Twice Upon A Time – Critical Review on Doctor Who‘s Christmas Special

twice upon a time

Christmas Day brings family and friends, large feasts, long-awaited presents, and Doctor Who. Entitled “Twice Upon A Time,” this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special provided fans with their last viewing of Actor Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. And, more importantly, the first viewing of the next Doctor.

What “Twice Upon A Time” Revealed About Peter Capaldi as the Doctor



twice upon a time
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, so fierce and intense, and yet so gentle and humble in this picture by BBC America.

Talking to fellow Doctor Who fans made it clear how much many Americans disliked Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. Learning this made me think these fans simple, somewhat soft in the head. For Capaldi represented the learned intelligence, the serious fastidiousness, and the passionate loyalty behind the universally renowned Doctor.

Peter Capaldi acted the above traits to their fullest extent in the Christmas Special “Twice Upon A Time.” His learned intelligence showed when the soldier first walked onto the screen, recognizing the man’s uniform from World War I. When the soldier expressed his confusion at the term, the Doctor merely blushed and said, “Spoilers.”



twice upon a time
Why must the Doctor always come across a Dalek so close to his regenerations?

The serious, almost morbid, fastidiousness disclosed itself as the Doctor quickly decided to save the soldier from inescapable death. For the Doctor, as seen beside Capaldi in his first televised form (i.e. an older gentlemen, named David Bradley, who looked quite close to the original), had made a decision. The decision, made hundreds of years ago, to save and protect earth’s humanity.

Finally, and most importantly, Peter Capaldi exemplified the Doctor’s passionate loyalty when he saw Bill Potts. For although he had refused to accept her as the genuine Bill Potts, come back to life, his initial reaction said something different. His initial reaction said he loved and missed his dear friend. And that is why we love the Doctor, his selfless love.

Spoilers Found in Doctor Who‘s “Twice Upon A Time”



twice upon a time
David Bradley, who played the first Doctor, appeared downright jovial compared to his character, old and grumpy.

Hold on a minute. The Doctor regenerated into a woman? How can this be! I shall never watch Doctor Who ever again! This reaction ran rampant throughout worldwide homes and residences, on Christmas Day or earlier. How many people have resented and been angered at this fact? I don’t know. But I do know Actor Jodie Whittaker made a fabulous show entrance.

Looking into the TARDIS’s mirror, the Doctor stared at her reflection. She grabbed at her hair, stuttered a bit, and implied without words her wonder at her new gender. Based on what the TARDIS did at that point, the ship was more than shocked at what she saw. The TARDIS acted downright outraged, opening its doors and rocketing the Doctor from the ship. Leaving the fans wondering how they would next see the Doctor.

Where Doctor Who‘s Producers Implemented Christmas into “Twice Upon A Time”



twice upon a time
Matt Lucas as Nardole and Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts appeared alongside Peter Capaldi for “Twice Upon A Time”

Amongst the multiple Doctor forms and impeding deaths and uncharacteristically kind enemies, there appeared very little Christmas. However! Other than the snow from the South Pole, Producer and Director Steven Moffat referred to a famous and marvelous Christmas Day. An event which had occurred one hundred years ago. One which I had learned only earlier that day.

During WWI on one particular Christmas Day, the British and the Germans paused in their fighting. And they began to sing Silent Night. Since they had started the song at midnight, they celebrated Christmas Day, the whole 24 hours, in peace and calm. No shots were fired. Though the fighting resumed the very next day, and many men died, God’s sovereignty had reigned for one day.

Idolatry and the Uncharacteristically Kind Enemies in “Twice Upon A Time”




Unfortunately, the screenwriters had written for the “kind enemies” to refer to the Doctor as the “bloke who walked around and fixed things” on the Earth. Wrong! No polite British refusal to accept a wrong answer here. The Doctor, as great as the character is, will never play God! Christmas celebrates the birth of a Savior, called Christ Jesus. And to Him is all glory given. Sorry, Peter Capaldi.

So, other than the clear idolatry incorporated into the beloved Doctor Who, the Christmas Special was exceptionally good. Capaldi played his last episode as the Doctor with triumph. We rejoiced to see Bill Potts, if only just one more time. And “Twice Upon A Time” showed us a little of what’s to come. So, bring it on Jodie Whittaker! Let’s see what you can bring to world-renowned Doctor Who.



