The holiday season is upon us, which means something different for everyone.
For some, the season means busting down the attic door, crawling around on all fours and snatching up those dusty boxes of decorations for another year of holiday cheer.
For others, it may mean family get-togethers, eight crazy nights of presents, a ham on the table with sides galore, or maybe even giving to those less fortunate.
Whether celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just simply the end of 2022 and the arrival of the new year, one thing should be clear: ‘tis the season to be merry, and in a perfect world that would be true.
The true meaning of the holidays can easily get lost with the stress and tensions that come with standing in lines, sitting in traffic, and trying to plan that perfect holiday feast.
Some people take matters into their own hands and wage war on Christmas, or around the festive holiday, with grinches and thieves ruining a good ‘ole family Christmas and winding up on the naughty list.
Earlier this month, in Dedham, Massachusetts Library Director Amber Maroney banned Christmas trees because they made people feel “uncomfortable.”
Someone in town sounded the alarm to Fox News, questioning why it was ok to celebrate Kwanzaa but not Christmas.
“Does anybody in Dedham, Massachusetts even celebrate Kwanzaa?” Primetime Host Jesse Waters asked, adding that the decision to not put up a tree but celebrate Kwanzaa did not sit well with him.
He then announced his show was planning to make a visit in Dedham. Nearly a week later, officials decided to have the Christmas Tree put up.
Last week, the Satanic Temple of Illinois installed a holiday display of its own next to a Nativity scene and Menorah in Springfield, to commemorate its “satanic values.”
This is the fourth year since 2018 that the Satanic Temple installed a display at the state’s capitol for the holidays.
This year, the group put a Satanist-made crocheted snake on top of a leather-bound copy of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ 1543 book “On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres.”
In previous years, the Satanic Temple’s holiday displays included a swaddled goat baby named Baphomet, or a pedestal with a hand offering an apple and an inscription reading,” Knowledge is the greatest gift.”
Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Springfield Diocese condemned the Satanists’ display.
“Those who worship Satan are doomed to suffer the pains of Hell with the evil one and his minions forever,” he said. “People are free to choose. I pray for the conversion of sinners and their eternal salvation.”
Paprocki also called on people to “reject the devil’s lies and turn to Christ.”
Then there was Richard Atchison, 52, of Florida, who according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, lost his temper on Dec. 12 after his wife asked for help and put a spoon in the sink.
When the spoon hit the sink, Atchison’s wife accidentally splashed him with water, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Fox 35 Orlando.
He then packed his things, went out to his vehicle, and returned to the house because “he had been drinking,” and told his wife to leave instead.
His wife tried to leave, police said, when Atchison shoved her, picked up the Christmas tree in the corner of the room and threw it at her, striking her. He then blocked the door to prevent his wife from leaving.
Atchison was charged with domestic battery.
Moving up the Eastern Seaboard to South Carolina, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office arrested Leslie Reese, 42, after allegedly breaking into several churches and taking Christmas ornaments, candles, and a cross.
Lexington County Sheriff Jay Coon said in a Facebook post that security cam footage showed Rees broke windows to get into two churches, but she was not alone.
Police said Reese apparently signed her child out of school to accompany her on the alleged burglary spree. It is not clear how old the child is.
“Reese signed her child out of school and took the child with her to break into churches and take things,” Koon said. “A book bag containing a folder belonging to Reese’s child was found inside Samaria Baptist.”
Reese faces four counts of third-degree burglary and a single count of unlawful conduct toward a child.
In Taylor, Texas, a city of about 15,00 people and located about 30 miles northeast of Austin, the annual Christmas Parade was separated into two after a group of local churches booted an LGBT group from the original event because they featured drag queens.
Historically, the parade has been hosted by the Taylor Area Ministerial Alliance (TAMA), which is an organization of local churches that “holds to traditional biblical and family values,” according to TAMA.
In November, TAMA said they were banning Taylor Pride from the town’s annual parade because the organization’s float would include two men dressed as women.
“To be clear, the group known as Taylor Pride, which seeks to promote the LBGTQ+ lifestyle as biblically accepted, with two men inappropriately dressed as women, should never have been allowed to participate and put their promotion on display to families who had no warning about what was coming,” TAMA said in a statement.
TAMA never maintained “Christian or religious theme requirements” to participate in the parade, but this year they took measures to ensure no participant “explicitly contradicts, with their entry, what our entire organization is built on, the Word of God.”
Amid the controversy, the Taylor City Council held a meeting to debate a proposed update to guidelines concerning the co-sponsored event.
A spokesperson for the town told Fox News Digital they sponsored a separate parade for all groups because TAMA was “explicitly trying to exclude a specific group of people.”
“The city council of Taylor has put themselves on the naughty list this Christmas season,” Jonathan Covey, director of policy for Texas Values, told local KVUE. “Their ‘woke’ ideology and war on Christmas is unconstitutional and harming people of faith. They must immediately reject this radical LGBT policy and represent their constituents with common sense. Drag queens don’t belong in Christmas.”
Up in Chicago, two men were charged with murder and other felonies back in March for offenses that allegedly took place in December 2021, including beating a man to death with a crowbar and baseball bat as he was hanging Christmas lights on his home.
Pedro Mediola, 21, of Chicago, and Moises Barrios, 23, of Cicero were charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jose Tellez and more than two dozen counts of armed robbery with a dangerous weapon, aggravated battery with a dangerous weapon, criminal damage to property, and other charges.
Police said 49-year-old Tellez was hanging lights on his home in the Gage Park neighborhood of Chicago on Dec. 11, 2021, when Mediola and Barrios attacked him.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said Tellez “was doing what many of us were doing and should be expected to do during the holidays, hanging Christmas lights with his daughter before being tragically and senselessly beaten to death.”
According to police the two men pulled up, grabbed a bat and crowbar, then climbed out of the vehicle.
Police said the two men were going to target him and rob him. The daughter heard the screams and saw what was happening out the window. She then tried to get her brother to help, police added, but by then the defendants had beaten Tellez to death and fled the scene.
Both men were ultimately detained and linked to the crimes with the help of DNA evidence, fingerprints on the weapons, and surveillance video.