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Transcript of SATURDAY -SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24-25, 201610. Send a couple of more Christmas cards, to those you left...

  • WE WISH YOU PEACE, HEALTH AND HAPPINESS

    The National Heraldwww.thenationalherald.com

    TH

    E NATIONAL HER

    A

    LD

    SATURDAY-SUNDAY, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016

    THIS HOLIDAY INSERT WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF:

    Μaria Allwin / The Behrakis Family Foundation / John Calamos, Calamos Investments / John & Margo Catsimatidis

    Angeliki Frangou – Navios Maritime Holding, Inc. / Tom and Kathy Kourkoumelis, United Brothers Fruit Markets

    George M. Logothetis, Libra Group / George Marcus / Antonia and Spyros Μilonas / Jim & Ted Pedas / Michael and Robin Psaros

    Dr. Spiro & Amalia Spireas, Sigmapharm Laboratories

    and the continuous support of the Greek-Americans whose advertisements appear in this special supplement.

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    Merry Christmas

    and Happy New Year!

    Michael and Robin Psaros

    & Family

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    202152/446

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    Merry ChristmasLet’s not forget spiritual is the birth of Christ the Son of God.

    Peace on Earth to all

    The BEHRAKIS Family

    3552/445

    ΕΥΦΡΟΣΥΝΑ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥΓΕΝΝΑ

  • By Theodore Kalmoukos

    Christmas! What does it mean? It means that the One of the Trinity out of exorbitant love,extreme if you wish, remained what He was, God, and became what He wasn’t, human.Christmas! The incarnate presence of God among us. It is a great and inconceivable mystery. It is

    difficult for our limited mind to go through the vastness of the fact that “the newborn is God.” Theapproach to this mysterycan only be achievedthrough the power and thedynamics of faith.

    Faith not as atheoretical religiousideology, but faith as theestablishment of arelationship with God.Faith as the total trust toHim. Beyond that there isnothing else.

    We remain ecstatic infront of the magnitude ofloving emptiness of God,through which He daredeverything. It is a Godlylove. A Great love. Asalvific love. A crucifiedlove. A perfect love. Atotal love. A love withoutterms and withoutboundaries. An endlesslove. In this way weunderstand that “God islife.” We don’t say thatGod has love, but Hehimself is love.

    The angels cried out“peace on earth” and fillthe heavens thatmysterious night that Godassumed a human bodyand entered in historydividing it into two, but Iam not sure the Earthheard the angel’s voice.Their voice wasn’t strongenough to bring the will ofGod to us. What a pity!

    That is why today we kill each other. After two thousand years, God’s will for “peace on earth”remains an unfulfilled desire. Senseless wars continue on the face of the earth. Blood continues toflow every day. Why do we kill each other?

    Our churches have emptied, Christ is gone. Many professionals of His Church of various rankspreach love but they hate each other. Hypocrisy is beyond any measurement.

    Our table might be full of food, but our hunger continues. It is a different kind of hungriness andthirsty. It is the endless inclination of the soul that wants to depart from the earthly attachment andto be liberated from any and all necessities.

    The heating system is operating to its fullest capacity, but the cold continues to freeze our body,probably because our soul refuses to warm up.

    Despite all these obstacles, “today Christ is born, let us clarify Him.” That means God on earth.He persists to assume a body like ours because God continues to love us as we are. That is why wecontinue to exist.

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    Christmas: God on EarthFaith not as a theoretical religious ideology, but faith as the establishment of a relationship with God.

    Faith as the total trust to Him. Beyond that there is nothing else.

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    Merry Christmas and a Happy

    and Healthy New Year

    3607/468

    The Sofia & Angelo K. Tsakopoulos FamilyKatina Tsakopoulos

    Ambassador Eleni & Markos KounalakisAthena Tsakopoulos

    Brianne & Kyriakos TsakopoulosChrysa & George Demos

    Alexandra & Alessandro Hillman

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    HOLY TRINITY GREEK ORTHODOx CHURCHΕλληνική Ορθόδοξος Κοινότης Αγίας Τριάδας10 Mil l Road, New Rochelle, NY 10804 • Tel. : 914-235-6100

    200638/312

    Τhe Clergymen, Parish Council,

    Philoptochos and all the Community

    Organizations

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    Mer r y

    Chr is tmas

    &

    Happy

    New

    Year

    From a Fr iend

    By Eleni Sakellis

    The Christmas season is atime that should be filled withhope and joy for the birth of Je-sus. However, most people’s ob-session with getting the perfectgift can get in the way of thetrue meaning of the season.

    If keeping “Christ” in Christ-mas, as the bumper stickers say,seems more difficult than everit is only because we make it so.Keeping up with the latesttrends and gadgets, being thefirst to own the newest, mostexpensive, or sought-after itemsis only marginally related to thebirth of Christ.

    So the Three Wise Menbrought the baby Jesus gifts,and we imitate them by givingeach other gifts. Gold would cer-tainly go over well for most ofthe family and friends on ourgift-giving lists, but frankincenseand myrrh might be a hard sell.We should always remember,we have a choice. We don’t needextravagant gifts to show howmuch a person means to us.Sometimes just being there and

    being present in the moment ismore meaningful than any gift.Putting the phone or tabletdown and having a real conver-sation or a real experience canlead to something more valu-able than any store-bought itemmemories. So, this holiday sea-son, give the gift of your timeand undivided attention. Thereis a fascination in the presentday for multitasking, but atwhat cost? It might save moretime and sanity to do one thingat a time and do it well and tofinish what we start.

    It might also be worthwhileto think about those less fortu-nate during the Christmas sea-son. With so many people inneed, it seems especially offen-sive to buy ostentatious gifts,and to waste food. Becomingmore involved in the communityand helping the less fortunatecan put things into perspective.Do we really need more stuff?Probably not, but there aremany people who have nothingat all and others who do notknow where their next meal iscoming from who could use

    some of your time and somehelp. The saying “think globally,act locally” is especiallypoignant for Greek-Americanswho already do so much for thehomeland as well as their localcommunity, but more still needsto be done. The more unifiedwe are, the more good we canaccomplish through our efforts.Focusing on the areas most ur-gently in need of our help is oneway to make a difference.Churches and the Philoptochosin particular, as well as othercharitable organizations are do-ing their best, but can alwaysuse another volunteer.

    Great work is being done byorganizations including the AfyaFoundation, a nonprofit that col-lects and delivers criticallyneeded surplus medical supplies,hospital equipment, and human-itarian provisions for acute andongoing health crises worldwide.They recently raised fundsthrough a benefit hosted by theLivanos family to support effortsin Lesbos dealing with therefugee crisis. More informationis available on the Afya Founda-

    tion website, afyafoundation.org.The New York Cares Coat Driveruns through December 31 withseveral locations where coats canbe dropped off that will go tothose in need. People or organi-zations can sign up as a coat col-lection by registering online.