Demons in Plain Sight – Rebecca’s Story

The first chapter to a C.S. Lewis inspired story about one young woman, named Rebecca, and her interactions with an evil spiritual force, parading around as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed man.



Chapter One

Severed hands upon her chest grew thick, dirty yellow nails and dug into her flesh. They ripped through her torso, exposing her heart, lungs, and stomach.

Hot, boiling acid bubbled up from her stomach. It burned potently, destroying flesh and intestines as it overflowed into her body.

The severed hands had disappeared, but she could feel someone. A gleeful enemy. A spirit that was all too happy as she lay dying.



* * * * *

Rebecca’s eyelids opened in a flash. She could still feel the acid in her body. Though, her flesh remained intact. It was nothing but heartburn from eating pizza too late last night. She slowly released the sheets from her tight grasp.

Her surroundings confused her, and she struggled to remember where she was. A snore to her left alerted her to Daisy, her friend. Then Rebecca began to remember last night’s events.

She shifted in the motel’s queen-sized bed, and her head exploded with pain. Oh, of course, she had too much to drink last night, as well. Putting her hands on either side of her head, she leaned forward and tried not to vomit from the nausea.



Daisy had stopped her last night from spending the night with the Swede. At least, she thought he was Swedish, maybe German, or Norwegian. She didn’t care. He was hot, and she wanted him.

Now, Daisy hadn’t stopped her last night for any religious issue, nor for any feminist garbage. She had merely dumped her stomach’s contents all over the guy. Making Rebecca drag her to a place to stay for the night while the guy cleaned up.

With this memory in mind, Rebecca picked up a down pillow and forcefully threw it at Daisy. The sleeping young woman moaned on impact, but didn’t wake up. Making Rebecca glower at her.

Slowly rising from the bed, she stretched her arms above her head. Her hungover headache throbbed ten times greater. She needed coffee, in a bad way. Did the motel have any continental breakfast? She decided to find out before she cleaned up for the day.



* * * * *

Whatever motel they had chosen, it was a nice one. Expensive too, more than likely. However, she went ahead and grabbed one of the fluffy, white robes and wrapped it around her. If the hotel host and hostess didn’t want their guests running around in robes, then they shouldn’t have supplied them.

With the room’s key in the robe’s pocket, she unlocked the four locks and let the room’s door slam shut behind her. She hoped it hurt Daisy’s head more than her own.

The halls were wide, just like every other place in the area. Victorian red carpeting on the floors, extravagantly embellished designs on the walls, and chandeliers on the ceiling all gave Rebecca the impression that she belonged here.



She actually grew up in one of Brooklyn’s poor neighborhoods. And God knew the trouble she experienced there…and created. But, in her mind, she knew she would rise to higher classes. Maybe that’s why she and Daisy ended up there.

She found the continental breakfast in an oversized room near the front lobby. Walking into the room, she stopped and smirked. Taking in the same extravagant designs as the halls and smelling the sweet and hearty breakfast foods at the buffet table made her giddy. Making her almost forget her headache.

People milled around the coffee maker. But there was enough to go around. Grabbing a white, porcelain mug, Rebecca poured herself some French roast. Then she turned around to find a seat.



There were mostly men in the breakfast room. Rebecca relaxed a little. The men seemed somewhat pleased to see her, their wives would have probably given her dirty looks. The thought made her smile.

Blowing on her coffee, she strolled to the center tables, and she stopped. She said a mild curse under her breath as some coffee spilled over her fingers. But he acted like he didn’t notice.

It was the same guy, the Swede. His blue eyes, dark and deep, were on her. A blush crept into her cheeks as she noticed him check out her every curve and sway. He seemed interested in her too. But what was he doing here?



Uneasiness filled her. Thoughts of him following her to this motel played in her mind. After all, she couldn’t even remember fully how she had got here. And she had yet to remember the motel’s name.

“Hello, Rebecca. Did you sleep well?” he said. He chuckled, a deep-throated, bass laugh. It wasn’t menacing, but it wasn’t friendly either.

She decided to play it casual. “Didn’t expect to see you here. I guess I didn’t notice what happened once my friend and I left the nightclub. You seem to have cleaned up fine.” Without an invitation, she settled herself at his table on the seat opposite.



“I always clean up well,” he said. He gave her a closed-lip smile, a dark twinkle in his eye. Then his expression turned to mimic her casual attitude. “I spend enough time here to know the laundromat’s location and how much change to have on me to use it.”

