works for me too;

3. Grab a Rachel Ray cookbook, because she too makes a complete meal in half an hour;

4. Grab one of Chef Emeril Lagasse’s children’s cookbooks because everything in there is super easy, super fast and super tasty. You can see my complete review of his series of children’s cookbooks right here on my Cooking For Children post.

Feel free to leave a comment even if it’s just to say “hi”.
Happy Wednesday, Everybody!!

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Happy Chanukah!!

Posted by infinitygoods on December 4, 2007

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Priest Sees Red Over Sacrilegious Red Bull TV Ad

Posted by infinitygoods on December 3, 2007

Why is it the world thinks it’s perfectly OK to bash Christianity? In a world where clerks are no longer allowed to wish us a Merry Christmas for fear we might prefer to be wished a Happy Eid, despite the fact we are Christmas shopping, no one in Red Bull’s advertising agency gave a second thought to blaspheming the Holy Nativity, Christ’s birth, the Wise Men or angels.

In another example of Christianity being trampled by atheists and other religions, an advertising campaign for the Red Bull energy drink created an animated television commercial with 4 Wise Men, instead of 3, bringing a can of the drink to the Holy Family while angels tout the company slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings.”

Father Marco Damanti, whose written complaints to the company succeeded in the company promising it would pull the ads from Italian airwaves, told the Corriere dela Sera newspaper, “The image of the sacred family has been represented in a sacrilegious way. Whatever the ironic intentions of Red Bull, the advert pokes fun at the Nativity and at Christian sensitivity.”

Red Bull et al obviously expect us to always turn the other cheek!

Posted in Advent, America, Christianity, Christmas, culture, Faith, Family, Food, food products, God, Holidays, Home, infamous, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Italy, life, man-made chemicals, News, religion, spirituality, U.S., Uncategorized, USA, Vatican | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »