Month: December 2016

Christmas 2016 Report

Hi guys! Merry Christmas!

It’s late and I can’t sleep so I thought I would give you all a little update on how my Christmas 2016 turned out. Well, I am glad to tell you it turned out very nicely! And just as my last post suggested it was an interesting mixture of newness and consistency I’ve come to expect in my adult life.

Christmas Eve started out simply. As I do every Saturday I made filmed and edited my weekly videos. This has become second nature to me now even on Christmas Eve. The first of my new videos posted on Christmas Day and it was a review of The Nativity Story for my family movie night series. I think it turned out pretty well. I would love if you took a look.

After filming and editing all day I got a call from my Aunt Kate that she was interested in spending the evening with me. Happy to have a companion we went to my traditional big screen watch of It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s such a beautiful story and reminds me of the importance of friendship and that even the smallest person makes a difference. I really enjoyed seeing it again on the big screen. If you would like to read my review of the film from a few years back check it out here.

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Then Kate and I went to Village Inn and had a dinner and piece of pie together. It was great conversation and good company. Not a bad way to celebrate Christmas Eve!

Christmas morning I woke up early,which gave me a chance to refilm my Wreck-it Ralph review. It will post on Wednesday and I’m excited for it, as it might be a little bit controversial. I’m more lukewarm on that movie than most Disney fans I know. With that done I made some cinnamon rolls and opened the presents I received.

My sister got me an amazing piece of artwork with my names spelled out in Inside Out characters. It was a little hard to take a picture of because it kept rolling up but I will definitely be getting it framed and will post a photo then.

I also got 2 art books from my sisters Megan and Madeline, which was awesome!

christmas-2016My cousin Danielle made me a Finding Dory blanket that I love. I haven’t had anyone make me anything in a long time and it was very thoughtful of her.

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I also had a few subscription boxes to open that had fun items including this redneck hat I joked around with.

christmas-2016-3After presents I went back to sleep for a little nap and then went up to my parents for dinner. We had a lovely time together and even saw my Grandfather for a few minutes. Plus, my Mother made this pork chop with apple cider glaze that was delicious!

Anyway, it ended up being a really nice evening and I feel blessed to have enjoyed a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I hope you all had wonderful days and were watched over by the Lord on His special day.

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The Joys of Christmas Consistency

We are now in the midst of the holiday season and I hope you are having as much fun as I am. So far (fingers crossed) I have not gotten sick, which is a plus over other years. Tonight I had my parents and Grandfather over for a Christmas meal. I made meatloaf (gluten free using potato flakes), potatoes and butternut squash, zucchini and squash and russian cream with fruit for dessert. It was all pretty delicious and we had a nice time together

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Anyway, as we were visiting I asked my Mother if she could remember a special Christmas from her youth. Maybe one where she had gotten something she really wanted or done something special but she couldn’t think of anything. Then I asked my Dad and he had the same response. I thought about my youth and to mys surprise I also couldn’t think of specific memories. One year I got an American Girl doll and that was pretty special but most of the Christmas memories mesh together into a big happy time.

The more I thought about it the more I realized perhaps that consistency is the greatest thing about holidays and traditions. The memories aren’t all that important but it’s that they happen every year and feel for the most part the same. As an adult I’ve lost a lot of that consistency because every year seems to be different, with different people.  This year I have celebrated Christmas with my brother Sam and sister Maddie already and have given my parents their gift because they were all traveling.

Then we just had the meal tonight and I will probably be alone through Christmas unless my Aunt or someone decides to join me. This is now my 4th Christmas alone so I suppose that is becoming consistent but each year I’ve done something different.  In 2013 I met up with friends and went to a movie, in 2014 I was deathly ill, in 2015 I went to Chinese food. I don’t know what I will do this year. Maybe I will finish binge watching Fuller House Season 2? Who knows? 🙂

It’s kind of impossible to make my Christmas season more consistent because I just don’t know what is going to be happening from year to year.  Still, I try to always have my Christmas tree, go to Messiah Sing Along and Christmas Carol. I’ve done all those things this year. So, there is some consistency.

