Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas and welcome to our 2009 edition of "Whadja Get?" I am so grateful for the love of family and friends. While many of us are old enough and mature enough to know that the season is not about presents, it's still fun to give and receive gifts. I like the laughter and sharing about how the different presents were obtained and the thought processes behind them. But most of all, I like what the gifts represent: the fact that someone cared about me enough to take the time and expense to get me something. The love and caring is the central part…the gifts are just the gravy.

So here's some of what I got:

  • Bible commentary on Luke
  • Thumb drive ('cuz you can never have too many thumb drives!)
  • Comic collection on dvd-rom
  • Star Trek and GI Joe videos
  • Action figures (which I collect and also use for object lessons)
  • A 20Q Star Trek electronic game (think of anything from Star Trek and it will guess what it is in 20 questions)
  • Popcorn tin (and it even had popcorn in it!)
  • Hawaii Warriors shirt (from my sister-in-law who lives in…wait for it…Hawaii!)
  • A collector's edition Batman Pez dispenser set
  • Dutch Bros coffee gift card (from one of my daycare kids)
  • Spider-Man spin tooth brush (from one of my co-workers, because with great power comes great oral hygiene)
  • A very nice Denver Broncos jacket

It was an enjoyable Christmas day. May you and your friends and loved ones be blessed throughout the New Year. Thank you for reading my blog.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Bring on the music!

Some of my favorite music is played during the holidays. From great advent hymns to fun classics to pop twists, Christmas music inspires a sense of celebration, reflection, and unity.

Since 2001, Steve Tanner has been offering daily downloads of Christmas music. His 25 Days of Christmas Music is an eclectic mix of yuletide tunes from what seems like a vast bottomless vault of record albums (yes, children, music used to be etched into vinyl discs called "records"). Every year, Mr. Tanner centers his collection around a particular theme and provides commentary on each song via his web forum. And the best part? It's all free!

This year's theme is Trim the Tree Travels. You can find out more about it by clicking the link below, but let me just add that Steve's 25 Days of Christmas Music is on my "must do" holiday activity list.
P.S. You can also download previous years' music.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


December is upon us…and the whole world is having a party. While my favorite holiday remains Thanksgiving, I really enjoy Christmas. The lights, the decorations, the music—there is a festive atmosphere that permeates the air.

As I ponder the very real impact of the Incarnation upon human history (and upon my history), I am not above having a celebration, a party, a time of fun and enjoyment during December. But every year, there is at least one individual (or group of individuals) who wants to remind me or inform me of the “truth” about Christmas, in order to dissuade me from enjoying the holiday. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to set forth some things I know:

I know that Jesus was probably not born on December 25. I am puzzled as to why the Scrooge patrol thinks this is a devastating argument against celebrating Christmas. If you have the exact date of Jesus’ birth, let me know and I’ll adjust my calendar. Until then, I have 365 choices, so I’ll stick with December 25.

I know that December 25 was appropriated from non-Christian observances. For that matter, so was Easter. For that matter, so are the names of the months and the days of the week.

I know that the wise men were not at the manger. And before you say anything, I know there weren’t three, they weren’t kings, and they were not from the Orient. But since they set out to find the One who was born King of the Jews, I’m willing to cut manger makers a little slack. As the old saying goes, “Wise men still seek Him.”

I know that bad people decorated and worshiped trees in Jeremiah’s day. The only creatures in my house that venerate our tree are the cats…and I wish they would stay out of the branches!
I know that Christmas is a time of great materialism. But I like the atmosphere of the mall at this time of year. I like gifts. I like the lights.

I know that Santa Clause does not exist (sorry, Virginia). But in my humble opinion, this make-believe fantasy character is not the epitome of all that is wrong with celebrating Christmas.

Christmas is a party. Part of my job--my commission--is to let people know about the One they are celebrating. I'm more than happy to share what I know, but please don't throw lumps of coal on my holiday fun! This December, I urge you all to relax...and have fun.