Saturday, December 9, 2017

Really Big Christmas Tree


It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I was driving back up the west side of the outside of the KC Metro on K-7.  I remembered that a particular sports player (Tim Melia, the brick wall in goal for Sporting KC) was going to be at a Christmas Tree Lighting at Legends - an outdoor mall in west Kansas City, Kansas.

My lovely bride was with me - I'd just picked her up from work.  Finally, a Saturday night with us together.  Go home, relax, peace and quiet.

But that player was going to be at Legends.
Heck...Ivy loves Christmas.  Big time.  And that tree lighting is a nice thing...
"Hey, baby, wanna go see the tree lighting at Legends tonight?"
"What?  You really want to go see a tree lighting?"
"Sure.  You.  Me.  Call it a date."

Yeah, Mr. Grinch took Mrs. Claus on a Christmas Tree Lighting date.

Found parking on top of the parking garage.  Complained about the cold weather.  Never found the soccer player.  Listened to live Christmas music.  Got Smores-on-a-stick and hot cocoa.  Missed the lighting while getting fries.  Got pictures in front of the tree.

It was great.

I don't hate everything about Christmas.  Honest.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Anthem of the $eason

MM #106
Santa Baby


Going back to my description of Christmas as "the celebration of Immanuel, wrapped up in consumption and smelling of tradition", I find this song a very apt anthem to the spirit of December25.  It may be tongue-in-cheek, but I still feel like it describes the real spirit we're surrounded with.

Santa Baby, just slip a sable under the tree, For me.
Been an awful good girl, Santa baby,
So hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa baby, a 54 convertible too,
Light blue.
I'll wait up for you dear,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Think of all the fun I've missed,
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed,
Next year I could be just as good,
If you'll check off my Christmas list,

Santa baby, I wanna yacht,
And really that's not a lot,
Been an angel all year,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa honey, one little thing I really need,
The deed
To a platinum mine,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

Santa cutie, and fill my stocking with a duplex,
And checks.
Sign your 'X' on the line,
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight.

Come and trim my Christmas tree,
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's,
I really do believe in you,
Let's see if you believe in me,

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing,
A ring.
I don't mean on the phone,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry down the chimney tonight,
Hurry, tonight.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Drinking the eggnog - repost

REPOST from 12/24/08

In America, what is called the Christmas spirit should really be called "drinking the eggnog". Going along with the millions of fellow members of the economy and community.

American Christmas (which I will simply call December25) is not a celebration of the birth of Mary's boy child. It is a hodgepodge of centuries of tradition and American (consumerism / commercialism / materialism.)

I HATE DECEMBER25.

From the day after Thanksgiving to December25, we are prodded by our neighbors, friends, and especially family, to 'be in the Christmas spirit.' Which means shopping and decorating and traditions, most of which have very little to do with a stable in Bethlehem.

It is a solemn time. It is time to think of our fellow man. And to that end...SHOP! SHOP EARLY! GET THE DOORBUSTERS! Keep your fellow man in business by buying tons of stuff. Remember, consumer spending is 70% of your nation's economy. (However, now we're just keeping Wal-Mart in business because everything's actually made in China! Japan! Mexico!)
Got more presents for Suzie than for Johnny? Well, I guess you're going back to the mall to balance the piles of presents!

But...it's the holiday season. December25 is coming soon! And it's just not December25 without...(fill in the blank.... family!... in-laws!... the tree!... Santa!... Santa's milk and cookies!... Recording Christmas specials on tape!...)  Who cares why we started half these traditions...we did it last year, and by Montgomery Ward Rudolph's red nose, we'll do it again!

Oh, and no December25 is complete without the good Dr. Christian whining and moaning about the Christmas Wars...evil retailers who won't mention Christmas. Who cares that the only thought of Christ is a token midnight mass at the end of the December25 season. No...if the retailer's won't mention Christmas...boycott!

Monday, November 27, 2017

John Deere

MM#105   Big Green Tractor    Jason Aldean

Honestly, a song we sang from time to time, heard from time to time...

And, living in a rural county, we saw a lot of big green tractors.  (And international harvesters, too)

When I heard of the tragedy murder slaughter in Las Vegas, I checked the singer's list of songs...which song did this guy do...I know I know that name....

And honestly, I postponed this one several weeks after the slaughter in Sutherland Springs.  I'm setting this to post 11-27 regardless of future events.

I've already said everything I have to say about guns, mass shootings, violence...maranatha.

