Thursday, December 11, 2008

Everybody Sing!

I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music lately. When I was a teenager nobody recorded new Christmas music, now an artist isn't really an artist until he's put out a Christmas album.

One thing I've noticed and which I Christmas time everybody is a Christian. It's okay and expected to sing about Jesus and God's love while you're singing about Rudolph and snow and silver bells.

Even the Jews do it. Both Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond have Christmas albums. In fact Neil has two. I wonder what he was thinking as he sang O Holy Night, and Mary's Boy Child.

The Jackson Five, devout Jehovah Witnesses at the time, (translation- Christians who don't celebrate Christmas) put out a Christmas album. It must have been wierd for them to sing about Santa Claus coming to town when they didn't even get to hang stockings.

Hollywood may be notoriously anti-Christian, but nobody told the music world this. Nashville is decidedly pro-Christian and country music has never been shy about it even daring to put (gasp) religious songs mixed in with the heartache ones about losing wife, truck and dog.

But it's Christmas time when we get to shout from the rooftops about Jesus, we just agree as Christians that Santa gets to share the rooftop.

Of course there will always be those who like to ruin the fun and complain and deny Christmas - check out Brad Paisley's "Kung Pao Buckaroo Holiday" sometime. It's hilarious and brings home a real truth about political correctness.

I'm fortunate that I live in a town where God has not been banned from schools and public places.

I've never understood the banning. How do kids learn from this. Interestingly the same people that are for banning God from schools would be horrified at banning books.

I'm more of the type that says "Let's celebrate everything! Christmas, Hannakka (anyone know how to spell that), Kwanza, Festivas, Chrismikka, bring it on. Let's learn about people's celebrations, not ban them. Isn't that what education is about?

So now I'm going back to listening to people celebrate Jesus and how he saved the world.

Yep, it's a good time of year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Want to Be A Scrooge

So what does the name Scrooge bring to your mind?

Like most people you'll think of someone miserly, mean spirited and lacking love for anyone. Bent over, twisted and grasping who can't even enjoy his own spoils never mind bestowing them on anyone else.

A Christmas Carol is a long time favorite but I wonder if we've missed the point that Dickens was trying to make.

At the end of the book, Dickens says of Ebeneezer Scrooge "Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all and infinately more...He became a good friend, a good master, and as good a man as the good old City knew, or any good old city, town or borough in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them...His own heart laughed, and that was quite enough for him...And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well."

Now that doesn't sound like a miserly, mean spirited person at all. In fact it sounds like a Christ-like person.

In fact we could draw similarities between the fictional Scrooge with the very real Saul/Paul. Saul too was a completely different person when he started out than the Paul he ended up being.

Isn't that what we are here for? To change our Saul/Scrooge ways into becoming better men/women, better masters, better friends? To put away our old selves and become new ones?

So shouldn't we remember Scrooge the way he ended up instead of the way he was in the middle of his life?

Maybe we should all become Scrooge like.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pops and Clicks and Static Oh Joy

I'm one of those people that doesn't let go of stuff. I still have the first watch I was ever given even though it doesn't work and the gold is flaked off. I got it from my godmother on my fifth birthday and it's on a chain instead of wristband. Come to think of it, I've got the second watch she ever gave me, as well as the porcelain dog and the swedish red wooden horse.

I'm sure there's even an orange stuffed monkey somewhere around here.

Consequently I've hung onto all my vinyl records, lugging them around even when I didn't have a turntable to play them on. Sure some of them have been put on CD but I didn't want to pay for music I already owned.

My check for my story went for necessities, but I did buy myself a birthday present with it. A turntable with software that coverts my vinyl into MP3, a much more space saving and convenient way of listening to music.

So now I'm in bliss listening to old records and knowing one day I don't have to lug around 3000 pounds of vinyl. Instead it will be able to fit into something I can carry in one hand, in fact I might one day be able to pocket all this music.

Sometimes I really do love technology.

I just wish that I could get the cleanup of pops and noise to work. Either it makes no difference or it takes out all the music. Any experts out there?