Anyway, it’s just something I have been thinking about. Maybe a happy life isn’t about making memories per say but more about creating traditions we can count on year after year?

What do you think? Can you see what I am saying?

I would love to hear your insight.

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Happy 115th Birthday Walt Disney!

walt-disneyHey guys! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your December. I thought for today’s post I would give a little shout-out to the man behind the mouse Walt Disney. Dec 5th would have been his 115th birthday and I think we could all benefit from being a little bit more like Walt.

The thing that I admire most about Walt Disney is what a bold risk taker he was. Going all the way back to the laugh-a-gram days he pushed the boundaries in every avenue of life. He made Steamboat Willie which revolutionized movies and gave birth to the branding animated icon in Mickey Mouse. He then mortgaged his house to make Snow White- a film that was dismissed by many for years. Some people even believing full-length animation would be bad for the eyes. It of course was a mammoth hit and changed everything.

He then was bold in future films both live action and animated, never green-lighting an animated sequel despite much pressure to do so. He said “we keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” I often think of this when I hear about the next live action remake Disney is doing. Walt would not like this trend a bit…

Anyway, he then was bold in founding Disneyland- an expensive gamble that took nearly 2 decades from conception to complete. People called it ‘Walt’s folly’ and many saw it failing within a year. Now we accept the parks as a obvious choice but it was far from it at the time.

There are some who claim Walt was a mean man but I sat in a lecture with Disney animator Floyd Norman at comicon and he said he never saw Walt get on a person where it wasn’t deserved. He also said Walt was actually quite progressive in hiring women like Mary Blair and people of color like himself.

I’ve also heard claims he was anti-Semitic but these claims are weak at best. They are so weak that when PBS did a documentary on Walt they looked into the claims and said:

“It’s not based on any truth,” panelist Sarah Colt, the docu’s producer and director, said of  the long-rumored charge of anti-Semitism, “so we saw no reason to bring it up in the film.” Colt said she looked for evidence of Disney’s bigotry, but to no avail, unlike the subject of her previous PBS film Henry Ford, “who was a virulent anti Semite.” In the case of Disney, she said, “it wasn’t relevant to who he was, so it’s not part of the film.”

PBS is a pretty liberal organization and like the director said they published the vitriol of Henry Ford so I’m confident if it had been there they would have put it in the documentary about Walt. Walt’s biographer Neal Gabler found ‘no evidence of anti-Semitism” and Richard Sherman, frequent Disney composer said the allegations were “preposterous”.

Anyway, none of us were there so I suppose we will never know for sure. Today I am grateful for all he gave us. My life would certainly be very different if he hadn’t taken those risks and I hope I can follow his example from time to time. I hope I can be bolder, try new things, take more risks.

Happy Birthday Walt!

Light the World Starts Today

Merry Christmas friends! Today is the first day of December and that means the beginning of the holiday season. I must admit to having a weird relationship with this time of year. As a child of course it is magical but as an adult it has often been a stressful time for me. There always seems to be a fair share of family drama and I almost always get sick, which makes it harder to enjoy myself. However, I do try and be as festive as possible. I should be setting up my Memory Tree for Christmas this weekend and I always go to Christmas Carol at Hale Theater, as well as a number of other activities.

This year my church is doing something that will hopefully help me get even more into the Christmas spirit. It is called the Light the World campaign. Each day they have a video and scriptural passages meant to get us thinking about Jesus and all He did for us. I am not going to share every day on this blog but I thought I would let you know about the campaign and share about it from time to time. Today’s message is about service and having an eye out for those in need.

I lead a weird life because it is oddly small and big at the same time. In a week I can have a podcast with people from Australia and Great Britain and yet not see more than a handful of actual people, outside of church. I work alone. I live alone and so that’s the way it often works out. This means I have to work a little bit harder to find those opportunities to serve than maybe some do. I know I could do better and this video is a nice reminder for me to up my service game. 🙂

What are some ways you serve your community? How does Jesus put opportunities in your path to help others? I would love to hear any suggestions you have. I hope you enjoy the Light the World campaign and Merry Christmas!