The expression in his eye had made Rebecca recoil. Ignoring it, she moved on and said, “So, you use it often then?” Rebecca wondered if he vacationed here often. Maybe he frequently stayed at this motel?

“Whenever I find myself here,” he said. His eyes flickered around the room, then settled on her. The tight-lipped smile returned, but without words.



An awkward smile of her own crossed her lips. He was toying with her, she realized. She sipped her coffee, slightly burning her tongue. “And after you cleaned up this time, you went back to find the girl with her vomiting friend. Because you just hadn’t had enough.”

Rebecca didn’t like being toyed with. Whenever she felt like someone was, she challenged the person. Making him uncomfortable as he made her uncomfortable.

But the Swede remained undisturbed, his expression blank. “Yes, I followed you and Daisy here,” he said, his tone flat and steady.



Anxiety hit, and her heartbeats tripled in speed. Had she voiced her worry out loud? He had to be teasing, she told herself. He was merely smart enough to catch her innuendo.

She remembered which city she resided in, and calmed herself. No real creep could afford to stay at a place like this. She wondered if her own credit card even had enough credit leftover to afford this little sleepover.

Men filled the tables around them. The men in business suits talked finance, the retirees talked about stage shows and fishing, and the college kids focused on the food. Everyone seemed at ease around this blue-eyed, blonde man. If anything, they seemed jealous of him.



However easy the men around her seemed, Rebecca decided the time had come for her to take her coffee and leave. Maybe Daisy was awake. Maybe she shouldn’t have left Daisy alone in the room in the first place.

Excusing herself, she turned her back on him as quickly as a ‘casual’ attitude would allow her to. Her dream began to come back to her, piece by piece. Unlike last night, the Swede had given her a foreboding impression. Much like the gleeful enemy in her dream.



Why Queen Elizabeth II Says “Happy Christmas”

happy christmas

Hearing “Happy Christmas” for the first time causes many American children to laugh and jeer at the speaker. They reply, “It’s not ‘Happy Christmas.’ It’s ‘Merry Christmas.'” Oh, the innocence and ignorance of know-it-all youths. Allow me to provide the reason behind “Happy Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas” Means Something Completely Different than “Happy Christmas”




Educated Britons understand the history behind the term “Merry.” We Americans, who grew up saying “Merry Christmas,” only learned the phrase “Happy Christmas” when we heard Queen Elizabeth II say it. Something she does every year during her Christmas broadcast.

Americans can view these broadcasts on BBC America, squeezed between Doctor Who marathon episodes on Christmas Day. Hearing the British Queen use the phrase piqued my interest.  So, I asked someone with a great vocabulary why she said “Happy” instead of “Merry.” And upon receiving an answer, I proceeded to do some research on it.

The short explanation is that “Merry” used to mean intoxication and social misbehavior. Whereas “Happy” expresses joyous feeling without any religious or social deviances. And as we know from Queen Elizabeth II and her council, they believe people ought to obey God and follow the Christian faith. At least, that’s what The Crown portrayed. And I agree with the message.

Why Some State It’s Better to Say “Merry Christmas” Instead of “Happy Christmas”




According to blogger Gene Veith, and to the man whom he referenced, “Merry Christmas” beats “Happy Christmas” on any given year. The term “Merry” appeared in the Bible to describe a joyful and drunken man. Someone so happy as to have little concern in how he appeared to others. These two bloggers believe we ought to experience merriness upon seeing Christ Jesus.

To me, this seems absurd. Though God doesn’t ban drinking alcohol, He does tell his believers to refrain from becoming intoxicated. For we must always be prepared to spread the gospel, to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents. In other words, I can see the solid Christian foundation in why Queen Elizabeth II chooses to say “Happy Christmas.”

The online Oxford English Dictionary informally defined “Merry” as slightly and joyously drunk. So, if “Merry” is associated with drunkenness, then the answer seems simple. Since the Bible says to refrain from drunkenness, then say “Happy Christmas.” Keeping those with weak faith on the godly path by disassociating with anything regarding alcohol.

And a “Happy Christmas” to You!




If I come off as prudish, I’m sorry. But the little I have learned about Queen Elizabeth II has taught me to respect her, what she does, and what she says. And since God is the highest and most important authority, then saying “Happy Christmas” seems even better.

Please remember Christ Jesus as Christmas comes closer. And people can be just as happy sober as they are drunk! With the difference lying in  people’s ability to act more kindly and agreeably in the sobriety state. Happy Christmas, everyone, and I’ll be back again tonight!

