Category Archives: Christmas & New Year

Wish You All a Merry Christmas!


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Myself  .By T.V. Antony Raj

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IMG_0197 (Small)

 

These cute Tiny Tot Santas are Standard I students of Vidya Matric. Hr. Sec. School, Jalladianppet, Chennai, India where my elder daughter Sujata now teaches.

These little Santas danced to Christmas Jingles during the Chrismas Day celebrations at their school on December 19, 2014.

They captivated the hearts of everyone with their hilarious performance!

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Make Chocolate Fudge for the Festive Season in 10 Minutes Using Your Microwave


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Home made Chocolate Fudge

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Christmas is just 30 days away. So, now is the time to collect recipes and learn the methods to prepare sweet treats and delicacies like a confectioner. Why not make Chocolate Fudge for the festive season using your microwave to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth?

Here is an amazingly quick and easy method to make Chocolate Fudge from Greg’s Kitchen.

It requires only four ingredients plus salt (optional) and just 10 minutes to make this delicacy.

Ingredients
500 grams of Brown Sugar
250 grams of chocolate melts (cooking chocolate)
150 grams of butter
1 tin (approx. 395 ml) Sweetened condensed milk
and 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

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I Wish You “A Happy New Year 2014!”


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Happy New Year 2014

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January 1 is probably the world’s most celebrated public holiday. In each time zone, as the new year starts at the stroke of midnight, it is invariably greeted with fireworks.

Janus, the Roman god of gates, doors, and beginnings.
Janus, the Roman god of gates, doors, and beginnings.

The first month of the year, January, is named after Janus, the Roman god who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward. The Romans dedicated New Year’s Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. This suggests that New Year’s celebrations are founded on pagan traditions.

The Julian calendar used in the Roman Empire since 45 BC, as well as the Gregorian calendar also called the Western calendar and the Christian calendar that refined the Julian calendar in 1582 have January 1 as the first day of the year.

Circumcision of Jesus.
Circumcision of Jesus.

Later on, January 1, the New Year’s Day, was liturgically marked the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus in the Gregorian calendar of Christendom. The Anglican and Lutheran churches celebrate the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus on January 1, based on the belief that if Jesus was born on December 25, then according to Jewish tradition, his circumcision would have taken place on the eighth day of his life (January 1).

The Roman Catholic Church considers New Year’s Day as a Holy Day of Obligation and celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on this day.

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This is Communal Harmony in My Beloved India


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Myself 

By T.V. Antony Raj

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United We StandTHIS IS MY BELOVED INDIA!

Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis …

” And peace on Earth to people of good will …”

This is India - Merry Christmas!
This is India – Merry Christmas!

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I came across the above fabulous photo on the internet. Do you like it? What message does it convey?

Here are some photographs I came across while surfing the net. 

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The vow of Hindu-Muslim unity

Talking about communal harmony on April 8, 1919, Mahatma Gandhi said:

“If the Hindu-Muslim communities could be united in one bond of mutual friendship and if each could act towards the other as children of the same mother, it would be a consummation devoutly to be wished. But before this unity becomes a reality, both the communities will have to give up a good deal, and will have to make radical changes in ideas held herefore. Members of one community when talking about those of the other at times indulge in terms so vulgar that they but acerbate the relations between the two. In Hindu society, we do not hesitate to indulge in unbecoming language when talking of the Mohammedans and vice-versa. Many believe that an ingrained and ineradicable animosity exists between the Hindus and
Mohammedans.

“When both are inspired by the spirit of sacrifice, when both try to do their duty towards one another instead of pressing their rights, then and then only would the long-standing differences between the two communities cease. Each must respect the other’s religion, must refrain from even secretly thinking ill of the other. We must politely dissuade members of both communities from indulging in bad language against one another. Only a serious endeavour in this direction can remove the estrangement between us.” (25:201-202)

He made the members present take a vow as under:

“With God as the witness, we Hindus and Mohammedans declare that we shall behave towards one another as children of the same parents, that we shall have no differences, that the sorrows of each shall be the sorrows of the other and that each shall help the other in removing them. We shall respect each other’s religion and religious feelings and shall not stand in the way of our respective religious practices. We shall always refrain from violence to each other in the name of religion.”

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I Wish You “A Merry Christmas”!


