Chip WoodDuring this season of massive over-commercialization, you may find it hard to believe there was a time when Christmas was no big deal. There were no stores full of toys, no songs playing 24 hours a day, and no Christmas trees with so many presents under them that they fill most of the room.

The Chipmunks are back and funnier than ever in this film for the family. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked features the beloved chipmunks and their female counterparts stranded on an island after some shenanigans on a vacation cruise. What follows is a very cute and pleasant film for the family.

Dear Michael,

I have been a longtime listener of your nationally syndicated radio talk show. You are, without question, among the most talented, entertaining, and intelligent of hosts. Many a day, in spite of what disagreements I may have had with you, I have been provoked by, and delighted in, your exchanges with guests and callers. Although I obviously do not know you personally, you also strike me as a genuinely decent human being, a loving husband, devoted father, and a good citizen who really does have his country’s best interests at heart.

Jack KennySyndicated columnist Cal Thomas has written a “Grieving at Christmas” meditation on the pain and suffering of those who have lost loved ones in one or more of the wars our nation has been fighting over the past decade. The sense of loss weighs most heavily at Christmas time, he notes, when an empty chair at a family gathering might be a grim reminder of one who is not there because his life was cut short by a bullet or a bomb in a city or on a battlefield half a world away. It may be “the most wonderful time of the year” for many, perhaps most of us, “but for those whose fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers or children have died in Iraq and Afghanistan there is a void this Christmas, and Christmases to come, that can never be filled,” Thomas wrote. “It is the same in every war.”

Ron Paul has elaborated on his views in his books, in speeches, and in interviews. During the debates, however, when he has a national audience, he doesn’t always present his views as persuasively as he could. In my last article, I suggested ways in which he could respond to challenges regarding his views on foreign policy and national security. In this article, it is to criticisms concerning his position on drugs and the recently resurrected charge that Paul is a "racist."