5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Christmas Day
December 25th, 2013
02:16 AM ET

5 Things to Know for Your New Day – Christmas Day

It’s Christmas. And whether you celebrate it or not, we’re sure you can get behind the spirit of the holiday – it’s about hope, about love, about believing in the impossible.

With that in mind, here are the “5 Things to Know for Your New Day."

1. When we pull together, wonderful things happen
Any other day, we'd talk about the partisan bickering in Washington, and how it’s at a fever pitch.

But today, let’s focus on how people with good intentions, a whole lotta heart and a can-do attitude can make a world of difference.

Take 8-year-old Laney Brown. She’ll never see Christmas again. Her doctors say leukemia will take her soon. As one of her dying wishes, she wanted some people to come by her house for a night of caroling. And boy, did they! At first it was hundreds of people, then thousands. Then it was 10,000!

2. The best presents aren’t under the Christmas tree
On this Christmas Day, about 150 Marines are standing by to fly into violence-wracked South Sudan to help evacuate Americans. Keep them in your thoughts.

But today, let's talk about military homecomings - those joyful reunions that make you reach for the box of Kleenex (or, if you're old-school, your hanky).

Take Air Force Maj. Jason Wood's middle-school daughter. She thought she was attending a pep rally when out he popped from a giant gift box.

3. Don't be a Grinch
Any other day, we'd tell you about the loud noise that was mistaken for gunshots inside a Long Island mall and triggered a brief lockdown - all apparently due to a clumsy shoplifter. Or the Washington Santa who was out delivering gifts to needy kids - when he was shot with a pellet gun. Or the UPS backlog that may mean missing gifts for you.

But today, let's not be a Grinch. Not even about the commercialization of Christmas, because  some of those commercials are pretty sweet.

By now, you've all seen the genius stunt by Canada's West Jet, where it  asked boarding passengers for their Christmas wishes - and then delivered the gifts at baggage claim. This Apple ad also does a nice job of tugging at ye olde heartstrings. It's about a teen who spends the entire holiday season playing on his iPhone, with a aww-inducing twist at the end.

4. Family comes first – always
We write about heartbreak every day. That's because we get our hearts broken every day by stories such as that of the volunteer firefighter who responded to a fatal car crash last night - only to find the victim was his daughter.

But today, let's focus on the mother who took to Facebook to have her son’s ashes scattered so he could "see the mountains that he never got to climb, see the vast oceans that he would have loved, see tropical beaches and lands far and away" and how strangers from India to Jamaica responded in droves.

Or on the little girl who used  sign language at her Christmas concert so her deaf parents didn't miss a thing.

Or on our very own Ed Payne a regular writer of this blog whose daughter flew home from Tanzania to surprise the family on Christmas Eve. “I picked her up at the airport unbeknownst to Laura and Corynne. I said I was going to work, but I lied. I hope she forgives me.

We’re thinking, Yes!

5. War is over if you want it
A brutal civil war in Syria. A near-genocide in South Sudan. Bloody attacks in Iraq. And on and on.

This Christmas, let’s borrow a page from John Lennon's songbook and save one wish for the world:
A very Merry Xmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. siaboucha

    The biggest coward is a woman, who awakens a man's love, without any intention of loving him. – why tamara ?I have lose all my life for making you happy and at last time you onlly lie to me,unless you are absolutely sure i will never find out the truth.nobody can change a person,but someone can be the reason to change.it's sad how quickly peopele can forget about you,until they want someting from you why tamara why i am person me too i feel like you feel

    December 26, 2013 at 7:08 am | Reply
  2. siaboucha

    The biggest coward is a woman, who awakens a man's love, without any intention of loving him. – why tamara ?I have lose all my life for making you happy and at last time you onlly lie to me,unless you are absolutely sure i will never find out the truth.nobody can change a person,but someone can be the reason to change.it's sad how quickly peopele can forget about you,until they want someting from you why tamara why i am person me too i feel like you feel but ofcorce you are norgk woman and you are looking onlly for bebe from man not his love if i say all norgk women are like you i will be lier as like you. but me say not all norgk women are like you sorry I miss my ***/Queen mydaughterVanja***

    December 26, 2013 at 6:53 am | Reply
  3. Sheila M. Warren

    Comment: Merry Christmas, very well said, as I couldn't have said it any better!

    December 25, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  4. raymond

    What a wonderful topic & story for all! The real reason for the season is the living,loving spirit of the birth of Christ – Now if we can make EVERY DAY as joyful as Christmas !!!

