​​​​We think you will be pleased to visit the Websites listed here, and you may wish to suggest another Links destinations via our Contacts Page.  We have grouped them as Faith-filled Places and Sites to Visit,  Fun Destinations  and  Opportunities for Giving.







                   

 

                                FAITH-FILLED PLACES AND SITES TO VISIT


"What Was The Star of Bethlehem?"    An informative animation, courtesy of John Moseley ("The Christmas Star") and Clay Frost, MSNBC.

"Every Eye" is an awesome animation, courtesy of Life Talk Radio.

Before Jim Caviezel's portrayal in "The Passion of the Christ," there was Brian Deacon as "Jesus."  If you are not already familiar with Campus Crusade for Christ's beautiful 1979 film which brings the Book of Luke to life (or even if you know it well), learn more about it at The Jesus Film Project.

FaithND, an initiative of the Notre Dame University Alumni Association, offers an informative Virtual Tour of the Holy Land you won't want to miss!

Take a tour online of Nazareth Village, a First Century village and farm recreated in Nazareth, Israel.  ​The Nazareth Jesus Knew.

The Holy Land Experience  is a theme park and "Bible-believing, Christ centered ministry" located in Orlando, Florida.

Ark Encounter is a new, one-of-a-kind themed attraction located in Williamstown, Kentucky.

In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and in Branson, Missouri, you can see inspirational live stage productions designed to "present the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sow the Word of God" at Sight and Sound Theaters.

There is an animated woodcarving  you'll like at Grove City, Pennsylvania.


We can't all personally go to the Christmas Markets in Bavaria, Germany, but we may visit them vicariously through the Bavarian tourism website.


The United States is honored to have theSaint John Paul II National Shrine, a marvelous resource, in Washington, D.C.

Learn about the amazing spiral staircase of the Loretto Chapel in New Mexico.

Last but not least, there's Walton's Mountain! They really knew how to celebrate Christmas there: 


                         A fresh tree, applesauce cake (and maybe a little of The Recipe),
                         a visit to the barn to hear the animals talk;
                         ringing in the Lord's birthday with church bells . . and love, lots of love. 
                         Walton's Mountain Museum is housed in the very school building
                         attended by the real "Waltons," the Hamner children of Schuyler, Virginia.



                                                           
 FUN  DESTINATIONS

Come Christmas Eve, track Santa's flight throughout the world to the homes of all good boys and girls,
courtesy of the elves of North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD!

The North Pole, as you can imagine, is a great place to visit, whether you're a parent, a teacher . . or a kid!


You may be familiar with Cat's Meow Village, the painted wooden collectible buildings that celebrate historic or well known places.  But did you know that there is a CMV Bible Stories collection, or that you can order design of a duplicate of your own church, as a fundraiser?  Take a look!


                            OPPORTUNITIES FOR GIVING AND CELEBRATION

Send a free Christian E-card for any occasion from DaySpring!  Consider cards or a gift from Abbey Press or Monastery Icons.  And treat yourself to a look at the finest ecards in the world!  They're Jacquie Lawson's; a subscription allowing you to send them to friends and family is quite affordable.

Some of the best fruitcake in the world is made by Trappist monks in Berryville, Virginia.  their creamed honey and truffles make delicious gifts and can be shipped anywhere.  Visit Monastery Fruitcakes.



The Christmas wafer, or "Oplatek" (from the Latin Oblatum, "Holy Bread") is a beloved tradition in many families.       Believed by some to emanate from the manna of Exodus 16:31, it is often called the bread of angels. 
                 The ritual observance is called Wigilia in Polish, Villa in Slovak, Kucios in Lithuanian,
                                                     and Feliz Navidad in the Hispanic culture. 
                      Perhaps this is part of your heritage; perhaps you'd just like to learn more. 

In Polish tradition the Oplatek (pronounced opwakek) is shared before Christmas Eve supper, with all the household, including pets and farm animals; legend has it that animals who eat of the Oplatek will speak with human voices at midnight, but only the pure in heart will be able to hear them. 

​      Visit the Oplatki page at Pol-Am Church Supplies to order Christmas wafers for your own celebration.


A St. Francis Medal engraved with a pet's name makes a thoughtful gift for a special companion.  Star of David Medals are also available at Pet Blessings  for our Jewish friends.

Soft and huggable handcrafted dolls fashioned to educate little ones about Catholic saints and Bible figures are available at Soft Saints, Inc.


Order heirloom seeds and a  helpful book from Victory Seed Company and create a Bible garden


               
Give someone you love the gift of a charitable donation made in their name:

   Catholic Relief Services, World Vision International, and Heifer International  are all trustworthy causes. 

And you can bookmark and click on The Hunger Site  daily to give to stop world hunger, cure breast cancer, promote literacy, and so on.  Your interest is supported by corporate donors--it's true, verified by snopes.com!     A great idea! 

 
AND PLEASE VISIT   our companion Web site  The Briarfields   to sample a Sheer Poetry Revisited, a gift book by Donna Lee Davis suitable for Christmas or any occasion.  Read "Christmas In Virginia, 1971," below.

       "I've known many a warm-weather Christmas since, but that of 1971 was my very first.  I remember sitting on my  

              parents' back steps in Hartwood, listening to birdsong and feeling gratitude for the wonder of it all."

                                                     

                                                      CHRISTMAS IN VIRGINIA, 1971

                                                      Unseasonable,
                                                      the warmth that marks
                                                      this strangest of
                                                      Decembers;
                                                      (unreasonable,
                                                      to waiting winter
                                                      children wishing
                                                      snow).
                                                      The Christmas Rose--
                                                      white whimsy--blooms
                                                      exultant, shyly
                                                      fondled
                                                      by breeze whose breath
                                                      was frosted pain
                                                      but brief brisk days
                                                      ago.
                                                      Our aging aspen
                                                      wears a living
                                                      garland--quiet
                                                      sparrows
                                                      bewildered by
                                                      a tender dew
                                                      where icicles should
                                                      cling;
                                                      while all our Blue
                                                      Ridged world salutes
                                                      another Birthday
                                                      morning
                                                      and ponders Love
                                                      that makes a gift
                                                      of unexpected
                                                      Spring.



                                    CONTENT COPYRIGHT DONNA LEE DAVIS, 2004 - 2016.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

                               "The things that we love  tell us who we are."

                                                           --- St. Thomas Acquinas (1225-1274)

​Paradise Tree