from John Lloyd:

‘My people throughout the world’

By John Lloyd
December 23, 2013

This week Queen Elizabeth the Second, now 87, will give her customary Christmas broadcast. Every year she tells most Britons what they want to hear: that they are still great. And she is given much love for that.

from Edward Hadas:

A Christmas message for lenders

By Edward Hadas
December 18, 2013

For many shoppers, Christmas is a time to rack up debts in the expression of seasonal goodwill. For policymakers, it should be the holiday of debt forgiveness.

from Photographers' Blog:

A Klingon Christmas Carol

December 21, 2012

By Jim Young

"ram nI' tay"

Which in the Klingon language means “Festival of the long night”, because fictional alien cultures obviously don’t observe Christmas.

from Photographers' Blog:

Christmas in Afghanistan

December 21, 2012

Baghlan, Afghanistan

By Fabrizio Bensch

There are thousands of miles that separate the German soldiers in Afghanistan from home.  For up to one year, they may be stationed in Afghanistan, but for most of them no more than four to five months.

from Photographers' Blog:

The people behind your mail

December 3, 2012

Chicago, Illinois

By John Gress

Every afternoon I walk through the front door and step over my mail. When I pick it up, I never think about where its been or how its made it to my home - God only knows, I guess, well sort of...

from Photographers' Blog:

Where your Christmas tree comes from

November 19, 2012

West Jefferson, North Carolina

By Chris Keane

Having lived in North Carolina my entire life we have always bought a real Christmas tree every December. Growing Christmas trees in North Carolina is serious business with over 1,600 active growers working 25,000 acres.

from Photographers' Blog:

Christmas comes early to China

September 14, 2012

By Carlos Barria

He Heping, who runs a factory that makes plastic Christmas trees in Yiwu, talks with one of his employees as they finish up a massive order destined for the Netherlands.

from Left field:

NFL Week 16 Christmas Lineman picks

December 24, 2011

By Steve Keating

Well, after two weeks of 4-2 the Lineman is still searching for that perfect Christmas gift and hopes he has found it with this six-pack of holiday picks.

from Left field:

Post-Christmas cheer in Oslo for out-of-contract players

December 22, 2011

By Philip O'Connor, Scandinavia sports correspondent

For many football fans, the post-Christmas blues will be banished by the prospect of their club buying big when the transfer window opens in January.

from John Lloyd:

Finding a new role for churches

By John Lloyd
December 21, 2011

The opinions expressed are his own.

There is a poem, written in 1955, by the English poet Philip Larkin, called Church Going. It tells of the poet’s solitary penchant for cycling about villages, visiting country churches, empty, sometimes ruined, each with a “tense, musty, unignorable silence.” In deft touches, he writes of taking off his bicycle clips in lieu of doffing a non-existent cap; of experiencing an inexplicable pleasure in standing in these “frowsty barns”; yet finishing his visit feeling “much at a loss.”