    More information is available on-line at newyorkcares.org.

    Making the effort to giveback this Christmas honors thespirit of love and hope that is atthe heart of the holiday season.Spending time with our lovedones, creating cherished mem-

    ories, and giving thanks for allthe blessings we have receivedthis year will make the holidayseven more special and moremeaningful. Making the worlda better place is the best gift ofall. Merry Christmas and HappyNew Year!

    The Christmas Spirit Today

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    Wishing you and yours

    a Merry Christmas

    and a Happy

    and Healthy

    New Year

    Μaria Allwin

  • Christmas 201610 THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016

    AHI Headquarters Hellenic House

    1220 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036Tel.: (202) 785-8430 - Fax: (202) 785-5178

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    3020/16

    The American Hellenic Instituteand its Affiliates

    The AHI FoundationThe AHI Business Network

    The AHI Public Affairs Committee

    wish all

    a Merry Christmasand

    a Joyous New Year

    200107/211

    30TH ANNIVERSARY YEAR

    “Move beyond words to actions... Putting our theology into practice… Moving beyond what is mine and yours, to what is ours.”

    - Patriarch BartholomewSeason Greetingsfrom

    ALEx and FAYE SPANOS and Family

    3240/306

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    By Appointment | 535 E 70th Street, New York, NY 10021Tel: (212) 606-1728 | Fax: (212) 606-1012

    www.hs s . edu /phy s i c i an s_k i rou -ky r i akos . a sp

    a b

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    Κyriakos A. Kirou, MD, DSc, FACPDirector, Lupus Nephritis Program,

    Hospital for Special SurgeryAssistant Professor of Clinical Medicine

    Weill Medical College & Cornell University

    Best wishes to the entireGreek American Community

    for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, healthy

    and prosperous New Year

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    2017

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    1359 BroadwayNew York, NY 10018

    (212) 979-8400 telephone(212) 979-8387 telefax

    Saky Yakas, [email protected]@@slcearch.com

    To the Greek-American community

    May the true meaning of the holiday

    season fill your hearts and home with

    many blessings

    We wish you

    a Happy Holiday Season!

    Saky Yakas, AIA

    2011

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    By Constantinos E. Scaros

    In recent years, the Albert Einsteinquote “insanity is doing the same thingover and over again and expecting dif-ferent results” has become an overusedcliché. And yet, it is an appropriate oneto keep in mind when it comes toChristmas – or other holiday rituals.

    The celebration of Christmas in theUnited States is replete with a dauntingtask list, the most prevalent of choresincluded here:1. Buy a tree2. Decorate the tree3. Buy gifts4. Wrap the gifts5. Place the gifts under the tree6. Decorate the rest of the house –

    both inside and out7. Buy Christmas cards8. Write Christmas cards9. Send Christmas cards10. Send a couple of more Christmas

    cards, to those you left off yourlist

    11. Host Christmas or be invited else-where (if hosting, see items 12-15)

    12. Purchase the ingredients forChristmas dinner

    13. Cook Christmas dinner14. Serve Christmas dinner15. Do the dishes and otherwise clean

    up after Christmas dinner16. Get ready for church (on Christ-

    mas Eve or Christmas morning)

    17. Go to church18. Attend (or host) Christmas parties

    throughout December19. Return Christmas gifts that are

    the wrong size, or are duplicategifts (such as books)

    20. Send “Happy New Year” cards tothose to whom you didn’t send aChristmas card, even though theysent you one – that arrived theday after Christmas

    And these 20 are just a sampling…There is a reason we do some un-

    pleasant things, such as sit outside inthe freezing cold waiting for a bus totake us to work, or in rush-hour traffic– because otherwise we won’t have a

    job. We endure the pain of a dentist’sdrill because if we don’t, then thatpainful tooth throbbing will haunt usday and night. And we part with ourmoney every April 15, because that’sthe law.

    But with Christmas – and other hol-idays – we have a choice. We don’t haveto do things that we find to be stressfulor otherwise unpleasant.

    Don’t get me wrong – there are peo-ple who absolutely love doing all (ormost) of the items mentioned above.Good for them! In that case, the Christ-mas season is a true joy.

    But for those who say “I can’t waitfor the holidays to be over,” it is up toyou to make them joyful, not stressful.

    WHY DECORATE IF YOU DON’TWANT TO?

    When I was a bachelor, I bought abig, beautiful, artificial tree and lots ofnice decorations. After about threeyears or so, the thrill wore off. I thenmade a very wise purchase – I spentabout $12 on a 3-foot tree with fiberoptic lights. All I had to do was plug itin and…voila – instant Christmas treewith resplendent lights that changedcolor!

    One year, just to amuse myself, Iwas on the phone with a friend shortlyafter the new year, and said: “Wait, Ihave to take down my Christmas dec-orations.” I walked over the tree, un-plugged it, put it back in the closet –

    all of which took about 30 seconds.“There, I’m done,” I said, speaking intothe phone.

    WHY GO OUT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO?

    About a dozen years ago, I went outwith a bunch of my colleagues from acollege where we all worked. We werecelebrating the end of the semester. Itwas a long night with plenty of foodand even more alcohol. It was a Thurs-day evening, and I was completelywiped out the next day, Friday.

    But on that Friday evening, I hadanother social obligation to attend, andso I had to get myself together and go.

    The third day, Saturday, was mybirthday. I decided not to make anyplans at all. I stayed home, saw no one,took a couple of calls from well-wish-ers, and relaxed. I’ve had great birthdaycelebrations over the years, but doingabsolutely nothing that year was a veryenjoyable experience!

    JIB-JAB!Why send Christmas cards when

    there’s email? Last year, my family andI were away for the month of Decem-ber, and so my wife didn’t send outChristmas cards by mail, as she usuallydoes. Instead, we sent out a funny Jib-Jab card via email. For those who don’tknow, Jib-Jab is an easy online processwhere you upload photos of your fam-ily and the faces are placed onto ani-

    mated characters who do a variety oftasks – from playing sports to singingin a band. The process took much lesstime than the conventional way ofsending cards – and we got some ravereviews!

    Again, my point is that for thosewho enjoy the laborious efforts thatcomprise the Christmas season, that’swonderful. But for those who don’t,there is no law that says you have tocontinue doing something that bringsyou more stress than joy!

    It’s your Christmas – make it a merryone!