Big Green Tractor
Jason Aldean


She had a shiny little beamer with the rag top down
Sitting in the drive but she wouldn't get out
The dogs were all barking and a wagging around
I just laughed and said ya'll get in
She had on a new dress and she curled her hair
She was looking too good not to go somewhere
I said what you wanna do baby I don't care
We can go to the show or we can stay right here and

I can take you for a ride on my big green tractor
We can go slow or make it go faster
Down through the woods out to the pasture
Long as I'm with you it really don't matter
Climb up in my lap and drive if you want to
Girl, you know you got me to hold on to
We can go to town but baby if you'd rather
I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor

I said we can fire it up and I can show you around
Sit up on the hill and watch the sun go down
When the fire flies are dancing and the moon comes out
We can turn on the lights and head back to the house or

We can take another ride on my big green tractor
We can go slow or make it go faster
Down through the woods out to the pasture
Long as I'm with you it really don't matter
Climb up in my lap and drive if you want to
Girl, you know you got me to hold on to
We can go to town but baby if you'd rather
I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor

Mmmmm just let me dust off the seat
Mmmmm now put your pretty little arms around me

Climb up in my lap and drive if you want to
Girl, you know you've got me to hold on to
We can go to town but baby if you'd rather
I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor
We can go to town
Or we can go another round
On my big green tractor

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Bah! Humbug.

I once complained about Christmas.  I had my reasons.

I still do.

I'm going to write this first, then compare to some old blogs later.

First, the deification of Santa Claus.  The assignment of godlike qualities to a mythological character.  The singing of so many songs.  The demand of faith to believe.  Augh!

Second, the definition of "the spirit of Christmas."  The nebulous ideal of goodwill, giving, agreeableness...all divorced from the very person of Jesus Christ.

Third, the commercialization of Christmas, including the epitome of it, Black Friday.  Christmas has become about buying things, and sometimes more for oneself than for others.  And I see so much of "It's Christmas, buy something!" 

Fourth, the extension of the "season".  Between working in a gift wrap factory and early Christmas music, I'm already tired of Christmas.  In November.

A holiday wrapped in fake smiles, overstimulated commerce...

I hate Christmas.

---------------------------------------------

2008

I love a few things about Christmas. The lights. The spending time with the family. The creativity in decorating the family room.

But...the holiday of December25 has taken a life of its own. I don't even know whether what this holiday has become is worthy of its name, or of the distinction 'holiday.'

the celebration of Immanuel (God with us),
wrapped up in consumption (from Black Friday to candy canes)
and smelling of tradition (from the Nativity traditions; to family coming together; to trees, stockings, and Santa Claus) [by the way, how do we know the names of the Wise Men?]

Nothing ruins a perfect Christmas like the pursuit of a perfect Christmas.

2009

"OK...why does Santa Claus...'sell', while no one cares $0.02 about the Easter Bunny?"
"Because...when people think Santa Claus...they have that image of a Father that they miss."

"If we didn't have kids...I wouldn't even celebrate the holidays."
"What?"

"Yeah...I'm sure that this is how Jesus wanted people to celebrate his birth - by a mad dash for presents the day after Thanksgiving"
"But presents are a picture of God's love for us"

"We spend so much on the presents for the kids, and all they do is play with the box."
"And you wonder why I feel about Christmas as I do.  You know, the box is actually in the Toy Hall of Fame."

"There's a few things I like about Christmas...the lights at Krug Park, the church service on Xmas Eve...and I might've just figured out why I like them so much...they're FREE!"

Still having discussions about the nature of Christmas in the US of A with my wife.  (Imagine Mrs. Claus and the Grinch locked in an elevator.)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Fourth Thursday in November

As we approach Thanksgiving in the United States, I felt it appropriate to include a hymn of Thanksgiving for Monday Melody #104

The Doxology
Thomas Ken

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
  AMEN.



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Veterans

1. The City of Leavenworth is proud to host "The oldest Veterans Day observance in the nation and the largest parade west of the Mississippi.", later today.  LINK.

2.  Is the recent phenomenon of sports players kneeling during the playing of the national anthem disrespectful to veterans?

**yeah, let's go there.**
  • It is apparent that this practice is successful as far as getting attention to the players.  Not sure how effective it is to what they say their cause is (either racial injustice or perceived slights or resisting current POTUS)
  • Short term, it's a relatively inexpensive way to protest.  Long term, it's risky, also see the career of Kapernick, C.
  • Reminds me of when the Dixie Chicks exercised their 1st Amendment rights to diss President GW Bush...and country music stations exercised their rights to play other people's music.
  • There is injustice (although not as bad as a century ago, still a problem) that needs to be addressed.  But I don't think the protests or the picket signs across from the police station are changing anything.
  • I'm very curious as to the reaction if a Jehovah's Witness was playing in a major US sports league and refused to stand and salute the flag on religious grounds. Also see WV State BoE vs Barnette in 1943.
  • If I was the NFL commissioner, I'd be more worried about concussions and head trauma.
  • Way way too late for the commissioner to shut the door on this.  Any decision now would alienate millions of fans one way or the other. And team owners could've made league rules in 2017 offseason, but didn't.
  • The actions of Kaepernick, Peters, etc. should be of far less concern to fans and owners than the actions of Carruth, Belcher, etc.
  • President Trump's decision to double down on demanding respect to the flag and the anthem...it's starting to sound like Daniel 3.
  • What belongs to Caesar, and what belongs to God?