The Muppet Christmas Carol – Brian Henson’s Beloved Rendition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

the muppet christmas carol




Love, cherish, and joy only begin to describe how I feel toward Brian Henson’s The Muppet Christmas Carol. This movie, created in 1992, is a staple for many millennials. Having watched this beloved rendition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol as children, we now pass it onto our children.

What makes Brian Henson’s version so great? How does it surpass every other movie rendition of A Christmas Carol? The answer is simple, and in no small part due to Charles Dickens’s writing.

Brilliant Actors Found in The Muppet Christmas Carol



The Muppet Christmas Carol
Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Michael Caine is a genius within his work field. His study on portraying the right emotions at the right times shows his competence in acting. Therefore, in acting as Ebenezer Scrooge, Caine was the best choice to portray Scrooge. Both as the cruel, uncaring businessman, and as the reformed, kind and loving man which Scrooge became.

Kermit the frog acted the part for the most amiable character in the story, Bob Cratchit. Steve Whitmire voiced for Kermit, still relatively new at the job with the Muppets team during the film’s making. Nonetheless, he managed to capture all the adult hearts who watched this fun rendition. Even I, who first watched the movie at age five or six, learned to love Kermit the frog as Bob Cratchit.

And, of course, we must make mention of the Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens. Dave Goelz voiced for the Great Gonzo. His character provided the main humor source, albeit a somewhat mean sense of humor. His role included traveling throughout the movie, watching the other muppets, and narrating the key points in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Messages Behind The Muppet Christmas Carol



The Muppet Christmas Carol
Scrooge’s dead business partners, Marley & Marley.

To support himself, Charles Dickens wrote novels during the English Victorian era. The more he wrote, the more he became involved in social movements. Mainly he wrote social critics to serve the changing social climate. However, several of his novels have passed down through time. Thus, still popular, and forever changing how England and other countries look at social status.

The Muppet Christmas Carol understood Charles Dickens’s original message. Fierce and rigid, Scrooge cared for nothing but his own pocketbook. Social events, where people gathered to laugh and play games, annoyed him. Allowing his employees to spend time with their families on the holidays struck him as unfair. His business was his life.



Thanks to the three visiting spirits, Scrooge woke up to see what truly mattered. His money could serve the benefit of mankind, encouraging the working the class and saving the destitute. People wanted to love him, he merely needed to let them and love them in return.

The messages in this movie, originating from the popular story, are like those found in Scripture. Though, unlike a mere century before, they related more to the commonly accepted beliefs and taught principles in that era. For, during this time period, many people like Charles Dickens didn’t specifically follow any religion.

What to Take Away from The Muppet Christmas Carol



The muppet christmas carol
Bob Cratchit and his son on a walk home from church service.

Personally, I will refrain from ignoring my God for social agendas based on Christian principles. For that seems a little silly to me. However, how Bob Cratchit behaved should stand as a guiding example for all people, believers and unbelievers alike.

Because Bob Cratchit practiced patience with the unreformed Scrooge. He loved his wife and daughters, despite their uncouth and disparaging tongues. And his wherewithal to carry on in the face of his son’s probable death testified to great strength and character. Everyone ought to aspire to such nobility of character.

Moreover, as Michael Caine showed with his great acting skills, to love each other requires very little effort. A smile and an encouraging word could significantly improve someone’s mood. Giving someone a simple gift, like a scarf, will make someone able to appreciate human kindness. And merely spending time with others will warm their hearts, especially if you have smiles and laughs to go around!

Everyone Should Watch The Muppet Christmas Carol



the muppet christmas carol
MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, Miss Piggy, Michael Caine, Fozzie Bear, Kermit, Gonzo, 1992

I haven’t even begun to describe the amazing soundtrack or the jolly, ole’ Spirit of Christmas Present! Such joy and cheer they bring to every family home. To teach young ones the importance of love and kindness, I recommend showing them the family-friendly The Muppet Christmas Carol.

The young children might be confused at why the Great Gonzo always calls Rizzo the Rat stupid. And, hopefully, they don’t follow suite and call all their friends stupid. But the overall message fits perfectly with what the Christmas season is all about. For believers and unbelievers alike can agree to share and spread the love during this special season.