    By Constantinos E. Scaros

    People throughout the world have been writing about the “truemeaning of Christmas” for nearly as long as Christmas has existed.Many find the meaning in Scripture, or in church tradition. Othersin the love that flows among family and friends. For some, it isfound in the abundance of charity that seems effortless during theYuletide season. And for others, yet, in the sheer joy on children’sfaces as they rush to open their presents under the tree on Christmasmorning.

    All of these certainly add to the vast mosaic that collectively de-termines humankind’s meaning of Christmas. (Yes, humankind’s,because the celebration of Christmas is not exclusively limited tothe religious observation of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.)

    For me, the essential meaning not only of Christmas, but ofChristianity and, most broadly, spirituality can be found in thelyrics of the Christmas Carol “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,”particularly popular among children but one to which adults wouldbe well served to pay heed.

    The specific line to which I refer is: “so be good for goodness’sake.” It is important to note that the line is most meaningful whentaken out of context, but more on that later.

    Being “good for goodness’ sake” simply put, means being goodfor the sake of being good. Not for achieving any reward for yourtroubles. The problem with how many preach Christianity, however,is that: “if you’re good, you’ll get to Heaven.” That type of quid proquo has no place when discussing true goodness.

    Otherwise, it would be like saying: “save a child from inside aburning building so that you get your picture in the newspaper,and maybe get a reward, too.” Or, “give money to the poor so thatyou can get a good tax deduction out of it.” Fame and fortuneshould be incidental motivators for good works, not primary ones.Similarly, “getting into Heaven” should be icing on the cake – beinggood simply because that is what we ought to be, regardless ofany compensation for it – is how we should be thinking. That iswhat Christianity should be all about. Unfortunately, quid pro quoChristianity is quite prevalent, and conveys a message that is en-tirely wrong.

    Back to the context of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – thelyrics are self-evident: “He [Santa Claus] sees you when you'resleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've beenbad or good, so be good for goodness sake.” And if the message isnot obvious, the previous verse helps to explain it: “He's making alist [of who gets toys for Christmas] checking it twice, gonna findout who's naughty or nice…”

    The implication of course is: 1) Santa Claus will give toys to thegood kids; 2) he knows if you’ve been bad or good; so 3) if youwant Christmas gifts, you’d better be good! Accordingly, the line“so be good for goodness’ sake” seems anything but appropriatewithin that context. In fact, taken as a whole, that passage isentirely consistent with much Christian preaching, and very in-consistent with Christ’s teaching.

    None of us is always good, though, hopefully, we try to remem-ber to strive to be. As we attempt to be “good,” let us rememberwhy we are being good: because that is what we believe God wantsus to be. That’s it. That’s all. Never mind whether or not we are re-warded for it in the afterlife.

    I am certainly far from perfect, but I try to be “good for goodness’sake.” Besides, I am already convinced that I am “going to Heaven,”as I believe all of you are, and as is every other one of God’schildren ever created. I do not believe anyone is eternally separatedfrom God – but that’s another story for another time. Merry Christ-mas!

    So Be Good forGoodness’ Sake!

    Make it Christmas, Not Stressmas

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  • Christmas 201618 THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016

    Nicholas and Athena Karabots

    and Karamoor Farm

    The Kappa Group of Companies

    and Krasi at karamoorwines.com

    Wish all

    Καλά Χριστούγεννα

    και Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Ετος

  • Christmas 2016THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016 19

    We Honor our Parents

    George and Constance

    (Hrisomalis) Karabots

    and

    Jordan and Despina

    (Karatasios) Dikegoros

    on their venture

    to America a century ago

    Nicholas and Athena Karabots

    201604/427

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    LYNN: One Andrew Street, Lynn, MA 01901 • Tel.: (781) 598-0820

    PEABODY: 32 Central Street, Peabody, MA 01960 • Tel.: (978) 968-2222

    SOMERVILLE: 377 Summer Street, Davis Square, Somerville, MA 02144 •Tel.: (671) 539-8570

    ONLINE: www.myccu.org

    wishes

    A Μerry ChristmasTO ALL OF OUR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS

    Dr. Nicholas Sarantopoulos, President /CEO

    Ομιλούμε Ελληνικά! 201360/118

    149 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010 • (917) [email protected]

    www.sothebyshomes.com

    20 years of experience in luxury Manhattan Real Estate

    Χρόνια σας Πολλά!

    Olga Alexakos, Ph.D.Licensed Associate Real Estate BrokerSenior Global Real Estate Advisor

    TNH Staff

    NEW YORK – Students of theWilliam Spyropoulos Greek-American School of St. Nicholasin Flushing on December 15 vis-ited the exhibition for theOlympic Games of Athens 1896hosted by the Consulate Generalof Greece in New York and soonafter visited the offices of theNational Herald (TNH) to singChristmas and New Year’s car-ols.

    TNH Publisher-Editor Anto-nis H. Diamataris thanked thechildren, parents, and teachersand congratulated them fortheir efforts to teach the Greeklanguage and culture.

    He reminded the studentsthat they have a glorious her-itage and incomparable cultureand that it is fortunate that theirparents, teachers, and commu-nity teach them the Greek lan-guage and Orthodox Christianfaith.

    He also congratulated thechildren for their excellent in-terpretation of the carols in bothlanguages. The children also at-tended the Greek Light art ex-hibition that has for the last twoweeks been on display in the of-fices of TNH.

    The Spyropoulos School isone of the largest and most ad-vanced schools not only in theNew York Metropolitan area,but across the United States. Itsgraduates are accepted to thebest private and public schoolsin New York, and maintainstrong ties with the communitywell after graduation andthroughout their lives.

    School Principal Athena Kro-midas has devoted all her life tothe afternoon and the dayschool, introducing and apply-ing innovative teaching pro-grams, while the classrooms areequipped with the latest tech-nology, computers, and smart-boards.

    By Eleni Sakellis

    WHITESTONE – The studentsof the grades 2-4 chorus of HolyCross Greek Orthodox DaySchool of Whitestone performedthe kalanta directed by MusicTeacher and Church ChanterDemetri Michael who accompa-nied the students on keyboardsafter the Divine Liturgy at thechurch on Dec. 18.

    Michael started off the per-formance with Silent Night inthe original German, then thechildren joined in with the Eng-lish and Greek versions of thetraditional Christmas carol. Thestudents then sang Kalin ImeranArchontes (since the perfor-mance took place during theday), Hionia sto Kampanario,and the New Year’s carol con-cluded the wonderful perfor-mance.

    Holy Cross Archimandriteand Dean Fr. Dionysios Anag-nostopoulos thanked the chil-dren, noting how they kept upthe Greek tradition by perform-ing the kalanta and then passingaround the karavaki, a tray for

    donations all of which will ben-efit the Day School’s AnnualFund.

