Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Expensive Mistakes...

I accidently booked a first class plane ticket last week, and I just realized my mistake. Friday morning, I will be flying in luxury... and I didn't even mean to. I thought my ticket was pretty expensive, but I thought that was just because I was booking it at the last minute and it was during the Christmas season. I am not sure what my boss will say when he sees the price of the ticket... and I am not sure what I will say if he asks me about it. And to top it all off... I am flying at 7:00 AM. I can't even take advantage of the free wine at that hour.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"You probably don't like Christmas much"

Yes, someone said those very words to me just this morning. I asked why this person thought that would be true... and she said because I am a guy. Now maybe this is a Canadian thing that I just don't understand... but I just don't understand. Who knew that men were not supposed to like Christmas. Well, if liking Christmas deducts man points, I will just have to make them up somewhere else... cuz I love this time of year.

More than anything, I like what Christmas celebrates - the Word becoming flesh to dwell among us. Said more simply, the birth of Jesus. Now unless I have some readers in some distant lands... this is not news to anyone. We all know that is what is being celebrated all over the world on December 25th.... hence the big deal over saying Merry Christmas. But that is another blog topic for another blogger. I will not get into that fray. Simply put - the season of Christmas exists because God humbled Himself and was born in the brokenness of humanity so that He could redeem that brokenness. Hallelujah!

But I even kinda like the commercial aspect of Christmas. I don't like that it tends to outshine the aspect discussed above... but I like giving gifts. I like getting gifts. I like surprises. I like finding the perfect gift (which I don't always do... but when I do, what a great thing it is). I like how stores decorate for the season (this may very well deduct some man points... but so be it). I like the specialness of the season. Some things only happen between Thanksgiving and December 25th. Being a person who appreciates traditions - I eat this up.

I like Christmas music... yes, even some of the songs that don't sing about Christ. I like the ones that do a lot more, of course... but Silver Bells, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, and Jingle Bells are just good tunes.

I like Christmas musical programs that churches put on. I went to the one at HFBC this past weekend, and I really enjoyed it. Sure, there are some cheesy aspects to these shows... but the central theme is still there - Jesus Christ was born. Usually, the part when the Wise Men kneel before Jesus is pretty elaborate (at least in the HFBC musicals it always has been). This year, it was very understated. But as I was telling a friend of mine this weekend... I don't care how you do it, the symbolism will always make my eyes well up.

Christmas movies, Christmas cookies (and other treats), Christmas lights, Christmas cards, Christmas parties... and on and on and on. I like it all.

So if you are reading this, I hope you have a merry Christmas. Even though I have been away from home for most of it, I have enjoyed it nonetheless.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Under Pressure

(cue the David Bowie song as background music)

I realized yesterday that I don't like myself when I am under pressure. The past few days have been terribly busy for me here at work. (Clearly things have eased up slightly since I have time to blog, right?) But I just didn't like myself. I was short with people... I was even referred to as "snippy." That is just not who I am under normal circumstances.

But therein lies the rub, eh? When my circumstances change, my personality changes. When things are not as I would have them to be, I become someone I was not meant to be.

So last night as I was going to sleep, God reminded me of my circumstances.
  • I live in an appartment that has heat in a city that is experiencing prolonged periods of below freezing temperatures.
  • I do not want for food. In fact, I could stand to eat a lot less.
  • I have a job. Even if it is a bit stressful at times, nobody's life is at stake.
Of course, there are many other blessings and positive things I could list above... but those are the ones God specifically reminded me of.

So the point is that sometimes I just have to choose to not let things affect me. And when faced with the way my reality compares to that of others... that is an easy choice, I guess.

Sorry for not being funny and lighthearted today... maybe tomorrow.

(end music)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Negative Twenty... Cold Enough For You?

Winter is in full swing up here in Calgary, and I am noticing a couple things that I thought were blog-worthy.

1. I was told yesterday that if I refer to the temperature as being "negative 20" the person I am talking to will not know what I mean. Apparently, I have to say "minus 20" in order to be understood. That is Canadian for "20 degrees below zero" on the Celcius scale. This is rediculous to me. But in any event, it has been between minus 20 and minus 10 all weekend.

2. In Houston, we complain about the heat. "Man, it's hot." "Hot enough for you?" "Why do we choose to live in this city?" These comments are heard frequently in June, July, and August. Well, up here... it is the exact same thing but in reverse. I guess it is just the easiest thing to discuss when you are standing in line at Starbucks... or in the elevator. Everyone is very friendly, actually. They just love to complain about the cold. I tell them all how much I am enjoying it, and the look at me like I just said "it's negative 20 out there." Completely baffled.

In any event, I am enjoying the super cold weather. And from what I hear, this is just a prelude to the really cold months of January and February. I say bring it on. I get enough heat in my normal life... it is refreshing to be cold for a season.