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Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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Merry Christmas, Joeyeux Noel

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“Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis …”

” And peace on Earth to people of good will …”

“Ek wens dat julle almal ‘n Geseënde Kersfees!” (Afrikaans)

“Unë ju uroj gjithë Gëzuar Krishtlindjet!” (Albanian)

“أتمنى لكم جميعا عيد ميلاد سعيد!” (Arabic)

«Ցանկանում եմ ձեզ, որ Սուրբ Ծնունդ»: (Armenian)

“Mən bütün Merry Christmas arzulayıram!” (Azerbaijani)

“Nahi dut Eguberri guztiak ” (Basque)

“Я жадаю вам усім шчаслівага Каляд!” (Belarusian)

“আমি আশা করি সমস্ত একটি শুভ বড়দিন আপনি!” (Bengali)

“Пожелавам на всички Весела Коледа!” (Bulgarian)

“Els desitjo a tots un Bon Nadal!” (Catalan)

“祝大家圣诞快乐!” (Chinese simplified)

“祝大家聖誕快樂!” (Chinese traditional)

“Volio bih da svi Sretan Božić!” (Croatian)

“Já Přeji vám všem veselé Vánoce!” (Czech)

“Jeg ønsker jer alle en glædelig jul!” (Danish)

“Ik wens jullie allemaal een vrolijk kerstfeest!” (Dutch)

“Mi Wish You Ĉiu Merry Christmas!” (Esperanto)

“Soovin teile kõigile Häid jõule!” (Estonian)

“Hinihiling ko mo ng Lahat ng Maligayang Pasko!” (Filipino)

“Toivotan kaikille hyvää joulua!” (Finnish)

«Je vous souhaite à tous un Joyeux Noël!” (French)

“Desexo a todos un Feliz Nadal!” (Galician)

“გისურვებთ შობა!” (Georgian)

“Ich wünsche Ihnen allen ein frohes Weihnachtsfest!” (German)

«Εύχομαι σε όλους Καλά Χριστούγεννα!” (Greek)

“હું તમને શુભેચ્છા એક બધા મેરી ક્રિસમસ!” (Gujarati)

“Mwen swete nou tout yon jwayeu Nwèl!” (Haitian Creole)

“אני מאחל לכולכם חג המולד שמח!” (Hebrew)

“मैं तुम चाहो सभी एक मेरी क्रिसमस!” (Hindi)

“Azt szeretném, ha minden Boldog Karácsonyt!” (Hungarian)

“Ég óska ykkur öllum gleðilegra jóla!” (Icelandic)

“Saya berharap Anda semua Merry Christmas!” (Indonesian)

“Is mian liom tú go léir ar na Nollag Merry!” (Irish)

“Auguro a tutti un Buon Natale!” (Italian)

“私はあなたにすべてのメリークリスマスを望む!” (Japanese)

“ನಾನು ನೀವು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಒಂದು ಮೆರ್ರಿ ಕ್ರಿಸ್ಮಸ್ ವಿಶ್!” (Kannada)

“난 당신에게 모든 메리 크리스마스를 기원!” (Korean)

“ຂ້າພະເຈົ້າຢາກທ່ານທັງຫມົດເປັນ Merry ວັນຄຣິດສະມາດ!” (Lao)

“Tibi opto a Verbum Caro!” (Latin)

“Es novēlu jums visu priecīgus Ziemassvētkus!” (Latvian)

“Linkiu visiems linksmų Kalėdų!” (Lithunian)

“Ви посакувам на сите Среќен Божиќ!” (Macedonian)

“Saya Mahu Anda Semua Merry Krismas!” (Malay)

“Nixtieq lilkom ilkoll Milied kuntenti ħienja!” (Maltese)

“Jeg ønsker dere alle en riktig God Jul!” (Norwegian)

“من برای شما آرزوی همه کریسمس مبارک!” (Persian)

“Życzę wszystkim Wesołych Świąt!” (Polish)

“Desejo a todos um Feliz Natal!” (Portugese)

“Vă doresc tuturor un Crăciun Fericit!” (Romanian)

“Я желаю вам всем счастливого Рождества!” (Russian)

“Желим вам све а Мерри Божић! ” (Serbian)

“ඔබට සුභ නත්තලක් වේවා!” (Sinhalese)

“Ja Prajem vám všetkým veselé Vianoce!” (Slovak)

“Želim vam vse vesel Božič!” (Slovenian)

“Les deseo a todos una Feliz Navidad!” (Spanish)

“Napenda wote Krismasi Njema!” (Swahili)

“Jag önskar er alla en God Jul!” (Swedish)

“உங்களுக்கு எனது கிறிஸ்துமஸ் (நத்தார்) நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!” (Tamil)

“నేను మిమ్మల్ని విష్ అ మెర్రి క్రిస్మస్!” (Telugu)

