Christmas Roundup: The Polar Express, the Magi in art, the historical “Santa,” and more

“Jesus, Jacob, and The Polar Express by Greg Lucas: This dad reflects on his twenty-year-old autistic son’s emotional experience of Santa and wonders whether maybe the eager anticipation he feels waiting for Santa, and then the pure joy of finally seeing him (at the end of the movie, or the front of the line), indicates a deeper yearning, and is preparing him to experience a deeper joy—for and in Jesus.

“The Magi: Legend, Art, and Cult”: The Museum Schnütgen in Cologne is running an exhibition through January 25 that brings together ivories, sculptures, paintings, and manuscript illuminations from throughout Europe depicting the Three Wise Men. Learn the iconography associated with them, from their earliest appearance in art in the third century.

Left panel of a French diptych, ca. 1360. Tempera on wood, 50 x 31 cm. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.

Left panel of a French diptych, ca. 1360. Tempera on wood, 50 x 31 cm. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.

“Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” exegesis by W. David O. Taylor: Drawing on a sermon he gave as part of a series on the hymns of Advent and Christmas, Taylor analyzes the poetic structure and theological message of “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus,” while also providing information about its author, Charles Wesley, and his place in the history of Christian hymnody.

Looking for a way to teach your kids about the real Saint Nicholas? Why not try the 2009 VeggieTales movie Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving. (To acquaint yourself with his story beforehand, see my blog post from last year, “The Real Saint Nick.”)


Have you seen the video of this “O Holy Night” flash mob from last year? Vocalist Mark Joseph along with fifty or so of his fellow Berklee students performed inside Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. I love living in a city with such musical talent!

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