    The chorus included 2ndgrade students Theodore Bour-nis, Alexandra Sakalis, AthenaThomatos, Ana Zannikos, andNicole Zannikos; the 3rd gradestudents: Nia Arnone, AristoteleGaniaris, and Elefteria Karam;and 4th grade students: EvanKantlis, Gigi Kantlis, Irene Lado,Jimmy Skokos, Athena Skordas,Irene Thomatos, and EleniTsiouris.

    Also present at the eventwere the Head of SchoolTheodore P. Kusulas, Effie Kar-alekas- Parish Council President,Dina Skokos- School BoardChair, Depsina Skordas- DaySchool PTA President, and EllieZhonga- Greek Teacher.

    The parishioners who at-tended the musical presentationjoined in for the New Year’scarol and clapped enthusiasti-cally for the students at the endof the performance with wishesfor a Merry Christmas andHappy New Year for all.

    TNH Staff

    LONG ISLAND CITY— On De-cember 14, a Greek Christmastradition warmed the hearts ofthe staff at the offices of TheNational Herald when the stu-dents of the Saint DemetriosGreek Afternoon School in As-toria visited to sing the kalanta,the Greek Christmas carols.

    Publisher-Editor Antonis H.Diamataris welcomed the stu-dents from the 4th, 5th, and 6thgrades who sang the cheerfulsongs of the season. The stu-dents- Stephania Kalaitzidis,Lazarus Stephanides, EvanBourous, Christiana Hadjipavlis,Kyriaki Gavril, Dorothy Jorgji,Evagelia Kostas, Anastasia Poly-chroniadis, CostadinaScoutaras, and AnastasiaTsakonas, performed threesongs, starting with Kalin Es-peran Arhontes, accompaniedby the traditional triangle. An-geliki Agka- Principal of theGreek Afternoon School,Stavroula Tsoutsa- Teacher ofGreek Language and History,Georgios Kazoulis- Teacher,Maria Prefanis- PTA, DimitrullaJorgji, and Greek Press OfficeDirector Sia Papatriantafyllouwere also present for the stu-

    dents’ charming performance. Diamataris thanked the chil-

    dren for bringing the spirit ofChristmas to the offices of TNHand praised them for keepingup the tradition of the kalantaand for their continuing studyof the Greek language which isso important to the communityand will help them throughouttheir lives in whatever field ofstudy they pursue. With wishesfor a Merry Christmas andHappy New Year, the studentsand all those present posed forpictures.

    The singing of the kalantagoes back to ancient times whenGreek children went from doorto door in their neighborhoodsand sang for treats or tips dur-ing religious festivals, wishinggood luck and prosperity for theowner of the house. WhenChristianity came to Greece, thecustom became a fixture of theChristmas season and continuestoday, spreading cheer and bestwishes wherever Greek peoplelive around the world.

    St. Demetrios Greek Afternoon School Students Sing the Kalanta for TNH

    Students of the William Spyropoulos School of St. Nicholas Sing the Kalanta

    The Publisher-Editor of TNH Antonis H. Diamataris thanked the children, parents, and teachers and congratulated them fortheir efforts to teach the Greek language and culture.

    Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Day School of Whitestone Students Sing the Kalanta

    Fr. Dionysios Anagnostopoulos thanks the children of the Holy Cross Day School grades 2-4 chorus for their presentation of thekalanta at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church Whitestone.

    St. Demetrios GreekAfternoon School studentssang the kalanta in theoffices of The NationalHerald on December 14. TN

    H/COSTAS BEJ

    TNH/COSTAS BEJ

    TNH/ELENI SAKELLIS

  • Christmas 2016THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016 21

    The entire

    AHEPA Supreme Lodge,

    Board of Trustees

    and all our National officers

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

    Happy New Year 2017

    Καλά Χριστούγεννα

    Ευτυχισμένος ο καινούριος χρόνος 2017

    Often Imitated, NEVER DuplicatedJoin AHEPA TODAY! www.ahepa.org

    AHEPA Headquarters 1909 Q Street, NW #500. Washington, DC 20009 www.ahepa.org

    3271/310

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    “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour,

    which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

    A Blessed Christmas

    and a Happy and Healthy New Year

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    The Foundation is proud to work in partnership with the University of Michigan

    for the study of Modern Greeklanguage, culture and history in the 21st century

    8001 Ronda Drive, Canton, MI 48187 • Tel.: (734) 459-3000

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HEALTHY AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

    The Foundation for Modern Greek Studies extends warmest appreciation and respect to the Hellenic Community for its support.

    201468/417

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    By Eleni Sakellis

    While the holiday shopping season may begin earlier and earlierevery year, the season for holiday cookies is one we should sharewith friends and family for as long as we can. Traditional Greekcookie recipes are often handed down from generation togeneration and with tricky measurements and unscrupulous directions like “asmuch flour as it takes” but that shouldn’t deter anyone from trying to bake some ofthese tasty treats for the holidays. Cookies also make great hostess gifts for all theparties you may be attending this year and into next year. From Thanksgivingthrough Christmas, New Year’s and Epiphany, there are plenty of holidays to bakeup some special treats for your loved ones. For a fun way to share cookies at yourparties, try a cookie buffet table. Have family and friends bake a batch of theirfavorite cookies for your party. Set them out on a table with food safe bags and/orboxes and your guests can choose which cookies to take home with them as aparting gift. Here are three easy to follow cookie recipes.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2 cups unsalted

    butter, softened at

    room temperature

    • 1/2 cup

    confectioners’ sugar

    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    extract

    • 1 cup blanched

    almonds, chopped,

    toasted and set aside to

    cool

    • 4-5 cups all-purpose

    flour

    • Ouzo for sprinkling

    (optional)

    • Confectioners’ sugar

    for coating

    Beat the butter with the 1/2 cup confectioners’sugar until fluffy. Add 2 cups of the flour, the vanilla and the al-monds and mix together. Add the rest of the flour, or as much as neededfor the dough to form and not stick to your fin-gers, though not more than five cups. Do not overwork the dough or add too muchflour, or you’ll end up with tough cookies. Form half-moon shapes and place on cookiesheets. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30minutes until lightly golden.

    Meanwhile, sprinkle a large piece of waxed pa-per with a generous amount of sifted confec-tioners’ sugar. When the cookies are done, remove them fromthe cookie sheet and immediately place themon the waxed paper covered with confection-ers’ sugar. If using the ouzo, sprinkle the cookies at thispoint and then sift confectioners’ sugar on topto coat the cookies completely. Once cooled, place the kourambiedes on aplatter or store them in an airtight container. Makes about 50-60 kourambiedes.

