The scenes of Christmas are varied and all have their beauty (or at least a bit of interesting effects that entertain). This season has been busy as usual but despite the heartbreak of the year, so far it’s been okay. I praise God for surrounding me with wonderful people and reminding me of what’s important.

Before I get into the silliness of some of the seasonal decorations and parties, I want to say that my heart has been breaking for the families of the children and teachers killed in the recent shooting in Connecticut. Any loss is terrible, but the thought of our babies being hurt and killed is beyond understanding and beyond what most of us can handle. May God comfort those affected by that horror.

Okay, so we move on and we keep going and of course the reason we celebrate is the coming into the world of Christ our savior. The King came in a modest setting but one that was more beautiful than all the gold palaces of the world. Tonight I went to see the live nativity at a church near my house. It was very nice and I enjoyed the story and song they played. I walked over with Grendel, who saw his first donkey and sheep. He really wanted to go check them out but I kept him away thinking of the stampede that might ensue and the little baby Jesus that may get trampled if Grendel scared the donkey too much.

On the way home I saw a variety of houses lit up. Some were done up Clarke Griswold style—which I LOVE seeing (it’s always better when it’s someone else who does the work and pays the electric bill). And then there was the mansion. These people bought a lot next to my neighborhood and planted a mansion on it and their decorations consist of a small plastic Santa and a string of lights on one of the pillars that frame their multimillion dollar doorway. To tell the truth, I’m not too surprised. In the summer we get to see the plastic-like mini palm trees lining their front side and in the winter we get to see the cheap blue tarp that covers the tacky non-working fountain in the driveway.

It’s been fun seeing friends’ trees and celebrating with friends and co-workers. But I’m most looking forward to the Christmas Eve service and the beauty that resonates inside the church with the candles lit while everyone sings Silent Night. Happy Birthday Jesus!

What are your favorite seasonal scenes? What makes you want to shake your head at the tackiness?


santa commute

Good morning Santa! Santa greets commuters coming into Old Town, Alexandria.

Mansion with a couple tacky lights.


Angels in the nativity scene. Crappy night time iphone shot.

grendel nativity

Grendel sees his first sheep and donkey at the live nativity.


Each week during this advent season, the worship team at National Community Church (NCC) in Washington DC and Northern VA shows a new Christmas hymn via video. It’s been a true pleasure to watch and to feel the love of Christ through these songs. Thanks guys!


O Come All Ye Faithful from National Community Church on Vimeo.

I am Santa Lab. And here is my Christmas list for my mom. I let her put this thing on me because, you know, she’s my mom. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories about her. Anyway, this is what I want for Christmas.

  1. Bonesanta lab
  2. Bone with marrow
  3. Peanut-flavored bone
  4. Chew toy shaped like the cat. You know…the one who hides behind the post and then slaps me when I come up the stairs..yeah that one.
  5. Uhmmm
  6. Bone
  7. New home for aforementioned cat.
  8. Meat flavored treats
  9. Actual meat
  10. Bone

Mommy asked the cat what she wanted and this is how it went.

Mommy: Hey kitty, can you make out a list of what you want for Christmas?

Cat: First. No. I can’t. I can’t write and you know that. And I wouldn’t, even if I could. Why should I wait for some stinkin holiday to get treats from you? You know I can just jump on top of the fridge and knock over the can myself. But then that stupid dumb dog you brought home would just eat it all. You want to know what I want? Get rid of it. He stinks, he’s always knocking things over with that stupid happy tail, and he takes up all the room on the couch. Now stop bothering me during my mid evening nap. When I want you to pet me I’ll come within three feet of you and you can reach out arms length and rub my chin. Now be a good human and fetch me some cat nip, some paper to rip up, a glass of your latest filtered water, and the choice cuts of meat that dumb dog wanted on his list.

Mommy: I know you love me.

Cat: Only because I let you think that.

Well that’s the pre-holiday planning in our house. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

santa g2

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