Christmas Day ~ Sunday, December 25, 2011 - Most American Greek Orthodox Churches have Christmas services on this date.
Hanukkah ~ sunset on December 20, 2011 to sunset on December 28, 2011
Winter Solstice ~ December 22, 2011 – pagan/wiccan/earth-based
Kwanzaa ~ begins Monday, December 26, 2011, and ends Sunday, January 1, 2012
New Year Eve ~ 31 December 2011 – until 11:59 pm
John Barron, For Unto You
In his depiction of the annunciation to the shepherds, contemporary Christian artist John Barron chooses not to focus much attention on the shepherds and angels themselves. Indeed, they are tiny figures at the bottom of the frame, barely noticeable upon first glance. Rather, by incorporating rich symbolism, Barron is highlighting the earth-shattering effects of the Incarnation, as it heralded an irreversible, seismic shift in God's relationship with humans.
Barron places the annunciation in the context of God and man's covenant relationship of the Old Testament, and the new relationship heralded by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. So the burning menorah on the left is a symbol of God's faithfulness to Israel during hardship; the leaping fish on the right is a symbol of God's salvific sustenance to his people through Christ's sacrifice, also shown in Christ's feeding of the 5,000 (Matthew 14). The menorah and fish are divided in two by Holy Spirit, in the form of a face, descending on the world and bringing the glowing-red light of judgment and illumination.