    Kourambiedes

    In the bowl of a stand mixer withthe paddle attachment, cream thebutter and sugar until light andfluffy. Beat in the extract. Whisk together the flour and salt ina separate bowl and add graduallyto the butter mixture. Beat well.Add the 1/4 cup sesame seeds andstir until combined. Roll into one inch balls and roll inadditional sesame seeds. Place twoinches apart on an ungreasedcookie sheet . Make an indentation in the centerof each cookie about 3/8 inch deepand fill with the jam of your choice.Be careful not to overfill.Blackberry works well if you prefera tart jam. Bake in a preheated 400 degreeoven for 10-12 minutes or untillightly browned. Remove to wire racks to coolcompletely. Makes about 4 dozen sesamecookies.

    Sesame Cookies with JamINGREDIENTS

    • 1 cup unsalted

    butter, softened at

    room temperature

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 1/2 teaspoon

    almond extract

    • 2 cups all

    purpose flour

    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    • 1/4 cup plus 3

    tablespoons sesame

    seeds

    • 6 tablespoons

    jam of your choice

    Melomakarona/Finikia(Honey Cookies)

    • 7 cups all-purpose

    flour

    • 1 cup farina

    • 2 teaspoon baking

    powder

    • 1 teaspoon baking

    soda

    • 1/2 cup sugar

    • 1 cup olive oil

    • 1 cup orange juice

    • 1 tablespoon finely

    grated orange zest

    • 1/4 cup cognac

    For the syrup:

    • 2 cups honey

    • 2 cups sugar

    • 2 cups water

    • 1 cinnamon stick

    For garnish:

    • 1 and 1/2 cups finely

    chopped walnuts

    • 1 teaspoon ground

    cinnamon

    In a large bowl, whisk togetherthe flour, farina, baking powder,baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon ofsalt. In a separate bowl, whisk to-gether the sugar, oil, juice, zestand cognac and add to the dry in-gredients, mix until combined.Form the dough into ovals abouttwo inches long. If desired, formthe cookie with a walnut half inthe center or a combination offinely chopped walnuts andground cinnamon as a filling.Place the cookies on a bakingsheet and bake in a preheated350 degree oven about 20 to 30minutes or until golden brown.Meanwhile, make the syrup. In alarge saucepan, combine thehoney, sugar, water and cinnamonstick, bring to a boil and simmerfor 5 minutes. Remove from heat.Dip the just baked cookies intothe syrup and allow them to ab-sorb some of the liquid, but workquickly so they don’t dissolve inthe syrup. Cool the cookies com-pletely and garnish with a sprin-kle of chopped walnuts and adash of ground cinnamon. Makesabout 40-50 cookies.

    INGREDIENTS

    Three Cookie Recipes for the Holiday Season

  • Christmas 2016THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016 25

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    a b

    Best wishes

    for a Joyous Christmas

    and a Healthy

    and Prosperous New Year!

  • Christmas 201626 THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016

    www.haba.org

    The Officers and Directors of

    HABA – Hellenic American Association for Professionals in Finance

    wishes everyone

    a Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year

    a b

    3159/194

    WR

    We Wish You

    a Merry Christmas

    and a

    Happy and Prosperous

    New Year

    Peter Mesologites &

    Leonard Zangas

    VISION ENTERPRISES PPORERTIES286 Northern Blvd., Great Neck, NY 11021

    201549/481

    By Eleni Sakellis

    NEW YORK – On December 9, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’sMedieval Sculpture Hall, Gallery 305, provided a dramatic settingfor the first two Byzantine Pop-Ups performed in front of the onlyfull-scale, authorized painting of the Deesis Mosaic from HagiaSophia.

    The performances of hymns and carols of the Byzantine Empirewere sung in multiple languages from Greek and Russian to Ar-menian and Arabic. The festive and holy atmosphere of the Me-

    dieval Sculpture Hall is en-hanced during Decemberby the beautifully deco-rated Christmas tree featur-ing the Neapolitan BaroqueCreche. The sound of thetalanto signaled the start ofthe performance. Speciallymade for the ByzantinePop-Ups by the Xenophon-tos monastery, the talanto,a wooden plank used in-

    stead of a bell in monasteries of the Eastern Orthodox Christiantradition summons the monks to prayer and meals.

    Among the hymns performed was Christ is Born Glorify Himand continued with Christmas chants and carols from the ByzantineEmpire. The hall was crowded with museum visitors who werecaptivated by the powerful voices of the singers. Some of themhad come only to see the Christmas tree and were pleasantly sur-prised by the performance that took place. Many attendees wereof Greek descent and recognized the hymns and carols, but all

    those who paused to listen tothe remarkable performancewere amazed regardless of theirethnic or religious background.The performance was free withadmission to the museum. Inaddition to the December 9 per-formances, three more werescheduled for December 16 at4, 6, and 8 PM. All those withan appreciation of Byzantinemusic will be impressed by theByzantine Pop-Ups.

    The performers, an interna-tional ensemble of singers in theAxion Estin FoundationChanters, are Eleftherios Eleft-heriadis, Christos Chalkias,Rassem El Massih, SpyroAntonopoulos, GeorgiosTheodoridis, Nektarios Anto-niou, Stephen Esper, Constan-tine Kokenes, Theodore Brakat-selos, Nicholas Reeves, andEystratios Gatanas. Eleftheriadisis performing at the museum forthe third time in the ByzantinePop-Ups. He previously ap-peared as a soloist for the Sa-cred Music of Byzantium featur-ing the Byzantine Choir under

    the direction of the late Lycourgos Angelopoulos, andin 2015 performed in the Grace Rainey Rogers Audito-rium for the Looking East from Byzantium concert.Eleftheriadis is a chanter at the St. Nicholas Greek Or-thodox Shrine Church in Flushing, Queens.

    Chalkias struck the talanton in the performance andsang. This year marks his second performance in theByzantine Pop-Ups. Chalkias trained in Byzantine chantwith the great theorists and interpreters of the MountAthos Byzantine tradition on Mount Athos in Greece.He is a volunteer and board member of the Axion EstinFoundation since 2002.

    The Byzantine Pop-Ups are made possible by theAxion Estin Foundation (AEF), a not-for-profit educa-tional organization with a core mission of promotingByzantine Music and the Arts. AEF seeks to stimulateappreciation and study of this art form through itsunique network of academic, music, arts, and liturgicalorganizations in the United States and internationally.AEF produces programming, events, and publicationsin a comprehensive effort to broaden understandingand audience for Byzantine Music in the United States.

    Metropolitan Museum HostsByzantine Pop-Ups

    The Byzantine Pop-Ups at the Metropolitan Mu-seum of Art.

