ChicagoLand on Christmas

Christmas Brings Thefts Of Baby Jesus Statues, Lawn Decorations

Though the Christmas holiday is getting nearer, vandals and pranksters haven’t displayed a holiday spirit. Communities around Chicago have reported acts of theft and vandalism to Christmas displays recently.

Among the suburbs reporting such incidents recently were Elmwood Park, Lombard and Naperville.

In Elmwood Park, thefts were reported Dec. 15 from the 2200 block of 75th Court and the 2300 block of 75th Avenue, according to police. In the former, someone took Christmas decorations that made up a nativity scene from the front yard of a home, and in the latter someone took two Christmas penguins from the front yard of a home.

On Dec. 17, a theft was reported on 7700 block of Sunset Drive, police said. Sometime on Dec. 15 someone removed a 3-foot-tall illuminated Santa Claus from a fence.

In Buffalo Grove, a resident reported on Dec. 9 that when she and her husband returned home about 7 p.m. on the 1300 block of Gail Drive, they found that someone had taken Christmas decorations from their yard, police said.

In Lombard, on Dec. 17, someone reported to police that someone stole the baby Jesus figure from his yard on the 900 block of South Cherry.

Read more here.

Five Charged After Jewish Teens Pelted With Eggs in N.J.

Five people have been charged with bias intimidation after allegedly pelting two Jewish teens with eggs in New Jersey.

The two Orthodox Jewish boys, ages 15 and 17, were walking early Thursday in Ocean County when they were hit with a barrage of eggs thrown from a Jeep, Lakewood Police Chief Robert Lawson told the Asbury Park Press.

Lawson said the Jeep had several male occupants and that before driving off one of them told the teens, “You better move on you Jew boys.”

A police officer soon spotted the vehicle a few blocks away. Lawson said the driver of the Jeep admitted they were responsible for throwing the eggs.

The occupants — three adults and two juveniles — were each charged with bias intimidation and harassment. They were issued summonses and released, Lawson said.

“This has happened before where kids from surrounding towns, Toms River, Howell, Jackson and Brick, come into Lakewood and think its fun to harass the Orthodox,” Lawson told the newspaper. “We have a zero tolerance for this kind of thing.”

Read Glenn Beck’s Christmas Message

It’s hard to believe that we are only a few days away from Christmas. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s starting to become unrecognizable. As I spent my last few days in New York City I saw the streets lined with shoppers at all hours of the day. A few weeks ago I saw people fighting over waffle makers and toasters. It seems like people are more focused on “me” and “mine” rather than on the true meaning of the season.

Whether or not you believe there is a “War on Christmas”, you can’t deny that the real meaning of December 25th is being forgotten. Atheist billboards are replacing nativity scenes and our President is lighting a Menorah as just an excuse for a “good party”. I’m sorry, but if you’re lighting a candle just because it’s that time of year then you are missing the point – that miracles can happen and that God is here to light the way in the darkness.

If you are celebrating next to a “Holiday Tree” and all you care about is shopping and presents then you are missing the transformative nature of Christmas. It’s an idea that is repeated in every story this time of year from A Christmas Carol to Miracle on 34th Street – the idea that we can believe in powers greater than ourselves and we can be fundamentally transformed. The themes of redemption, selflessness and transformation go all the way back to The Bible with the birth of a baby in a manger in Bethlehem.

With our obsession over “stuff” we are missing out on the good things in life – the gifts that don’t need to be wrapped. It’s not about waffle makers or toasters, the true power and meaning of Christmas is about doing the right thing and helping each other. And it’s not supposed to be contained to a two-week season and then forgotten. We are supposed to take these gifts with us throughout the whole year.

I hope you spend the next few days with your family and friends and celebrate the real meaning of Christmas. I hope you reach out to others in need and offer a helping hand, and I hope you get to celebrate the season free from oppression, judgment, or “Holiday Trees”. And finally, I hope you find the transformative power of this miraculous season.

Laos Deo,

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