“ผมหวังว่าคุณจะ ร่าเริง a คริสต์มาส!” (Thai)

“Seni bütün bir Mutlu Noeller diliyoruz!” (Turkish)

“Я бажаю вам всім щасливого Різдва!” (Ukrainian)

“میں آپ سب کو میری کرسمس کاش!” (Urdu)

“Tôi Chúc các bạn một Giáng sinh vui vẻ!” (Vietnamese)

“Rwy’n Wish chi i gyd Nadolig Llawen!” (Welsh)

“איך ווינטשן איר אַלע אַ לעבעדיק ניטל!” (Yiddish)

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THE FULL NATIVITY STORY IN 10 PARTS

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“A Christmas Carol ” by Charles Dickens Revived the Spirit of Christmas


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Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj.

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that–as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time.” – Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
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Here is the preface written by Charles Dickens for the memorable Christmas story of all time, “A Christmas Carol” published on December 17, 1843:

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.
December, 1843.

Through this novella, Charles Dickens was the first person to introduce the phrase “Merry Christmas” to English. This masterpiece also added the name “Scrooge” and the exclamation “Bah! Humbug!” to the English vernacular.

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Charles Dickens by Frith (1859)
Charles Dickens by Frith (1859)

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Charles Dickens (born Charles John Huffam Dickens, February 7, 1812 – June 9, 1870), an English writer and social critic rose from a downtrodden family background. His early experience of a life of poverty and deprivation helped him create some of the most memorable characters of all time.

During his later life, Charles Dickens enjoyed unprecedented fame through his works, and by the twentieth century, he was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars as a literary genius. Even now, readers consider Dickens as one of the greatest writers of the Victorian Period. His novels and short stories are still widely popular. His works include A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times, and many more.

Charles Dickens concerned about poor children wanted to publish a pamphlet titled “An Appeal to the People of England, on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child,”  to draw the attention of workers and employers to the plight of poor children. Instead, he wrote A Christmas Carol, for he thought that an irresistible Christmas story with a plot that highlighted the struggles of the poor would have a better and broader appeal.

Dickens started writing A Christmas Carol in October 1843 and finished it by the end of November, in time to be published for Christmas. The book was illustrated by John Leech.

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Title page of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (First edition 1843)
Title page of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (First edition 1843)

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It was published in early Victorian Era Britain, a period when people longed for the old nostalgic Christmas traditions. It was at this time that new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards were introduced.

Dickens’ sources for the powerful, impressive, and enduring tale appear to be many and varied. He leaned on Washington Irving’s essays on Christmas published in his Sketch Book in 1820, describing the traditional old English Christmas; various Christmas stories, fairy tales and nursery stories; as well as satirical essays and religious tracts. However, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, the plight of the poor and their children during the boom decades of the 1830s and 1840s, impelled him to write the book.

The book’s first run of 6,000 copies sold out before Christmas Eve, and by the following May seven editions sold out. However, it did not produce a windfall for Dickens, who paid the original production costs due to a dispute with his publisher.

A Christmas Carol tells the story of the bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from supernatural visits by Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Past, Present, and Yet to Come Christmases. The novella was an instant success and received wide critical acclaim. It became the most popular Christmas tale ever to be written. Dickens never anticipated that his characterization of Tiny Tim, the embodiment of England’s poor children, and the personification of Scrooge modeled after his estranged father, would receive such an accolade from his readers.

Many have credited A Christmas Carol with reviving the spirit of Christmas celebration, after a period of sobriety and sombreness, as one of merriment and festivity in Britain and America.

A Christmas Carol has been adapted in numerous plays, operas, ballets and films. It is in its 24th edition. It is estimated that about five billion copies have been sold to date.

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A Christmas Carol - Wall Paper

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Cyber Monday – the Online Shopping Festival Day


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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Cyber Monday (Source: retailmakeoverblog.com)
Cyber Monday (Source: retailmakeoverblog.com)

Black Friday, considered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season has come and gone. Traditionally Black Friday, is one of the busiest shopping days of the year for the brick and mortar retailers who attract customers by providing huge discounts. On that day people in the United States frantically shop for things they do not really need, (Read my article “Black Friday and the United Stupids of America (USA)!“)

Did you miss physical shopping on Black Friday because you are one of those people who tend to stay away from stores to avoid crowds?

Don’t worry. Cyber Monday, considered the biggest and busiest online shopping day of the year in the US is here. This day was created to allow customers like you to shop online from the comfort of their offices and homes. Many online retailers offer deals and large discounts to customers on this day.