    December 25, 2013 at 11:11 am | Reply
  5. middle america man

    That Apple ad is a masterpiece. Merry Christmas, fellow humans!

    December 25, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • middle america man

      PS. – the best things in life aren't things – pass it on.

      December 25, 2013 at 10:46 am | Reply
  6. Lance Beck

    uh, nice, but... it's about the birth of Jesus the Messiah who took on humanity in order to save humanity from their worst enemy – themselves. He came to live, die in our place and rise again to give us life. You cannot separate the wood of the manger from the splinters of the cross. Merry CHRISTmas!

    December 25, 2013 at 10:34 am | Reply
  7. qazoo

    "it’s about hope, about love, about believing in the impossible"
    ____

    Those days died over 30 years ago in America.

    I personally feel blessed in my life and am highly grateful. But I have little hope in America and even less in mankind.
    It's always easy to throw some sick child up to make some argument to spin some point of thankfulness.
    Why does the poster have to be about that ?

    Why not throw up the poster of 60, 50 and even 40 years ago, when America still stood tall for it's citizens.
    Have you really taken a good look around.
    The two fastest growing fields to ever believe in that impossible are no longer built around having the opportunity.

    Those fields are prostitution and dope sales.

    December 25, 2013 at 10:33 am | Reply
  8. Walt

    I was at a local restaurant last night (Christmas Eve).

    At the table across from ours, was an elderly couple. I don't mean, 65 and plays golf every day old. I mean like 85, and looking like they scrimped and saved out of their meager social security checks for the entire year, to go out for dinner that one night.

    When the couple of finished, the manager came over to their table, and told the couple that their entire check, including tip, had been paid for them, by an anonymous person.

    I thought that was such an unexpected and heart warming act of giving. Truly made of the Christmas spirit.

    December 25, 2013 at 10:26 am | Reply
  9. jhnjul

    Merry Christmas.

    December 25, 2013 at 10:24 am | Reply
  10. LVguest

    War will never end for America, for you take what you want from others. And the preachy anti-materialism campaign coming out of CNN is laughably hypocritical. Greed in your culture is admired, and highly sought, so stop pretending, even if it is only for a single day.

    December 25, 2013 at 10:21 am | Reply
  11. luvlar

    #6- Don't let Grandma drink the spiked eggnog.

    December 25, 2013 at 10:20 am | Reply
  12. lean6

    Sorry, but i'm the grinch on Christmas. Of course, my kids will never know it, but it's my least favorite day of the year. Christmas is nothing but a retail occasion that I hate to see coming more and more with each passing year. In fact, there isn't a real genuine occasion for actually buying someone a gift from the heart, free from expectations and seasonal fads. So..BAH HUMBUG!

    December 25, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
  13. Name*agatha

    What's the point in listing the good things if you still list the bad?

    December 25, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
  14. Char B.

    beautifully written

    December 25, 2013 at 10:15 am | Reply
  15. Char B.

    Awesome:)

    December 25, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
  16. Sam

    "We won't focus on depressing stories like (depressing blurb + link 1) or (depressing blurb + link 2) or (depressing blurb + link 3) or (depressing blurb + link 4). Instead we'll focus on happy stories like (1-2 non-depressing sentences).

    Keep up the good work, New Day crew...

    December 25, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
  17. antoniodelaossa

    Merry Christmas everyone! and to everyone, a Happy New Year!

    December 25, 2013 at 10:06 am | Reply
  18. Chris

    all this horrible S*$T pointed out, with the "surprising" 5 things slipped in... Talk about "weird" ... "lets not talk, or think about the boy last night, who lit himself on fire... lets instead think about our fireplaces on Christmas... OR, the man who cut off his genitals with a dull knife... lets think about cutting the turkey on christmas dinner..."

    Thanks CNN, for NOT focusing on or bringing up any horrible, heinous sh*t on Christmas... Great job... FAIL...

    December 25, 2013 at 10:04 am | Reply
  19. gstlab3

    May there be World peace and goodwill towards all mankind.

    December 25, 2013 at 10:03 am | Reply
  20. wade

    CNN used the word CHRISTMAS! They admitted it is Christ day CHRISTMAS and they used a WHITE Santa clause ! Surely the liberals will call for boycotts, and accuse them of being religious fanatics and racist and terrible people. LOL... Liberals are such hypocrites.

