Cover Story: Happy Hanukkah! Let’s courageously celebrate our diversity.

Click on this cover to learn more about Debra Darvick’s book.

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS BEGINS TUESDAY

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO—This year, we recommend that you mark Hanukkah—whatever your faith may be—by visiting this National Public Radio (NPR) website and enjoying the free audio recordings of this year’s Hanukkah Lights series. For the 27th year in a row, NPR celebrates the Festival of Lights with stories of the season. Join Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz as they read tales by Andrea Kamens, Debra Darvick, Elizabeth Graver, Grace Paley and Evan Guilford-Blake.

We want to especially call your attention to the story from Debra Darvick, which is the true account of of Mike Neulander, who served in the Gulf War as a helicopter pilot in the 1st Cavalry Division, received the Bronze Star for aerial combat actions and retired as a major.

The NPR Hanukkah Lights webpage also allows visitors to easily send links to friends via email or social media. Please, do! Help us celebrate the Festival of Lights by sharing these wonderful audio stories with friends!

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Click this photo to read Stephanie’s column.

WHAT IS HANUKKAH?

STEPHANIE FENTONOur Holidays & Festivals columnist explains the holiday traditions and, along the way, busts the myth that Hanukkah is just “the Jewish Christmas.” Stephanie also explores the holiday’s rich food traditions, including latkes with a delicious recipe. And, you’ll find more of Debra Darvick’s reflections on the festival in this column.

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Click the stamp to read the Advent column.

CHRISTMAS & NATIVITY 

Back in November, millions of Eastern Christians began their traditional Nativity Fast in preparation for Christmas. Stephanie Fenton reports that holiday story.

Now, Western Christians are in the season of Advent. Stephanie’s story explains the meaning of Advent and its annual customs—plus, she looks ahead to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8’s historic reading of Genesis in 1968. Interested in that inspiring story? We recommend the new book about Apollo 8 that has been described by Forbes magazine as “heady stuff.”

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NEED A LAST MINUTE GIFT?

We’ve got a treat for you! You’ll find hand-picked recommendations from a master shopper: Susan Stitt, head of Morgan Street Media. She is very familiar with the many authors who have published their books with us over the years—because Susan also serves as marketing director of Front Edge Publishing. She has a list of six recommendations that just might help you with that tough-to-satisfy person on your list. Check it out! And, yes, in most parts of the U.S., Amazon is still delivering these books well before Christmas.

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Click the image to read Stephanie’s story.

A LATINO TRADITION

POSADAS NAVIDENAS—The Hispanic countdown to Christmas officially begins Saturday December 16 with Posadas Navidenas. Tantalizing dishes, merry carols and the story of the nativity has been bringing together communities in Mexico for more than 400 years in a beloved tradition that lasts nine nights and ends on Dec. 24. Stephanie has the story!

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INVITE SADIE INTO YOUR HOME

Click the illustration to read more about Sadie.

ACTIVE PLAY—The new picture book by noted educators (and sisters) Linda Jarkey and Julie Jarkey-Kozlowski is far more than a quick-and-colorful story to share with kids. It’s an invitation to ongoing creativity! Here’s an interview with the sisters.  We invite our readers to get involved as early allies.

Then, tell your friends about an interactive page that opens the creative doorway into this book: www.SadieSeesTrouble.com

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Click this image from the Visual Parables December issue to learn more about this fascinating journal by Ed McNulty.

FAITH & FILM

ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work is freely published. Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journala monthly magazine packed with discussion guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.

LOVE MOVIES & SPIRITUAL REFLECTION? Buy yourself a merry little Christmas present by subscribing to a year of the Journal, now. And, among the hundreds of complete discussion guides you’ll receive in this treasure trove of Journals—you can also enjoy Ed’s popular guide to Christmas movies, originally published four years ago and still very popular.

Among Ed’s latest free movie reviews are:

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