My author page on Facebook has a cover photo with a whole mess of various items related to my interests and creative pursuits, one of which is a piano keyboard (on the GarageBand app on an iPad).
Oh, look, here it is.
I also have a guitar in that picture but I can barely play for personal amusement, let alone any sort of public performance, so we’ll leave that alone for now.
I chose that as a cover picture because over the course of this blog, I’ve written several times about most if not all of those hobbies and interests.
All that to say, I haven’t always focused or publicized the music side of my creativity. I’ve posted occasional songs, but with social media and modern technology, there are so many options and ways to put ourselves and our talents “out there” for others to enjoy. Here’s a step in that direction:
My wife and I have started a Facebook page titled FreeWorship Music where we’ll post videos or livestreams of us playing and/or singing. We have just a few posted for the holidays so far, but we’re working on more songs and sets to post.
As is our custom, each member of my family opened one Christmas present on Christmas Eve, a little pre-celebration or appetizer for the main event. We did this fairly late in the evening, after a drive to purchase a festive meal of curry from Coco’s and to look at Christmas lights.
So it was pretty late when we decided to watch Middle Son’s chosen gift, the Tim Burton movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Not exactly Christmas fare, perhaps, but it’s one he wanted and half the family hadn’t seen it yet.
By the time the movie ended, it was about 1 AM. I’d blame military life and the chaos it sometimes brings, but the fact is we’re pretty much night owls when our tired bodies can put up with the strain. Wifey stays up all hours of the night, and so do I if caffeine and work commitments permit. The teens will try to watch movies at midnight if they can get away with it.
So everyone came to the same conclusion: It’s already Christmas “morning” at this point. The allure of a pile of presents under Christmas lights proved too great to resist… Except for 6-year-old Dude, who was passed out during the early part of the movie (where I admit I also stole a nice catnap).
Once he woke up, groggy and stretching, we asked him if he wanted to open presents. Silly question, of course the answer was yes.
This year’s haul was pretty good for all parties.
We set out to make it special for everyone–knowing the cost associated with that–because it’s likely the last Christmas with all six of us together under one roof as one family. Despite any contrary advice or warnings received thus far, Teenage Daughter has an unwavering resolve to move out shortly after turning eighteen and marry her boyfriend, who will probably join the Air Force at that point. (The good news is he’s a pretty decent individual.)
Wifey’s love language is gift-giving, and this year she definitely hit several home runs. Her influence shows strong in our daughter, who also came up with several “OMG it’s perfect” reaction gifts.
My 34-ounce French Press gift is already in use this morning as I make eggs, cherry pancakes and corned beef hash. Teen Son got a much-desired Study Bible, a couple of anime movies, and a giant-size Uno card deck, a game he loves playing with his friends or with our little Dude. Teen Daughter got a collection of art and makeup supplies along with a laminator for photos she intends to print. The Dude and Middle Son got a nice collection of toys and movies they love. Wifey made off with a movie and some high-ticket beauty supplies she probably thought I’d never buy.
Sadly no one thought much of the gift of sleeping in. My work schedule builds in a habit of rising early even if I want more sleep, and Middle Son is a natural early bird. Things could be worse… We have a relaxing yet full Christmas schedule today. A chapel service, a large but non-traditional celebratory meal, an evening visitor, and some live streamed Christmas music on Facebook… And probably more I’m forgetting.
As a touch of holiday cheer, I’ll post some of the Christmas music on my Facebook author page if I can overcome my technological limitations.
Speaking of gifts, Diffraction, my fantasy novel, is free on Kindle through the end of Christmas Day.
I hope your holidays are bright and full of good food, fellowship, and fun.
“It’s okay to say that now. ‘Merry Christmas’ is back.”
Or so declared a number of Fox News voices on a mash-up video from a left-wing site, posted by one of my friends from that political camp. On the video, President-Elect Trump makes a show of proclaiming, “Merry Christmas” to the crowd, and the video cuts to supporters going wild. The newscasters delighted that the war on Christmas might now be over.
So I guess we win, or whatever. Religious Right, assemble! On to the next vile foe we must defeat to preserve America’s position as God’s favorite!
That a secular government–by design and by the Constitution–would take pains to be inclusive by not singling out one religion over another should come as no surprise. “Happy Holidays” is a way of recognizing “Maybe not all of you are Christians and some of you might celebrate something else during this season.”
But it’s been spun up for years as a “war,” as if not saying “Merry Christmas” is akin to denouncing the faith or outlawing worship. What if coffee shops don’t offer Christmas cups? What if a store clerk says, “Happy Holidays” to me? This is just one step in the advancement of the liberal agenda to destroy America, of course, so we’re told. Because we have to remember how bad “they” are and how imperiled our freedoms are, so that we keep a good, rabid voting base to get the GOP candidates elected.
Dear Christians, is the President-Elect saying “Merry Christmas” the victory we want? Is that the Good News we proclaim? Christmas is back now, guys; it was gone for the last eight years or something, but Trump said the word and now everything is better!
This changes nothing, and we’re foolish if we think it does.
Is saying the word “Christmas” the important part? Or maybe it’s a blow to politically correct culture that we celebrate? “I’ll say, ‘Merry Christmas’ and if you don’t like it then too bad!” Which totally sounds like the love of God revealed.
That’s what Christmas is about, right? The love of God revealed in the Son of God who entered a broken world and became one of us? That Jesus came in the image of fallen humanity in order to show us how to live and free us from the power of sin? We celebrate Christmas because it starts a story that leads to a cross and an empty tomb, not because “boy it really gets under those progressives’ skin when I say it, hehehe.”
My thanks go out to those who are actually on frontlines that matter:
…those ministering to the poor,
…those reaching out to the wounded and hurting during tough times,
…those who preach the Gospel around the country and around the world,
…those working to fight human trafficking and sexual exploitation,
…those providing comfort and counsel to military members deployed worldwide,
…those speaking life and hope in prisons so that men and women don’t continue down the same paths that got them incarcerated, and so on.
I’m pretty sure these are the wars Jesus won at the cross and the empty tomb. These are the war-zones where His victory needs to be proclaimed and His compassion displayed.
Those wars–where we battle not against Leftists or Democrats or Liberals, not against flesh and blood–those are still ongoing. That’s where we’re needed, because that’s where lives can be changed.
To my fellow believers, merry Christmas. Let’s not forget what it is we say we’re celebrating.
The home of David M. Williamson, writer of fantasy, sci-fi, short stories, and cultural rants.