    December 25, 2013 at 10:02 am | Reply
  21. Magister

    Oh thank GOD you uber-liberales at CNN explained to me that Christmas isn't about presents! Otherwise I might have wallowed in gross materialism!!!!!!! SOBS* THANK GOD YOU CAME ALONG!!!!

    December 25, 2013 at 9:57 am | Reply
  22. Louise

    Isn't the number one thing to know is that Christmas is about the Birth of Jesus?

    December 25, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
  23. Gary

    Something this story forgot to mention ... Jesus ... but hey, we live in a politically correct country and you better not mention Christ on Christmas or someone will get offended.

    December 25, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
  24. Countryboy

    Lets not forget the true meaning! A baby was born who would grow up to take our place on the cross. Thank you Jesus. Merry Christmas to all!

    December 25, 2013 at 9:54 am | Reply
  25. Denise Duppen

    Today you made my day with emotion!!
    Merry Christmas!!!!!

    December 25, 2013 at 9:54 am | Reply
  26. Bill S.

    How ironic that CNN...the "Clinton (now Obama) News Network" has a proclamation on Christmas !!

    Their leaders have no interest in Christmas ...this is a Christian celebration. This Administrtation dies everything thing they can to destroy the concept of family and religion.... now CNN joins in as a hypocrit.

    The military ...same issue. They do great things but are gutted by Obama and the liberals. ...lower pensions, no commissary...etc.

    World wars...did you stop to notice that all the countries that you mention are NOT Christian communities ...but instead near-barbarian status. Our Christmas spirit and morals don't apply there.

    December 25, 2013 at 9:51 am | Reply
  27. Joey Dyrud

    Well written...CNN needs to post more stuff like this.

    December 25, 2013 at 9:50 am | Reply
  28. Peter

    All thanks to Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!

    December 25, 2013 at 9:27 am | Reply
  29. Hannah

    People who believe in the impossible usually wind up in mental institutions or on serious medication.
    Not everyone likes this time of year. BAH! HUMBUG!

    December 25, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
  30. Kaizer

    Can you make the article more Happy Ho Lucky please?

    December 25, 2013 at 9:15 am | Reply
  31. Mattski

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    December 25, 2013 at 9:14 am | Reply
  32. Ji Jones

    It's Christmas.....why put out such sad news today? Just to get attention?

    December 25, 2013 at 9:08 am | Reply
  33. Janice Wilkinson

    The Best gift of Christmas is the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I was pleasantly surprised to see your list acknowledging that it is Christmas, but alas, your list is politically correct, denying the true reason for the day the majority of Christians celebrate Christmas. They know in their hearts they buy and give all the gifts is to remember the greatest gift God gave us as we give to those we love and others. May CNN, and the writer of this article, be blessed in the coming year to be bold enough to proclaim that love in stories to come, without fear. "Do not be afraid, for I am with you."

    December 25, 2013 at 8:57 am | Reply
  34. ghost

    forgot that A & E is the new homo channel as i don't see it listed !

    December 25, 2013 at 8:55 am | Reply
  35. pyrrhosanpellegrino

    "it’s about hope, about love, about believing in the impossible."

    If I knew it was impossible I wouldn't believe in it..? Thanks CNN. At least you tried.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:52 am | Reply
  36. Jenny

    Nice way to insert Sudan into the mix TWICE, CNN. Warmonger!
    This is an artificial holiday anyway. Nicer if people could be decent all year round.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
  37. Heathen

    "it's about hope, about love, about believing in the impossible"

    Eh. Actually,Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. If you are not into that, you are rnot eally celebrating Christmas. Not that I have a problem with those who don't, but cultural misappropriation and misrepresentation in general is annoying.

    Everything else...the decorated tree, mistletoe, wreaths on the door, candles in the windows, exchanging gifts, caroling, is basically YULE. So people that aren't into Jesus should just drop the Christmas moniker altogether and get back to celebrating Yule. We have been celebrating that a lot longer than Christmas, anyway.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply
  38. John smith

    Ctrl-F Jesus...0 of 0 found

    December 25, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply
  39. Heathen

    "it's about hope, about love, about believing in the impossible"

    Eh. Actually,Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. If you are not into that, you are really celebrating Christmas. Not that I have a problem with those who don't, but cultural misappropriation and misrepresentation in general is annoying.

