Tragedies happen every day, all around the world, but those that happen on holidays — when families gather to celebrate each other and get a break from the rest of the ugly world — feel particular harsh and painful.
Unfortunately, there was a lot sad news this morning; some holiday related, the rest just horrible timing. The stories are unrelated to each other, but each one is awful in its on way.
- For the second year in the a row Christians in Nigeria were the targets of religious violence, as five churches were bombed on Christmas day. At least 25 people were killed in the coordinated attacks and dozens more were injured. The attacks appear to be a new tactic in an ongoing struggle between Islamic militants and the government that has killed dozens more in the northern part of the country.
- Seven people were found dead in a home in Grapevine, Texas, (the "Christmas Capital of Texas") after an apparent murder-suicide on Christmas morning. Police believe that shortly after the group opened their presents, one of the group shot the other victims before committing suicide.
- A woman in Connecticut lost all three of her children and both her parents when her house burned down in the middle of the night.
- Thirteen dead bodies were found in the back of an abandoned truck in Mexico, in yet another incident believed to involve rival drug gangs.
- Twenty people were killed in Afghanistan, including a member of parliament after a suicide bomb attack on a funeral procession.
But not every Christmas story is a sad one. If you look hard, you can still find the occasional good news around the holidays.
- A new family was born after a single woman with two children adopted four brothers and sisters when their own mother was killed. Her boyfriend, with three kids of his own, stuck around has become their new father.
- "The Pakistani Santa Claus" brings anonymous presents to both Christian and Muslim children in Lahore, saying "We need to unite as Pakistanis in this country, and events like Christmas should be used for building this interfaith harmony."
- A teenage girl in The Bronx enjoyed Christmas at home after receiving a kidney transplant from her mother.
- And believe it or not, people still take time to volunteer and help others on Christmas Day.
- Finally, one more touching story about keeping a Christmas tradition alive.