Spiritual Warfare Found in Ephesians- Scriptural Evidence to Back C.S. Lewis’s Premise in The Screwtape Letters

spiritual warfare

Many church bodies, across the Christian denominational board, speak about the devil’s power in spiritual warfare. The pastors leading these church bodies will yell from the pulpit on how Satan roams the land, stealing people from God’s grasp. And then there are those who disagree. These sceptical Christians speak more about the sinful nature found within the mortal flesh. I am here to show how Scripture and C.S. Lewis support both arguments.

Spiritual Warfare as Mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Ephesians



Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of Peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the Helmet of Salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
~ Ephesians 6:10-17 (NASB)

Upon first reading the above paragraph, I receive the instinctual impression of a demon in my room, whispering in my ear. “Your hands are dry and cracking. You should stop and get some lotion.” Or, “You really need to clean the reading room. It will make you feel better.” And while all of this is true, these realities fail to bother me when I’m reading for fun or writing a movie critique. Therefore, could it possibly be a demon trying to distract me from learning and growing in the Christian faith?

What the ESV Study Bible Wrote on Spiritual Warfare




Rely on me by no means. Let’s turn toward biblical commentaries and study Bibles for some more, solid information. For example, the English Standard Version (ESV) Study Bible (2008) calls the devil and his demons superhuman spiritual forces. As mentioned in Scripture, the evil day represents the many times the devil has attacked and will attack God’s people. From time’s beginning until the Lord returns.

Satan’s allies abound throughout all the Earth. Such allies include national governments, leading authorities, false teachers, and cosmic powers. However, in whichever way demons work through these enemies, they will fail to pull believers away from their faith. But for Christians to properly fight against the devil’s spiritual attacks, they must arm themselves.

This “full-bodied armor” signifies God’s word and prayer. Meaning Christians have a defense when they are being led down the wrong spiritual path. All they need to do is to read and understand Scripture and to pray for strength and God’s grace.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Facing the Enemy in Spiritual Warfare




Matthew Henry’s Commentary (1961) says much the same as the ESV Study Bible. Yet, in addition to describing the devil’s allies and their power, the commentary mentioned practicing all the Christian graces. Such as love, forgiveness, peace, and all the love traits listed throughout the New Testament. Seeing as it’s Christmas, one can look at “The 12 Days of Christmas” song for some help to remember the love and grace characteristics.

The age-old Bible scholar also made an interesting observation: The full armor of God, as mentioned in Ephesians, lacks any back armor. Therefore, if Christians deny the devil’s existence and turn their back on him, they will suffer grievously. For the devil’s fiery darts are our temptations to flaunt lawlessness, hate our brothers, and deny God. And if we turn our backs on the onslaught, we will fall and fail.

C.S. Lewis’s Understanding Regarding Common Belief in Demons and Spiritual Warfare



There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.
~ C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

C.S. Lewis created a morbidly fascinating premise in his novel, called The Screwtape Letters. According to Hollywood, people living in the 1600’s and earlier very much believed in wicked spirits and demon possessions. After all, such spirits are recorded in Scripture. Yet, despite this fact, many modern day Christians disbelieve in the devil and the other fallen angels. In writing his novel about Wormwood and Screwtape, C.S. Lewis intended to remedy this problem.



Demons don’t normally go around scratching and throwing things at people. They do try to ensnare God’s children and ensure they turn their backs on God. Guaranteeing the lost and forgotten people fall into the Pit. How do demons do this? They simply whisper thoughts, traitorous and treacherous, into our ears.

For example, an atheist who begins to doubt his atheism may think, “Can God exist? No, I must be hungry to think so foolishly. I’ll go get some lunch.” The thought about hunger is true and certain. As of yet, the atheist fails to see the true and certain proof for God’s existence. Thus all people begin to believe the “real and rational” thoughts in their head. And not the ones that God inspired them to think.

What Christians Ought to Think Regarding Spiritual Warfare




As C.S. Lewis said, please avoid digging into any unhealthy interest in the superhuman spiritual forces! However, be aware of their existence. Provided with the faith shield, the truth belt, the righteousness breastplate, the salvation helmet, and the Scripture sword, Christians can and will stay strong.

But every nonbeliever remains in danger. To save them, we must be bold and courageous in spreading the gospel about Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the devil will easily claim them, dragging them down into his own damnation.

So, the next time you think about your dirty bathroom while you’re doing your daily devotions, stay strong. A demon may just be whispering in your ear.