    Everything else...the decorated tree, mistletoe, wreaths on the door, candles in the windows, exchanging gifts, caroling, is basically YULE. So people that aren't into Jesus should just drop the Christmas moniker altogether and get back to celebrating Yule. We have been celebrating that a lot longer than Christmas, anyway.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply
  40. brakon

    Best presents come on my d!ck

    December 25, 2013 at 8:35 am | Reply
  41. Interested reader

    These are lovely things to reflect on, but I was moderately surprised not to see the reason over two billion people across the world mark this day. Christmas is certainly about hope & it's definitely about love, but the good news worth celebrating is the birth of Jesus Christ.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
  42. Sherri

    Thank you Chandler, Saeed, and CNN for this uplifting news to start my Christmas day !

    December 25, 2013 at 8:34 am | Reply
  43. cpitrolo

    You've provided us with 5 thoughts to maintain our focus and not become so self-absorbed in the season and what it can do for us materially. Thank you. In closing the article, the term "X-mas" was used. It may very well be that John Lennon used the spelling "X-mas" when writing. He was such a gifted writer. The message of the song is one that millions could and can relate to. In the grand scheme of things, life for most pales in comparison to what others face day in and day out. Sickness, addictions, unemployment, a lack of familial stability. The list could go on and on. I thank God Almighty for his gift of Jesus and the celebration of His birthday – Christmas. X-mas? No. Christ? Absolutely. You can quote me on that. God's blessings be with the staffers at CNN. May all of you experience peace and His presence in your lives.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:28 am | Reply
  44. Christy 2

    You missed the whole boat on this one CNN, and I think in reality-you know that

    December 25, 2013 at 8:28 am | Reply
  45. Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

    I hope each and every one of you finds enough love in your heart today to forgive the mistakes of others.

    Most importantly, I hope you all find the love in your own hearts to forgive yourself, because that is where all forgiveness begins.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
  46. snowicane

    Yada yada yada.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
  47. cpitrolo

    You've provided us with 5 thoughts to maintain our focus and not become so self-absorbed in the season and what it can do for us materially. Thank you. In closing the article, the term "X-mas" was used. It may very well be that John Lennon used the spelling "X-mas" when writing. He was such a gifted writer. The message of the song is one that millions could and can relate to. In the grand scheme of things, life for most pales in comparison to what others face day in and day out. Sickness, addictions, unemployment, a lack of familial stability. The list could go on and on. I thank God Almighty for his gift of Jesus and the celebration of His birthday – Christmas. X-mas? No. Christ? Absolutely. You can quote me on that. God's blessings be with the staffers at CNN. May all of you at CNN experience peace and His presence in your lives.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:22 am | Reply
  48. Converted

    Beautiful. Merry Christmas to All !!!

    December 25, 2013 at 8:19 am | Reply
  49. Andrew

    Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year. Lucky to be alive and enjoying the holidays.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:14 am | Reply
  50. sadfa

    Pedo santa is pedo...

    December 25, 2013 at 8:12 am | Reply
  51. Chris

    As for #2, the best gifts aren't under the tree because they were too big to fit under it. Every kid knows this.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:11 am | Reply
  52. jim

    number one reason for Christmas is the hope the world has in the birth of Jesus Christ. All five of the reasons to celebrate are excellent and originate in love. Christ demonstrated the full extent of God's love and your stories are a reflection of the love expressed in Christ. A truly good reason to celebrate. Joy to the world the Lord has come.

    December 25, 2013 at 8:05 am | Reply
  53. dave

    why is everything 5 things to know and crap like that.. Why does the news have to be broken into 5? Usatoday does it now CNN is doing it.. To me it's lazy reporting!!!

    December 25, 2013 at 8:05 am | Reply
  54. Mesfin Mekonnen

    Although I appreciate CNN getting in the spirit, this article seems rather heavy handed. Each of the points is started off by noting the bad news that receive every day. It feels somewhat sad, thinking that Christmas is simply us ignoring the bad news for a day.

    But you know what they say, ignorance is bliss. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

    December 25, 2013 at 7:57 am | Reply
  55. maestro7777

    The god of Christmas Day is Hedon.

    December 25, 2013 at 7:57 am | Reply
  56. Allen

    The best gift is in the fridge. It's egg nog with a massive amount of bourbon. I can barely endure out annual house guests. They just keep hanging on and won't die.

    December 25, 2013 at 7:49 am | Reply
  57. Henry Randle

    Love you CNN! Merry Christmas from all of us here in Afghanistan! Although we may be far away from our loved ones, we hold true in our hearts we will come back to the greatest Country on God's Green Earth!!!! Love you all Randle Family!! Have fun!!!

