Merry Christmas to all of you wonderful readers out there who celebrate Jolly Old St. Nick and all that the holiday represents. I of course will not be waking up today with presents under my tree; we had eight crazy nights of Hanukkah last week and my 3-year-old is still opening some of the gifts he received.
But I hope the Christmas celebrations were terrific in your part of the world, and that you have a great day. Quick programming note: I think I’m going to do something a little different to end 2017, a year that has been very difficult for so many. On Wednesday and Friday I’m going to present five or six of my favorite “Good News Friday” stories or videos from the entire year, to try to send ’17 out on a happy, uplifting note.
For today, a few cool stories/videos I hope you’ll like. First, as always, Christmas means one thing for us Hebrews: Chinese food! Happily the Lewis family and some friends will be chowing down on some sesame chicken and wonton soup tonight, so of course I feel obligated to post the great “SNL” clip from 2005 featuring Darlene Love singing “Christmastime for the Jews.”
The line at 1:33 about “Fiddler on the Roof” with Jewish actors slays me every time.
**Next up, this Washington Post story pointed to me by my smart and funny friend Kelly M. was just beautiful. A church in Severna Park, Md. was stunned recently to receive an anonymous $10,000 donation, and instructed to give 100 members of the congregation $100 each to spend and improve the world in the small way they saw fit.
“Listen to the need that’s around you, that you find in the community. You may be in the right place at the right time to help somebody, because you have this in your hand,” said Rev. Ron Foster.
One hundred congregants walked out into the Advent season, with the money burning a hole in their pockets.”
What a wonderful gift. In the story the donor talks about wanting to do something good, to lift her and everyone’s collective spirit. More from Julie Zauzmer’s heartwarming story:
Ginger ale and soup and warm socks for a cancer patient. Snow pants and gloves so a child with a brain tumor can play outside. Christmas presents for children who are homeless, for children whose parents are struggling with drug addiction, for children whose parents have suffered domestic abuse, for children in the hospital. Cash for dozens of grateful strangers, from waitresses to bus drivers to leaf collectors.
I love how seriously the congregants took their responsibility, and how many did so much good.
**Finally today, allow me to introduce you to the dancing 8-year-old hockey goalie Noah Young, from Brampton, Ontario. If you think it’s easy moving with all those pads on, it isn’t. Someone get this kid a TV show, pronto.