Catholicism Remembered in “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song

"The 12 Days of Christmas" song

My careless attitude about “The 12 Days of Christmas” song now shames me. For I have researched the history and the meaning behind this old, traditional carol, and the generally believed truth is frightening. Even if the Catholic popes and priests took a modern Christmas carol and attributed their own meaning to the song’s gifts, the debateable meaning holds significance for all Christians.

What Catholics Claim the Gifts in “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song Represent




God, the Holy Father, represented the “true love” who sent the gifts to us, the beloved. And each gift equated to the 12 teachings in Catholicism. What each gift represented is listed below:

  1. A partridge in a pear tree = Jesus, the Son of God, who died on the cross
  2. Two turtle doves = Both the Old and New Testaments
  3. Three French hens = The Three Theological Virtues (a.k.a. Faith, Hope, and Charity)
  4. Four calling birds = The Four Gospels found in the New Testament
  5. Five golden rings =  The Pentateuch (a.k.a. the first five books in the Old Testament)
  6. Six geese a-laying = How God created the world in six days
  7. Seven swans a-swimming = The Seven Sacraments (a.k.a. the Holy Spirit’s seven gifts)
  8. Eight maids a-milking = The Eight Beatitudes (a.k.a. how the blessed will be rewarded)
  9. Nine ladies dancing = The Nine Spiritual Fruits (i.e. love, joy, peace, and so on)
  10. Ten lords a-leaping = The Ten Commandments
  11. Eleven pipers piping = The 12 Disciples, minus Judas the Betrayer
  12. Twelve drummers drumming = The Apostle’s Creed’s 12 doctrinal points (i.e. belief in God, belief in the Son, and so on)

While all Christian denominations can recognize at least some teachings from above, all 12 are included within Catholicism. Making this song a great catechism for all Catholics.

The Reason Behind “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song




Many people scoff at the list above. They provide arguments about the greater complexity within Catholicism and say Christians within all denominations share these teachings. As a Christian, I would argue differently.

Yes, I know about the Old and New Testaments, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Spiritual Fruits, and so forth. However, to have learned the exact numbers for all these biblical books and spiritual gifts and fruits, I would have needed to obtain a pastoral license. Simply thinking about the spiritual fruits and practices makes me think more exist than what the song lists above.

Back on point: People have argued about the song dating back to the 16th Century when Queen Elizabeth I reigned. For, according to some accounts, Catholics needed to learn “The 12 Days of Christmas” catechism in secret for fear of being found out, brutally tortured, imprisoned and killed.

What to Remember About “The 12 Days of Christmas” Song




Please don’t argue about the meaning behind this Christmas carol. For that is exactly what it is, a Christmas song! Catholics, and all Christians in general, can learn about their faith in other ways. Memorizing Scripture is possible, especially with the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Therefore, be joyful! Remember to sing those Christmas carols loudly. Smile when others badmouth the season. And meditate on the true significance to Christmas, Jesus Christ’s birth!

Regarding the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings – Critical Review

Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

Reading the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings revealed much about the author. First and foremost, the text portrayed the outstandingly extensive breadth in all relations regarding J.R.R. Tolkien’s thought, study, and imagination. It also portrayed some of his likings and enjoyments in life.

“Concerning Hobbits” Section One in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




J.R.R. Tolkien’s Prologue contains a long, detailed script regarding all things in relation to Hobbits. Much detail was given on subgroups among the Hobbits, what they look like, where they dwell, how they work the land, who remains prominent among them, how they relate to other Middle-Earth folk, and more. There seemed no end to the history, allegory, or factual tidbits.

Words failed me when I tried to describe to my father the imaginative depth and shocking detail included in this first section, “Concerning Hobbits.”  However, my father, who has read The Lord of the Rings several times throughout his life, knew the perfect phrase: Obsessive detail.



Obsessive is exactly what I would call J.R.R. Tolkien’s work. Do some Tolkien fans take offense at this terminology? I hope not, for I mean no offense at this term. In fact, I have the proclivity and bias to believe deep people, obsessive and philosophical (and many times theological), lean toward genius in their arts and crafts.

The writing in this section layered detail upon detail, upon detail, and so on. J.R.R. Tolkien set the foundation for an imaginative people, then provided them with an imaginative history, then educated them with a language grounded in linguistic theory, and then added imaginative folklore for the imaginative Hobbits. In other words, Hobbits and the Shire could be real folk, in a real land, in a real world. Where could have J.R.R. Tolkien received his genius?