    December 25, 2013 at 7:48 am | Reply
  58. LWJR

    What other kind of PIC and HEADLINE do you expect from antichrist CNN? Santa Claus and a worthless article by a lib writer. WHERE'S THE MANGER SCENE CNN?

    December 25, 2013 at 7:48 am | Reply
  59. doug

    Great Article – "let's hope it's a good one..."

    December 25, 2013 at 7:37 am | Reply
  60. RD

    Can I be just a little bit if a grinch because I have to work today?

    December 25, 2013 at 7:27 am | Reply
  61. Josh Atoness

    Seriously? I didn't realize that CNN was an atheist organization.
    If what you have listed is what Christ Mass is all about, then you
    probably need to realize who you have been bowing down to.

    December 25, 2013 at 7:17 am | Reply
  62. Floyd Scrodinger

    You can always find some good around this time of year, but it's hard. You don't have to look at all to find hate, greed, and misery. There's fights at the mall (buy something). There's stealing ID's (buy something). There's traffic and drunk drivers (buy more). There's stress and a total lack of joy (buy still more). Still, somehow, against the odds, we manage to pull our families together, have a great meal, watch the kids play with their new gifts, and realize there really is a lot of love around us. Nice try advertizers, but you failed again to destroy the season.

    December 25, 2013 at 6:54 am | Reply
  63. Ruby Russell

    I would usually text Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. There are sooo many homeless and I am one of them. Could not even afford to buy any gifts for my five grandchildren.

    December 25, 2013 at 6:31 am | Reply
  64. St. Nick

    Thanks CNN. I think we all can comprehend the meaning of Christmas without a lecture from some talking heads. And we sure as heck understood it before Lennon came along.

    December 25, 2013 at 6:30 am | Reply
  65. love

    Wonderful! Love never fails.

    December 25, 2013 at 6:23 am | Reply
  66. notsofast

    The lead in to the story is not correct as the holiday is about Christ, not believing in the impossible or over commercialization of this holy day. ps. I am agnostic.

    December 25, 2013 at 6:20 am | Reply
  67. maggie

    yipee I'm first.....I'm never first...I'm on the west coast.....so I will just say...nice post. Cheers, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Peace be with you where ever you are all year....Maggie

    December 25, 2013 at 6:02 am | Reply
  68. Roy Myers, Jr.

    Merry Christmas Chandler ! What a great Christmas wish ! Merry Christmas to all !

    December 25, 2013 at 6:01 am | Reply
  69. cm

    Nowhere in your 5 things bis there any mention of Jesus. I think you missed the point of the season.

    December 25, 2013 at 5:48 am | Reply
  70. Shaun

    Merry Christmas!

    December 25, 2013 at 4:02 am | Reply
  71. Kim Beuke

    I don't see number 5

    December 25, 2013 at 3:46 am | Reply
    • Kim Beuke

      Never mind...it is showing now

      December 25, 2013 at 3:47 am | Reply
  72. Clint

    Did I miss it? There are only 4? Title said 5 things to know.....

    December 25, 2013 at 3:41 am | Reply
  73. MR OLUNOWO WAHAB OLUYOMI.

    MORE GRACE TO YOUR ELBOW.

    December 25, 2013 at 3:34 am | Reply
  74. Graham Kraker, Esq.

    Don't post an article until it's fully completed...

    December 25, 2013 at 3:18 am | Reply
  75. Graham Kraker, Esq.

    The real five (or three by CNN's calculations) things to know for Christmas Day:
    1. When we get together, terrible things happen (i.e. Black Friday)
    2. The best Christmas presents ARE found under the tree (unless they're in the driveway)
    3. The Grinch is commercialized as well so it is okay to be a Grinch if you celebrate a heavily commercialized Christmas
    4. Obamacare is not an acceptable present to give your children, it's common decency to give your child this on any given day and not be a cheapskate
    5. Chinese restaurants and movie theaters will be hopping with the Jewish so if you have conflicting religious views with them, be sure to steer clear of these destinations on the 25th. Christmas is about love so no radical hate crimes please.
    BONUS: 6. The Underwear Bomber tried bringing down a plane two Christmas's ago but don't expect a repeat attempt...unless al-Qaeda has a plan that actually might work (unlikely).

    December 25, 2013 at 3:16 am | Reply
  76. Graham Kraker, Esq.

    Three things to know does not equal five things to know, kudos on a job...done

    December 25, 2013 at 3:07 am | Reply

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