While most editors, publishers and designers tend to keep their respective daily newspapers politically correct for the holiday, some use the season as a reason to celebrate and proclaim the history of the holiday, the birth of Jesus Christ.
The gallery of Christmas Day front pages at Newseum.org provided just such a glimpse on the morning of December 25th, showing off a stark contrast between Claus and Christ.
The majority of Christmas issues promote local good deeds, giving, Christmas events and parties, and cute Santa appearances. Some newspapers use columnists or guest writers to tell the nativity story in their own unique way.
But the eleven papers mentioned below are the only ones that proclaimed Christ’s birth of their own accord, without help from the community. Nearly all of the papers are based in towns East of the Mississippi River.
Take a look at the nation’s most religious daily newspapers:
Cover: The Journal-World made Christ’s birth the centerpiece on the page with a stained-glass-esque image of the nativity. The stained-glass motif is popular Christmas art this year.
Cover: The Sun left no room for words on its cover, one of the few papers to eschew any form of headline, instead letting the image tell the story. Again, the stained-glass motif makes an appearance. This is one of three newspapers that chose to fill the entire page with the image.
The Frederick News-Post:
Cover: The News-Post, like most papers, delivered a strong dose of daily news for Christmas Day, but the paper still left room for the most important headline of all. Without any visual representation of the Messiah, the News-Post proclaimed the Lord’s birth with a highly creative and colorful photograph of “Joy.”
State: South Carolina
Cover: The second-highest-circulation newspaper with a Christian cover for Christmas, The State also offered the most clean, professional design to celebrate the day, complete with the start of a story including Bible verses that tell the story of the nativity.
The Anniston Star:
Cover: The Anniston Star again repeats the stained-glass theme and gives the nativity an impressive full-page presence. What’s unique about the Star design, however, is that it frames the central image in a haunting black.
Cover: This cover is unique in that it provides an easy-to-read, large-print version of the nativity story for readers. It’s the only paper to print the full Bible story on the front page. In fact, the front page is unique in that it doesn’t mention the word “Christmas” at all. Again, the OAN chose a centerpiece image that reflects a colorful stained-glass piece from a church.
The Washington Times:
State: Washington, D.C.
Cover: The Washington Times has long been labeled a religious newspaper, simply because of its ties to the Unification Church. However, the Times is unique for such a high-circulation politically-invested broadsheet that recognizes Christ above the flag. The Times makes a statement that the birth of the Savior is more important than even the paper itself, a position few newspapers of similar standing would ever take. It also references a Bible verse for readers to look further into.
Palm Beach Daily News:
Cover: While the cover story is not the editorial voice of the newspaper, but instead an article about a local family, the position and size of the dominant image merits mention. That’s not mentioning the notable lack of a Santa Claus appearance or reference on the front page, which can be… eerily odd.
The Tampa Tribune:
Cover: Like the Palm Beach Daily News, the Tampa Tribune shies away from declaring Christ’s birth on its own, instead letting local pastors take the job. It does, however, prominently and strategically place a rendering of the nativity, giving a strong amount of space to Christ’s birth. The Tribune is the highest-circulation newspaper to put Jesus on the front page.
The Albany Herald:
Cover: Despite Santa’s above-the-fold appearance, it’s Mary, Joseph, and Jesus that receive the most attention in the center of the page. Again, it’s that classic stained-glass motif.
The Hawk Eye:
Cover: Finally, the Hawk Eye uses a simple but effective illustration to full-page effect for its Christmas edition. Even the donkey gets room.