“Concerning Pipe-weed” Section Two in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




“Concerning Pipe-weed” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings provided the perfect laughing magic after much education regarding Hobbits. For within the very first paragraph to this second section, Tolkien wrote a word very similar to an English word called nicotine. This “Nicotiana” was what Hobbits stuffed into their pipes, clay or wooden, and smoked.

J.R.R. Tolkien proceeded to provide imaginative detail regarding where the weed first came from. Did it come from the Hobbit village named Bree? Or does the weed grow native in the man-ruled city called Gondor? Again, Tolkien proved his imagination’s depth in creating Middle-Earth history similar to our world’s history, which means every culture is flummoxed about actual historical deeds and actions.

What this section blatantly shows is the time in which J.R.R. Tolkien lived. Cigarettes and cigars dominated most Englishmen pastimes, especially during World War II (WWII). With this in mind, and the knowledge about how this nicotine helped our WWII men to relax and rest, I can see why Tolkien included the Nicotiana weed into his literature. For every creature needs some means to rest, bodily and mentally.

“Of the Ordering of the Shire” Section Three in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




“Of the Ordering of the Shire” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings detailed the government type that every conservative wishes for: minimal to nonexistent government. Based on how Tolkien described the governing society within the Shire, it resembled the United States government very much. The main similarity being free will, the other democracy.

Where the U.S. law enforcement writes speeding tickets and handles domestic disputes, the Shire’s law enforcement deals more with folk outside the gated borders. Hobbits called them the “Bounders,” strange folk on suspicious business. Such Bounders had appeared in Hobbit towns before. But those days were long ago, and the Hobbits had forgotten the danger these strange faces carried with them. Could this compare to the danger which German strangers presented to the English children in the early 1900’s?

“Of the Finding of the Ring” Section Four in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




Here Bilbo Baggins took stage. His story, summarized in “Of the Finding of the Ring” in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, revealed the dark story concerning a black heart and its “precious.”

Gollum would strike fear in anyone’s heart, let alone a simple, earth-loving Hobbit. For a ring to have so much power in prolonging a creature’s life, corrupting the creature to solely desire its power, made known the evil behind it. And to have the honest and adventurous Bilbo Baggins lie about how he found the one ring only made certain its terrible power.

This fourth section seemed put-in merely to set the stage for The Lord of the Rings. It informed the reader as to why poor Frodo Baggins had to carry his heavy burden, and consequently why all the connecting events occurred. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to draw people into Middle-Earth. As did his son, Christopher Tolkien, when he wrote on the history surrounding Middle-Earth. But that’s a different matter entirely.

“NOTE ON THE SHIRE RECORDS” Final Section in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings




Not much need be said on the final section in the Prologue for J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The author again showed his obsessive brilliance on imaginative history and folklore, connecting his work to how his readers would perceive it, as written accounts from Middle-Earth Men and Hobbits. To this fictional world there seems no end, and nor do we want there to be.

I hope anyone who reads this post will join me as we continue to read and review J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings! Continuing on with the series, we will compare and contrast how the story’s events relate to his personal life.

After all, Tolkien had mentioned this as a possible occurrence in his Foreword. Two biographies, one concerning the Inklings, the other concerning Tolkien himself, now exist on my bookshelf for this purpose. Let the fight between good and evil begin!



“So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide.” (The Fellowship of the Ring, 2001)

live to see such times

Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring expounds Gandalf’s most significant message in the entire trilogy. Earlier in the film, Frodo had expressed his desire for all the evil to have never happened. So when Frodo stopped to consider his long and lonely journey ahead, Gandalf’s words came back to him: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

We Who Live to See Such Times in the Modern World




Throughout this whole past year, left-leaning voters have whined heavily about USA’s current President Donald Trump for being USA’s current president. They live to see such times demolished and destroyed, never to happen again. They refuse to play fair with the right-leaning thinkers who also live in the country.

But politics are of little concern here in Mary Loves the UK. What concerns us more are the nuclear weapons. Why do people in other countries hate and fight fellow people in neighboring countries? Why do people have an intolerance for anything different?

J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits would never understand why men fight for power as they do. They live happy lives, growing what they will, taking on only simple troubles. And as elderly men live to see such times, they too begin to wonder why. Or else, they fall completely prey to the fight for power.