Cyber Monday Shopping (Source: webpronews.com)
Cyber Monday Shopping (Source: webpronews.com)

According to the newly formed shopping tradition in the United States, Cyber Monday falls on the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day.

In 2003. Tony Valado, while working at 1800Flowers.com, coined the term “White Wednesday” to be the day before Thanksgiving, for online retailers to offer bargains to online shoppers. However, this suggestion it did not take effect.

According to Scott Silverman, the head of Shop.org, the term was coined in 2004 after a research found the Monday after Thanksgiving was “one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.

During the 2005 holiday shopping season, the term was first used by the ecommerce community.

On November 28, 2005, in the article titled “Cyber Monday, Marketing Myth” published in Bloomberg Businessweek, Robert D. Hof wrote:

Do a Google search on “Cyber Monday,” and you get as many as 779,000 results. Not a bad haul for a term that was created just a week and a half ago to describe the jump in online shopping activity following the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. While Black Friday is the official kickoff of the traditional retail season, the story goes, online retail really takes off the following Monday.

Michael Barbaro in his article titled “Online sales take off on ‘Cyber Monday” published on November 30, 2005 in the New York Times wrote:

The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.

In an article titled “U.S. Online Holiday Shopping Season Reaches Record $32.6 Billion for November-December Period, Up 12 Percent vs. Year Ago” published on January 5, 2011, comScore reported that consumers spent $1.028 Billion online on Cyber Monday, the highest spending day of 2010:

2010 Holiday Season vs. 2009 Holiday Season*
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Millions ($)
2009 2010 Percent Change
November 1 – December 31 $29,084 $32,589 12%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 25) $318 $407 28%
Black Friday (Nov. 26) $595 $648 9%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 29) $887 $1,028 16%
Green Monday (Dec. 13) $854 $954 12%
Free Shipping Day (Dec. 17) $586 $942 61%

*Full season comparison based on calendar days; individual day comparisons 
based on corresponding shopping days in 2009

Top 10 Online Spending Days of 2010 Holiday Season
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Date Spending in Millions ($)
Monday, Nov. 29 (Cyber Monday) $1,028
Monday, Dec. 13 (Green Monday) $954
Monday, Dec. 6 $943
Friday, Dec. 17 (Free Shipping Day) $942
Thursday, Dec. 16 $930
Tuesday, Dec. 14 $913
Tuesday, Nov. 30 $911
Wednesday, Dec. 8 $901
Thursday, Dec. 9 $898
Tuesday, Dec. 7 $880

Cyber Monday is not a public holiday in the United States. Online retailers offer deals, several weeks and days ahead on online forums and websites. A large percentage of the online shopping on this day is done during work hours and many retailers offer extra lunchtime discounts to their customers.

In recent years many online businesses have decided to extend their deals, events, and promotions for at least 5 full business days following Cyber Monday thus creating a “Cyber Week.”

Now, “Cyber Monday” has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Colombia, Ireland, and Japan.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise!


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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Surprise!

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Rohan Surpised - wm

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See the expression on my grandson Rohan’s face on Christmas eve!

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I Wish You All “A Merry Christmas”!


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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To All My Readers and Well-Wishers Around the Globe

Top Views by Country for all days ending 2012-12-24 (Summarized)

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“Et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis …”

” And peace on Earth to people of good will …”

“I Wish You All a Merry Christmas!”

“Ek wens dat julle almal ‘n Geseënde Kersfees!” (Afrikaans)

“Unë ju uroj gjithë Gëzuar Krishtlindjet!” (Albanian)

“أتمنى لكم جميعا عيد ميلاد سعيد!” (Arabic)

«Ցանկանում եմ ձեզ, որ Սուրբ Ծնունդ»: (Armenian)

“Mən bütün Merry Christmas arzulayıram!” (Azerbaijani)

“Nahi dut Eguberri guztiak ” (Basque)

“Я жадаю вам усім шчаслівага Каляд!” (Belarusian)

“আমি আশা করি সমস্ত একটি শুভ বড়দিন আপনি!” (Bengali)

“Пожелавам на всички Весела Коледа!” (Bulgarian)

“Els desitjo a tots un Bon Nadal!” (Catalan)

“祝大家圣诞快乐!” (Chinese simplified)

“祝大家聖誕快樂!” (Chinese traditional)

“Volio bih da svi Sretan Božić!” (Croatian)

“Já Přeji vám všem veselé Vánoce!” (Czech)

“Jeg ønsker jer alle en glædelig jul!” (Danish)