    LEFT: The Christmas tree at the Metropolitan Mu-seum of Art provided the backdrop for the Byzan-tine Pop-Ups.

    The performances of hymns and carols of the Byzantine Empire were sungin multiple languages from Greek and Russian to Armenian and Arabic.

    PHOTOS: TNH/ELENI SAKELLIS

  • Christmas 2016THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016 27

    27 Forsyth St., New York, NY 10002 • Tel.: (212) 226-0499

    w w w . s t b a r b a r a g o c . c o m

    Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church

    Best wishes to our members,

    supporters

    and to the Greek American community

    Merry Christmas

    Happy , Healthy

    and Prosperous New Year

    3647

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    New York

    www.polestublin.comProviding legal services

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    46 Trinity Place, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10006

    Tel.: 212-943-0110

    201959/328

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    Warm wishes

    for a Merry Christmas

    and a Happy New Year!

    Χρόνια Πολλά!

    ANDovER DINER193 Main Street, Andover, NJ 07821

    Tel: (973) 786-6641

    2022

    70/5

    06

    a b

    The members of the Gold CoastChapter #456 wish everyone

    a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    AMERICAN HELLENIC EDUCATIONAL

    PROGRESSIVE ASSOCIATION

    GOLD COAST CHAPTER NO. 456

    Manhasset, New York 11030

    We are the largest chapter on Long Island and the 5 Boroughs. Our meetings are held at the Port Washington

    Yacht Club, located at One Yacht Club Dr., Port Washington,

    NY, first Wednesday of each month, 6:00 pm.

    Join us! We are fun! We have a new Sons of Pericles Chapter.

    Contact John G. Levas, president, at [email protected] more information.

    Sons are encouraged to join this new chapter.

    The Gold Coast Chapter is conducting a membership drive.Please contact our chapter’s President or Secretary

    if you want to join our wonderful group. We have more that 145 members to date.

    Please visit our website for more info:http://sites.google.com/site/ahepa456/

    For additional info or other inquires please e-mail:[email protected]

    Membership is open to everyone who believes in the mission of the organization.

    PRESIDENT

    John G. Levas

    [email protected]

    VICE PRESIDENT

    Paul Macropoulos

    SECRETARY

    Dr. Michael Georgis

    RECORDING SECRETARY

    Nick Kouzionis

    [email protected]

    TREASURER

    Ted Malgarinos

    BOARD OF GOVERNORS

    Leonard Zangas

    Dr. Dean Pappas

    Constantine Carr

    HONORARY GOVERNORS

    Evens Cyprus

    Tom Gardianos

    SON ADVISOR

    Andrew Hadjiandreas

    [email protected]

    Order of AHEPA

    2022

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    48

    Law Offices of MARY MIHALAKOS MARTUSCELLO

    ■ PERSONAL INJURYAuto Accidents Slip / Trip and Falls

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    We speak GreekΟμιλούμε Ελληνικά

    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas

    and a Happy New Year

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    Call to make an appointment for a Free Consultation

    (212) 267-7944300 East 30th Street, Suite 200, New York, NY 10016

    WR

  • Christmas 201628 THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016

    Christmas ushers in a 12-day period of celebration, the 12Days of Christmas, which end with the feast of Theophany.On the eves of the feasts that mark the 12 Days (Christmas,Circumcision of Christ or St. Basil’s Day, and Theophany),carols are sung by small groups, mainly children.

    The carols are a Greek custom which has been maintained untiltoday, with children traveling from house to house, singing the carolswith the accompaniment of percussion instruments, guitars, accor-dion, lyres or harmonicas. As they arrive at each house, the childrenknock on the door and ask, “Shall we sing them?” If the reply is pos-itive, they sing for a few minutes, ending with the wish, “Manyyears!” The head of the household rewards them with a small amountof money, although in the past they would be offered sweets, such asmelomacarona or kourambiedes.

    Good evening, noblemen, if it is your will,Of Christ’s divine birth may I tell to your household.

    Christ is born today in the city of Bethlehem.The heavens rejoice, all of creation is happy.

    In the cave he is born, in a horses’ manger,The King of Heaven and Creator of all.

    A myriad of angels are singing “Glory in the highest,”And this is right, the faith of the shepherds.

    From Persia come three magi with gifts,A bright star leads them without a moment’s delay.

    Arriving in Jerusalem, they eagerly ask Where Christ has been born, that they may go find him.

    When King Herod heard of Christ, Immediately he was troubled, and became monstrous.

    He feared many things, for his kingdom,That Christ would take it from him, and he lose his wealth.

    He calls the Magi and asks, where will Christ be born,We know it to be Bethlehem, as the writer told.

    He told them to go, and wherever they find him,After worshipping him, to come and tell him.

    That he may also go to worship him,With guile as a God-hater, to destroy them.

    The Magi rush away, watching the star,A divine light was coming down, and they follow it with joy.

    They arrive at the stable, and find the TheotokosHolding in her arms her holy Child.

    They kneel and worship, and offer him gifts,Myrrh, gold, and frankincense, and honor him as God.

    After they worship him, they soon again taketheir leave,

    And thinking of Herod, they go to findhim.

    An angel from heaven comes toprevent them,He directs them to go by anotherway.

    Then another angel commands JosephTo Egypt to travel, and to stay there.

    To take with him Mary, together with her son,Because Herold is seeking her child.

    The king, not seeing the Magi return,Commands that not one child in Bethlehem be left alive.

    They slay fourteen thousand in one day,Every mother weeps, wails, and laments.

    Then the words of the Prophet Isaiah are fulfilled,Just like the other prophets, like Jeremiah.

    A very old custom which remains today practically unchanged is the Greek Christmas carols, whichis called calanda in Greek. Children, in groups of two or more, still make the rounds of houses singingcarols, usually accompanied by the triangle or guitars, accordions or harmonicas.

    The children go from house to house, knock on doors and ask: "shall we say them?" If the homeowner'sanswer is yes, the kids sing the Christmas carols for several minutes before finishing up with the wish,"And for the next year, many happy returns." Years ago the homeowners offered the children holidaysweets and pastries, but today they usually give them some money.

    The carols are sung on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Epiphany, and they are different foreach holiday.

    HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS CAROLS IN GREECEThe word calanda stems from the Latin calenda, which translates as "the beginning of the month."

    It is believed that the history of caroling goes deep into the past and connects with ancient Greece.In fact, they have even found carols written in those distant past days which are similar to the onessung today. In ancient times the word for carols was Eiresioni, and children of that era held aneffigy of a ship which depicted the arrival of the god Dionysos. Other times they held an olive orlaurel branch decorated with red and white threads, on which they would tie the offerings ofthe homeowners.

