Listening to: Things that never die on the internet

Reading: A Google doc of Fuller Christmas Lists

Writing About: Holiday Things that I like


Best Christmas Songs:

The Rebel Jesus | Bebo Norman / Jackson Browne
This one Appeals to my love for novelty, and the messag e is spot-on
O Holy night | Phil Wickham
A brilliant and simple take on my favorite CHRISTMAS Hymn
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel | Punch Brothers
Crazy dynamic shifts that don’t get into the way of a beautiful hymn
Christmas in Hollis | Run-D.M.C.
The newest classic on my list
Someday at Christmas | Stevie Wonder
Same category as “the Rebel Jesus,” off the beaten path and brilliant
Winter Snow | Audrey Assad
IF you give it a minute,
this may be the most beautiful song you hear all year.


Worst Christmas Songs:

Born is the King (It’s CHristmas) | HIllsong
It was the best new Christmas song ever, until the third time you heard it.
Too infectious.
My Favorite Things
I really hate musicals.  They are the worst.
Jingle Bells
IT’s overexposure that did this one in for me,
But I still kind of love the schoolyard variations,
You know, with smelly batman.
Santa Baby
Sexy Santa, it just doesn’t work.  It’s weird.
Baby, It’s Cold OUtside
I’m sure I’m not the first one to point out that this song features more than a little heavy handed COErCion.  Maybe “what’s in this drink” was a funny response to “please stay at my house” when this song was written, but it just sounds bad now.  


Favorite Fuller Christmas Activities
(In or around Niceville):

The Christmas Parade
This year it is on Dec. 5th.
IT’s a Classic hometown experience

Lights Around the Lake
If you’re willing to drive to Defuniak, 
This is definitely worth your time.
Live Nativity at the Val-p ASSEMBLY of God 
A great, friendly church telling the Christmas Story
The Christmas lady
I’m going to be honest, I don’t really love going to the Christmas lady display (currently at the defunct k-mart) but it is free, so it’s got that going for it! Seems like it should make the list
urban farm trading post
This was our first year visiting this crestview mainstay.  But we really liked it.
crosspoint advent offerings (Congo Christmas)
there is typically a PRETTY broad and dark line between my job as a minister and my blog.  But i truly love our church’s tradition of giving to mission projects during the advent season.  it is on my personal list of holiday favorites.
Geek lights
This is that corner lot in BLuewater with the insane light show.  free and fun!

Favorite Christmas Movies (in order):

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
2. Elf
3. Christmas vacation
4. The Grinch (animated)
5.  whatever is on netflix (you know, for the kids)
6. Polar express (again, for the kids.  this movie is not enjoyable)

Favorite things only available at Christmas-time:

1. Egg Nog
2. Peppermint Everything
3. Christmas music playing everywhere
3. Time off i have to use before the year ends


Favorite things to not get upset about at Christmas:

People not celebrating christmas
Every year has it’s “red cup dilemma / war on christmas scenario” maybe it’s because I live in the bible belt. maybe i am naieve. I have never felt my ability to celebrate the birth of the savior of the world has been hampered in any way by someone elses hanukkah, or holiday, or kwannza (even though I’m pretty sure no-one actually celebrates that one).
i say that as a CARD-CARRYINg evangelical, i’d love for everyone to celebrate jesus.  but. forcing the language, or tradition does not help move someone towards celebrating jesus.  It’s a cart-before-the-horse issue.  if someone isn’t following jesus, don’t expect them to celebrate his birth the way you do.
ALso, CORPORATIONS don’t follow jesus. they sell things for money.
they can be more or less moral, but their language and holiday decor time probably don’t really affect that.
steps off high horse
steps back on high horse (wasn’t quite done)
This may be a straw man, I am not sure anyone is still making a thing out of this.  but google it.  x = greek chi, as in the first letter of the greek SPELLING of christ.  don’t always trust google, but they are right about this one.  x mas does not take the christ out of christmas, well technically i guess it does.  but you get what i mean.
THe “once a year” church crowd
you may not know this, because most of you are not professional ministers.  but sometimes professional ministers make jokes at the expense of the masses of people who come to church once a year (christmas eve).  i have done this. It is low-hanging fruit and i like to make jokes.
This is really dumb, and counter-intuitive.  we are worse ministers when we look down on folks who come to church once a year.
Also, SNL did it better.  So we can call the joke over and done with