Deciding Our Course When We Live to See Such Times




People with strong faith in something greater than themselves normally have better perspective on what to do with their lives. Raised within the church and having read through the Bible, I know several proverbs that speak of men deciding where they shall go, praying and giving thanks for success, and the Lord leading them through it.

Too many people get caught up in the decision on what to do with their lives. Bad economies, terrorist incidents, natural disasters, oncoming wars, and much more can easily lead anyone to wish for better times. They also lead people to make excuses for not using their own, personal time wisely.

To use our best abilities for the best causes, we must first discover our abilities and learn about the most important causes. Faith in God should lead us to the Bible, which speaks greatly on the many ways to worship the Creator and to help each other. Local communities join together to help the poor, the widows, and the orphans. A good paying job could serve a greater purpose. The choice belongs to us.

To Live to See Such Times in Tolkien’s View




J.R.R. Tolkien’s childhood was spent in England, specifically when Germany bombed London to smithereens. Hopefully some biographies on Tolkien will shed some light on whether or not J.R.R. Tolkien took the northern trains during his childhood. For regardless of his situation, it was for certain that the Tolkien family desired to see better times.

Maybe The Lord of the Rings came from this young boy’s faith in something greater. Maybe it came from his traumatic and misplaced childhood during World War I. Whatever the inspiration, J.R.R. Tolkien assuredly inspired many to see what they can do when given difficult times in which to live.



What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings vs. What J.R.R. Tolkien Said

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings

Who here had the great fortune to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings as required reading in high school? I did! But I read the novels and some connected works several more times afterwards. And I realized what teachers say about The Lord of the Rings contradicts what J.R.R. Tolkien said about his masterpieces.

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings – The Sorrowful Summary




Teachers have probably edited many great, adequate, and poor student summarizations to this 20th century masterpiece. And I cringe to hear the watered-down significance to this work, concerning both the plotline and the linguistics. However, the hastily-written summaries also help to explain the misapplied meaning behind the novels.

A summary from an uninterested literary student may read as follows: The Lord of the Rings is the fight between good and evil. Hobbits, elves, dwarves are on the good side. Orcs, wizards, and men are on the bad side. Some wizards and men can be good. There’s a ring that could destroy the world, so a group fights to destroy the ring. After a lot of fighting and traveling, the good guys win.

Terrible, miserable, and unacceptable! Anyone who writes such a summarization of J.R.R. Tolkien’s painstakingly detailed fantasy-world should fail the class. Yet, please consider, with this example now placed in mind, the wholly inaccurate meaning behind what teachers say about The Lord of the Rings.

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings – The Made-Up Meaning




The Lord of the Rings symbolizes World War II.”

No! Wrong! Have you read his second edition’s Forward?! J.R.R. Tolkien specifically stated within his 1966 Forward to The Lord of the Rings that his work symbolized something wholly other than World War II (WWII). Don’t believe me? Let me show you:

As for any inner meaning or ‘message’, it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical. As the story grew it put down roots (into the past) and threw out unexpected branches: but its main theme was settled from the outset by the inevitable choice of the Ring as the link between it and The Hobbit. The crucial chapter, ‘The Shadow of the Past’, is one of the oldest parts of the tale. It was written long before the foreshadow of 1939 had yet become a threat of inevitable disaster, and from that point the story would have developed along essentially the same lines, if that disaster had been averted. Its sources are things long before in mind, or in some cases already written, and little or nothing in it was modified by the war that began in 1939 or its sequels.

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

For those who grew up thinking J.R.R. Tolkien intended to symbolize WWII with his Middle Earth, please read the above carefully. This awe-inspiring author simply wrote for his own enjoyment. With the possible exception being….

What Teachers Say About The Lord of the Rings –  The Untold Meaning




Far be it from me to say J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to symbolize God, the Devil, and Everything Inbetween. For this, I myself, at this point in time, struggle to see within the novels. However, based on an additional chapter within the second edition’s Forward, I can see where people draw this conclusion.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about how he had begun forming Middle Earth, and all its rich history, during his childhood. His childhood was war-stricken (from World War I) and desolate (from the London bombings). With so much destruction around him, it’s remarkable to see how this childhood genius made it into something wonderful.

With J.R.R. Tolkien’s text note in mind, I will continue to read The Lord of the Rings and lookout for similarities between his childhood beliefs and his adulthood beliefs compared to the text. Please join me on this journey. And, hopefully, we’ll reach the end before Amazon’s Middle Earth comes to our screens.