Thursday links (Wednesday edition)
Christmas is a celebration of the unexpected, and there has been much of that around the web this week.
- I wrote about this  very surprising (and, to some Catholics, offensive) image  that was on display in Auckland, New Zealand before protestors defaced it with brown paint.
- Watching a space shuttle launch  from the air is so cool. (Warning: video includes some salty languge) [via HuffPo ]
- L'Osservatore Romano gives kudos  to the Simpsons, congratulating the show on their 20th anniversary.
- Do poker-playing priests surprise you? What about a poker-winning priest ?
- The supposed War on Christmas  hasn't received nearly as much attention this year as in the past. What I'm wondering is why no one is advocating for the Christmas greeting, "Mary Jesus."
From our own pages:
- We decorated and made a video ! It's no live stream with a Gregorian chant soundtrack , but it has the Charlie Brown Christmas song and some magic.
- Bryan has stirred up a lot of folks  with his blog post on Deal Hudson's allegations that Catholics who support health care reform are "fake."
- Advent is nearly over so be sure to check out Advent Special Section .
- Are the holidays ironically less peaceful for your family? You're not alone. 
Photo by Dr. Hemmert