“Ik wens jullie allemaal een vrolijk kerstfeest!” (Dutch)

“Mi Wish You Ĉiu Merry Christmas!” (Esperanto)

“Soovin teile kõigile Häid jõule!” (Estonian)

“Hinihiling ko mo ng Lahat ng Maligayang Pasko!” (Filipino)

“Toivotan kaikille hyvää joulua!” (Finnish)

«Je vous souhaite à tous un Joyeux Noël!” (French)

“Desexo a todos un Feliz Nadal!” (Galician)

“გისურვებთ შობა!” (Georgian)

“Ich wünsche Ihnen allen ein frohes Weihnachtsfest!” (German)

«Εύχομαι σε όλους Καλά Χριστούγεννα!” (Greek)

“હું તમને શુભેચ્છા એક બધા મેરી ક્રિસમસ!” (Gujarati)

“Mwen swete nou tout yon jwayeu Nwèl!” (Haitian Creole)

“אני מאחל לכולכם חג המולד שמח!” (Hebrew)

“मैं तुम चाहो सभी एक मेरी क्रिसमस!” (Hindi)

“Azt szeretném, ha minden Boldog Karácsonyt!” (Hungarian)

“Ég óska ykkur öllum gleðilegra jóla!” (Icelandic)

“Saya berharap Anda semua Merry Christmas!” (Indonesian)

“Is mian liom tú go léir ar na Nollag Merry!” (Irish)

“Auguro a tutti un Buon Natale!” (Italian)

“私はあなたにすべてのメリークリスマスを望む!” (Japanese)

“ನಾನು ನೀವು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಒಂದು ಮೆರ್ರಿ ಕ್ರಿಸ್ಮಸ್ ವಿಶ್!” (Kannada)

“난 당신에게 모든 메리 크리스마스를 기원!” (Korean)

“ຂ້າພະເຈົ້າຢາກທ່ານທັງຫມົດເປັນ Merry ວັນຄຣິດສະມາດ!” (Lao)

“Tibi opto a Verbum Caro!” (Latin)

“Es novēlu jums visu priecīgus Ziemassvētkus!” (Latvian)

“Linkiu visiems linksmų Kalėdų!” (Lithunian)

“Ви посакувам на сите Среќен Божиќ!” (Macedonian)

“Saya Mahu Anda Semua Merry Krismas!” (Malay)

“Nixtieq lilkom ilkoll Milied kuntenti ħienja!” (Maltese)

“Jeg ønsker dere alle en riktig God Jul!” (Norwegian)

“من برای شما آرزوی همه کریسمس مبارک!” (Persian)

“Życzę wszystkim Wesołych Świąt!” (Polish)

“Desejo a todos um Feliz Natal!” (Portugese)

“Vă doresc tuturor un Crăciun Fericit!” (Romanian)

“Я желаю вам всем счастливого Рождества!” (Russian)

“Желим вам све а Мерри Божић! ” (Serbian)

“ඔබට සුභ නත්තලක් වේවා!” (Sinhalese)

“Ja Prajem vám všetkým veselé Vianoce!” (Slovak)

“Želim vam vse vesel Božič!” (Slovenian)

“Les deseo a todos una Feliz Navidad!” (Spanish)

“Napenda wote Krismasi Njema!” (Swahili)

“Jag önskar er alla en God Jul!” (Swedish)

“உங்களுக்கு எனது கிறிஸ்துமஸ் (நத்தார்) நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!” (Tamil / Tamizh)

“నేను మిమ్మల్ని విష్ అ మెర్రి క్రిస్మస్!” (Telugu)

“ผมหวังว่าคุณจะ ร่าเริง a คริสต์มาส!” (Thai)

“Seni bütün bir Mutlu Noeller diliyoruz!” (Turkish)

“Я бажаю вам всім щасливого Різдва!” (Ukrainian)

“میں آپ سب کو میری کرسمس کاش!” (Urdu)

“Tôi Chúc các bạn một Giáng sinh vui vẻ!” (Vietnamese)

“Rwy’n Wish chi i gyd Nadolig Llawen!” (Welsh)

“איך ווינטשן איר אַלע אַ לעבעדיק ניטל!” (Yiddish)

It is no secret what Google can do;

And if I can, YOU too can do!

I wish you all a Merry Christmas

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Yes. It is the first snow for this holiday season here in Ellicott City, Maryland, USA. It started snowing at 1:15 PM on Monday December 24th, and hope it would be a White Christmas for us.

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The full Nativity Story in 10 parts

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