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Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Nintendo Christmas

Well, Christmas has come and gone, although we live in denial by continuing to play Christmas music and stare wistfully at our tree. Haven't really got many pictures of Christmas-related events, though some highlights include: our trans-atlantic Christmas present opening, courtesy of a couple of webcams; Christmas Day at the Osborne's; and this:
Yep, my new Nintendo DS with Mario Kart. And it's online, which means I get to play against punks from all round the world. Fun indeed - if anyone happens to have a copy who is reading this (which I very much doubt), post/e-mail me your friend code and we can race! Lindsay is always trying to steal my DS because she wants to play on it. I'm constantly waking up at 3am finding her sitting up in bed having a quick race. Typical...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Christmas Trees!

Today we bought our first Christmas Tree! (That's first as in first one of being married, not first one this year - although I'm sure Lindsay would take as many as she could get.) No cutting down trees in the wood unfortunately, but we did get a nice one from the local garden centre. I was slightly disappointed with the 'machine' that wraps your tree in netting - it wasn't really a machine at all, more of a hole. I was expecting some huge contraption that not only wraps your tree, but puts all the lights and decorations on too. Never mind...

Anyway, we've got our tree up, and it's looking very nice. Feel free to come round and see it - if you can't do that here's a picture, and there are more on our Flickr photos - click the link on the sidebar.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christmas is Cancelled (apparently)

Apparently some of the 'mega-churches' in America are not having a Christmas Day service this year. There seems to be an awful lot of fuss about it too. Some people seem to be claiming that it is doubly bad as Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. I don't remember the last time I went to a 'church meeting' on Christmas Day. I'm sure I have been a few times, but it's certainly not a regular tradition. BCF does have one, but it tends to be fairly low-key, and I've never been.

The main reason the 'mega-churches' are giving for not having a service is that people need a break. I agree. Although, that's not good enough for some. Take Rev. Pritchard from some church in the U.S., who was shocked that his church didn't meet on Christmas Day when he moved from Australia:

"I was surprised but went with the culture," Pritchard said.

"I have a horrible suspicion it has to do with family time together, opening gifts, and I suspect also many people are traveling and they need to be on the road early to get to family gatherings."

Those half-baked Christians who want to spend time with their families, eh? I really hope that's a sarcastic comment, although I have my suspicions that it isn't. Or we could enjoy a guilt trip from Merlene Davis of the Lexington Herald who goes by the view that...
"Jesus died on a cross with nails hammered into his feet and hands to take away our sins, but we can't steal away a couple of hours to commemorate his birth on a Sunday that happens to be Christmas Day?"
Idiot. Now don't get me wrong. I do think we should 'take time out to commemorate Jesus' birth', but I don't think we need to get in a big stress about it. The problem I have with all this, is that the people who are implying that churches who don't have Christmas services are 'giving in' to the 'secular' culture, and indulging Christians as consumers who 'go' to church when they feel like it; are doing the very same thing by demanding that pastors/staff/volunteers give up their time to facilitate a service for them. 'I want a Christmas service, and I want it now!' They conviniently ignore the fact that people will have to give up half their day to put on this service. If a church (and by that I mean the people) decide they want to celebrate Jesus' birth together, then by all means, do so. But let's not demand of others that they do it all for us.