    This Eiresioni song from the Homeric period can still be heard today - with small changes- in the carols of Thrace:In this house we came of the rich-landlord May its doors open for the wealth to roll in The wealth and happiness and desired peace should enter And may its clay jugs fill with honey, wine and oil And the kneading tub with rising dough.

    - Following are the Greek carols for each of the three holidays: Christmas Car-ols, New Year Carols and Epiphany Carols.

    GREEK CHRISTMAS CAROLSGood day lords If it's your bidding Of the Christ's divine birth I will tell in your manseChrist is being born today

    In the town of Bethlehem The heavens rejoice

    And all creation delightsIn the cave he is born�Within the horse manger The king of the heavens And Maker of all . . .

    GREEK NEW YEAR CAROLSFirst of the month and first of the year

    My tall rosemary Let our good year begin Church with the holy throneIt is the beginning when Christ Holy and spiritual Will walk on earth And cheer us upSt. Basil is on his way And will not deign on usFrom KesariaYou're a Lady milady

    GREEK EPIPHANY CAROLSToday is the lights and the enlightment The happiness is big and the sanctificationDown the Jordan River Sits our Lady the Blessed Virgin MaryShe carries an organ, a candle she holdsAnd pleads with St. John.St. John lord and Baptist Baptize this divine child of mineI shall ascend to the heavens To gather roses and incenseGood day, good day �Good day to you masterand the missus.

    Greek Christmas, New Year and Epiphany Carols

    “Shall we sing them?” – Christmas in a Contemporary Greek Village

    2014

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    A blessed and joyous Christmas and a peaceful, healthy

    and full of grace and progress

    New Year to all.

    Peter & Aphrodite Skeadas

    Ευφρόσυνα ΧριστούγενναΕιρηνικό, Υγιέςκαι πλήρες χάριτος και προόδου Νέο Ετος για όλους

    Πίτερ και Αφροδίτη Σκιαδά

  • Christmas 2016THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016 29a

    b

    3039/441

    Dr. AhmedMohiuddin,MD, FACC

    President and CEO,Medical Center of BostonInternational, Inc.

    TO ALL OF OUR GREEK FRIENDS

    IN AMERICA AND GREECE

    WE WISH YOU A HEALTHY

    HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS HOLIDAY SEASON!

    The Medical Center

    of Boston International, Inc.

    ΚΑΛΑ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥΓΕΝΝΑΚΑΙ ΕΥΤΥΧΙΣΜΕΝΟΣ

    Ο ΚΑΙΝΟΥΡΓΙΟΣ ΧΡΟΝΟΣ

    Contact information:Medical Center of Boston International , Inc.

    41 1 Waverly Oaks Road, Suite 333Waltham, MA 02452

    Tel . : (781 ) 894-8858 • Fax: (781 ) 894-8856

  • Christmas 201630 THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016

    201874/275

    Pancyprian Associaton of FloridaP.O. BOX 211, Tarpon Springs, FL 34688-2117

    a b

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year

    Ευλογημένα Χριστούγεννα, Καλή Χρονιά

    201862/262A Non Profit 501 c (3) Organization

    This ad is paid by the board members

    The Board of Directors

    and the Advisory Committee

    of the

    Hellenic Relief Foundation

    Wishes you a Merry Christmas

    and a Happy New Year.

    201725/196

    Merry Christmas

    and a Happy New Year

    from

    the communities,

    players, families and the entire

    G.O.B.L. Board of Directors

    WR

    GREEK ORTHODOx BASKETBALL LEAGUE

    3299

    /501

    ThEoDoRE Ε. TSEkERIDESΑttorney at Law | Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP767 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10153, Tel.: (212) 310-8218

    a b

    Merry ChristmasHappy, Healthy, Prosperous

    and very Productive New Year

    a b

    3571/492

    State Senator Leonidas and Dr. Donna Raptakis Alexandra and Nicholas

    wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    Committee on Judiciary Committee on Special Legislation

    and Veterans’ affairs

    District # 33 Res. 401-397-2720

    2080 Nooseneck Hill Road Bus. 401-397-3344

    Coventry, R.I. 02816 Fax. 401-397-6302

    [email protected] State House 401-276-5567

    A very MerryChristmas and a HappyNew Year!

    From The National Herald

    By Constantinos E. Scaros

    One of Candidate Trump’s re-peated campaign promises wasthat if elected president, “we’dbe able to say ‘Merry Christmas’again.” Sure enough, no soonerthan he was elected, Trump em-barked on a “thank you” tour tovarious battleground states,speaking in front of a cavalcadeof Christmas trees and with abig, red sign at his podium thatread: “Merry Christmas USA”(or some variation thereof).

    How important is it to youto hear “Merry Christmas”rather than “Happy Holidays”?Are you offended as a Christianif you don’t hear “Christmas” ut-tered by the well-wisher? Or areyou conscious that by saying“Merry Christmas” yourself youmight offend a non-Christian re-cipient of your kind gesture byhaving made reference to a hol-iday that is based on the virginbirth of the Son of God?

    Having been born and raisedin Manhattan, and having spentmost of my adult life there fivedays per week – first as a stu-dent, then in various profes-

    sional capacities – I was happilysurprised when I began visitingthe South – Florida, in particular– on a regular basis about 20years ago, and found myself be-ing wished a “Merry Christmas”by almost every store clerk, foodserver, or random passerby.“Wow, there’s still a place inAmerica where it’s ok to say‘Merry Christmas’ to a stranger,”I thought.

    A few years later, I learnedthat there was more than onesuch place.

    When first moving to CentralPennsylvania some time ago, mywife and I went out to eat at aJapanese restaurant and sat ata large hibachi table where awoman and her young childwere sitting. It was mid-Decem-ber, and my wife struck up aconversation with the child: “So,what are you doing for Christ-mas?” she asked. Reflexively, Ibraced myself for what in Man-hattan would have been a con-siderable likelihood as to thistype of response from the mom:“We do not celebrate Christmas!How dare you impose your reli-gious views on my child!” But

    this mom did no such thing. Shesmiled as the child responded.

    Later on, I explained to mywife that such things are a defi-nite “no-no” in New York: shewas thankful that when such in-nocuous questions are asked inCentral Pennsylvania, they arenot met with utter contempt. So

    was I.What if someone says

    “Happy Hanukah” to you? Ifyou’re not Jewish, would youmind? I certainly wouldn’t.When someone wishes me a“happy” anything, it usuallymeans their message is one ofgood cheer. So, why on earth

    would I mind? Of course, it’s notthe same thing: Hanukah is areligious holiday, whereasChristmas is not only a religiousholiday, but, like Memorial Day,The Fourth of July, Labor Day,and Thanksgiving Day, it is alsoa national holiday.

    Wishing someone a “Happy

    Hanukah” or “Blessed Ra-madan,” then, is like you wish-ing a non-Greek “Happy GreekIndependence Day” on March25. It’s not the same as Christ-mas, or the Fourth of July. Butnonetheless, all of the above arebenign messages, so why shouldanyone mind?

    All that said, it would seemthat I vehemently object to theuse of the term “Happy Holi-days” as some do. Many “Christ-mas purists” consider it a cop-out.

    An attempt by the secular leftto perpetuate the “war onChristmas.” That’s one way tolook at it, but I choose a differ-ent one: the word “happy” isstill in there, so that’s fine withme. There are plenty of battlesto fight, let’s not seek out moreof them, especially during theYuletide season.

    So, on this 25th of December,don’t worry so much about howyou say it, or how it is said toyou. Just be grateful for the hu-man interaction. Whether youare the giver or the receiver ofa good wish, it is a blessing. Behappy.

    “Have a Holly Jolly Solstice” and Other Politically Correct Holiday Wishes

  • Christmas 2016THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016 31

    200434/561

    EISEMAN LEVINELEHRHAUPT

    & KAKOYIANNIS, P.C.

    805 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022Tel.: (212) 752-1000

    Peter Kakoyiannis, Partner

    WR

    Merry Christmas

    &Happy

    New Year

  • Christmas 201632 THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016

    200789/532a b

    Merry Christmas

    Best Wishes

    for

    a Happy, Healthy

    and

    Prosperous New Year!

    Peter J. & Cathy Pappas

    2017

    201635/591

    3637/595

    President Panagiotis Psarakis

    and the National Board

    of the Pancretan Association of America

    Cordially Wish

    a Merry Christmas

    & a Happy, Prosperous,

    and Peaceful New Year

    to All Members, Friends, and their Families

    www.pancretan.org

    a b

    Greeks are increasingly turning to decoratingsmall Christmas boats instead of trees,considered an imported tradition, in themistaken belief they are reviving an old Greekcustom.

    “We are slowly abandoning Christmas trees,which are considered a foreign custom, andturning to ships instead,” said Erika Vallianou, ajournalist from the western island of Cephalonia.

    “It’s part of a general trend to revive oldcustoms. We are trying to recover the island’s dis-tinct color that was lost when all our buildingscollapsed in a big earthquake in 1953,” she said.

    Cephalonians have even set up a citizens’group to promote the boats and its results are al-ready evident. “Every Christmas, more and moreboats appear in banks, hotels and shops,”Vallianou told AFP. Sparing the island’s uniquepopulation of black fir trees is put forward as afurther argument in favor of the vessels.

    The Christmas boats are made of paper orwood, decorated with small, colorful lamps and afew, simple ornaments. They are usually placednear the outer door or by the fire and the bowshould always point to the interior of the house.With golden objects or coins placed in it, the shipsymbolizes a full load of riches reaching one’shome. And the Christmas boat is making inroadsinto mainland Greece.

    Every December, Greece’s second city, Thessa-loniki, erects a huge, illuminated metal structurein the shape of a three-mast ship next to theChristmas tree in its main Aristotelous Square.

    “The Town Hall introduced the ship in 1999.Thessaloniki is a port city and we thought thiswould show appreciation for the role the seaplayed in the city’s economy,” said ThessalonikiMunicipal Councilor Vassilis Gakis.

    “Our ship was the first of its kind in Greece.Many other municipalities are adopting it, buttheir models are not as big as ours,” he told AFP.

    Even the vast majority of Greeks who continueto stick to the Christmas tree consider it a foreignimport. The modern Christmas tree enteredGreece in the luggage of the country’s first king,Otto of Bavaria, who ascended to the throne in1833 but the tree did not become popular beforethe 1940s.

    The ship, by contrast, is viewed as a quintes-sential Greek symbol. Greeks have been seafarersfor thousands of years and the country is todayone of the world’s mightiest shipping nations.

    But scholars are skeptical about the ships’Christmas role. “Ships are not Christmas trees,”said Dimitris Loukatos, one of Greece’s most im-portant ethnographers, as early as 1975. “Thoughit is true that children on the islands sangChristmas carols holding illuminated modelboats in their laps,” Loukatos said.

    For children, they served as a lantern in thedark or as a box for presents collected in returnfor singing carols. “But in other parts of thecountry, children held other symbolic objects,such as miniature models of the Saint SophiaChurch in Constantinople (Istanbul),” saidLoukatos.

    “Using boats as Christmas ships is a new-

    fangled development,” Ekaterini Kamilaki, presi-dent of the Hellenic Folklore Research Center toldAFP.

    The Christmas tree, assumed to be foreign,may even have some Greek roots. Use ofdecorated greenery and branches around NewYear is recorded as far back as in Greek antiquity,as it is in other pre-Christian cultures.

    Tree branches and green bushes called“Christwood” always had a place in Christianhouseholds during the medieval Byzantine andOttoman empires. “Whether its enemies like it ornot, it is certain that the Christmas tree existed inthe Byzantine Empire,” Kamilaki said, citing his-torical evidence from fifth-century-AD northernSyria. “We don’t want to ban the Christmas tree.It has roots in mountainous Greece,” said Gakis,explaining why the tree and the boat coexist inThessaloniki’s Aristotelous Square.

    This is a partial excerpt from an articlehttp://www.sfakia-crete.com/sfakia-crete/christ-mas.html

    Boat vs Τree: A Conflict ofChristmas Cultures in Greece

  • Christmas 2016THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016 33

    Happy HolidaysTo:

    DΙΚΗΓΟΡΙΚΑ ΓΡΑΦΕΙΑ TONINO SACCO, ESQ.

    ΗΛΙΑΣ Ν. ΦΥΛΛΑΣ, ESQ.

    SPECIAL THANKS SCOTT LAIRD, ESQ. Πλήρης νομική υποστήριξη

    From:

    ISRAEL ASHER, LLC CASEy SHEAR

    George Kalergios and family

    Many thanks to our attorneys for the exceptional results obtained for our company in 2016

    201906/573

    a b

  • Christmas 201634 THE NATIONAL HERALD, DECEMBER 24-25, 2016

    Drs Spiro & Amalia Spireasand

    Sigmapharm Laboratories

    A very Merry Christmas

    to you & your families

    Sigmapharm Laboratories, LLC3375 Progress Drive, Bensalem - PA 19020Tel.: (215) 352-6655 - Fax: (215) 352-6644

    www.sigmapharm.com

    Innovative Pharmaceutical Formulations, Maximizing Drug Therapy.

    WR

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