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That Was the Worst Christmas Ever! (Day Six)

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:23

Here's a Christmas song of a very different sort. It was my introduction to Sufjan Stevens last year when iTunes offered it as a free single of the week. I'm still not entirely sure what to make of it, other than that Stevens's melody and haunting vocals make it worth hearing. With that in mind, what was the worst Christmas you ever had?

Going outside
Shoveling snow in the driveway, driveway
Taking our shoes
Riding a sled down the hillside, hillside
Can you say what you want?
Can you say what you want to be?
Can you be what you want?
Can you be what you want?

Our father yells
Throwing gifts in the wood stove, wood stove
My sister runs away
Taking her books to the schoolyard, schoolyard
In time the snow will rise
In time the snow will rise
In time the Lord will rise
In time the Lord will rise

Silent night
Holy night
Silent night
Nothing feels right

O Little Town of Bethlehem (Day Five)

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:48

A more content filled post didn't happen today, sorry. I will post again soon. In the mean time, I'll continue to speak in carols. :) Today's carol is “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” I think the carol captures perfectly the situation of the nativity. How true that the mortals slept while the King of the Universe was born in a lowly manger. How odd that little Bethlehem is still while the event it has awaited finally happens.

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see the lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee to-night.

For Christ is born of Mary,
And gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Day Four)

By Tim Butler | Posted at 0:56

I plan on posting a normal post again, hopefully tomorrow. There are a lot of things I'm mulling over these days, and maybe I can commit some of them to paper right now. Others, perhaps not, but we'll see. In the mean time, I continue the festival of carols with the Christmas song of the day for the fourth day of Christmas. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is surely one of my very favorites — I love its haunting melody and combination of both somber yearning and joyous hope. The first stanza and refrain are below.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

—Unknown (trans. by John M. Neale)

I'll Be Home for Christmas (Day Three)

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:35

Continuing the series is “I'll Be Home for Christmas.” I like pretty much all Christmas music in the traditional “canon,” but this isn't necessarily normally one of my top picks amongst all the classics. And yet it stuck in my head today and seemed somehow fitting. So, here it is.

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents under the tree
Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light beams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

—Walter Kent and Kim Gannon

Holly Jolly Christmas (Day Two)

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:58

I've been running into Burl Ives's “Holly Jolly Christmas” everywhere, it seems, this year. I like the song in and of itself as just a light hearted song. I also like it because it reminds me of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” which in my estimation, is one of the two greatest Christmas specials. Yes, it has no redeeming point in terms of reminding people of the reason for the season, but it has held a special place to me from the earliest I can remember such programs. The original “It's Christmas, Charlie Brown” might be the other great, and it of course does very much emphasize our need to focus on the reason for the season.

But, that's getting off track. Today, “Holly Jolly Christmas” is my Christmas song pick. It should be sung by Burl Ives. Others are mere imitators.

Have a holly jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet

Oh ho, the mistletoe hung where you can see
Somebody waits for you, kiss her once for me

Have a holly jolly Christmas
And in case you didn't here
Oh by golly, have a holly jolly Christmas this year

—Johnny Marks

All is Well

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:31

I think following the last post, I am going to post a favorite Christmas song's lyrics each day for the twelve days of Christmas (not in any particular order — just whatever strikes me). Feel free to mention your own favorites in the comments.

All is well, all is well
Angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of loves light
Sing a-le
Sing alleluia
All is well, all is well
Let there be peace on earth
Christ is come go and tell
That He is in the manger
Sing a-le
Sing alleluia

All is well, all is well
Lift up your voices and sing
Born is now emmanuel
Born is our lord and savior
Sing alleluia
Sing alleluia
All is well

—Michael W. Smith and Wayne Kirkpatrick

Welcome to Our World

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:33

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
Youve been promised, weve been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited holy stranger
Make yourself at home
Please make yourself at home

—Chris Rice

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you have a day full of rich blessings while celebrating our Lord's birth some 2,000 years ago. Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel has come to us…

Happy New Year (Really)!

By Tim Butler | Posted at 0:40

Well, my last post was early, but now I can officially wish y'all a very happy new year! Ah, 2007! This should be a good year, I think. Tomorrow, my resolution is to bring some new asisaid Challenge questions for my wonderful blog readers to be tormented with.

In the mean time, just a few moments ago, I decided on a few resolutions:

  1. I don't have a lot of hope for learning a musical instrument, but it is time I became fluent in at least musical notation. Then I could play around with MIDI stuff and maybe compose something (even though I couldn't play whatever I came up with).
  2. Aim for fluency in Greek. I want to be able to read the Greek New Testament as my primary Bible some day. Maybe not this year, but this is the year I need to expand into reading it more often.
  3. Write a book. I need to quit talking about this and actually put the pen to the paper. I have the beginnings of a novel as well as a book on philosophy of religion. One of them should be at least in a rough draft by the end of 2007.

Feel free to share your resolutions below. Once again, Happy New Year!

Happy New Year (Almost)!

By Tim Butler | Posted at 19:27

Well, it seems a shame to end 2006 with a really short post, but better a short one than no post, right? Anyone have a highlight of 2006 you'd like to mention?

Happy 2007!

Update (31-Dec-2006 22:44): Well, I'm back for a moment. I'm not sure why I'm so tired today, but I'm just down right slaphappy. Earlier, I couldn't think of “Happy New Year” and almost said “Merry Christmas” instead — and not because of my well known desire to spread out Christmas (I have been continuing to wish people “Merry Christmas”) but simply by accident. And no, I am not drinking anything stronger than coffee or water. :)

Incidentally, I realize I never updated the asisaid copyright to include 2006. I guess I'll jump right to 2007. Oh well, I wonder if that would affect my ability to defend my copyright if someone decided to raid all of the “valuable materials” I have on my site?

Merry Christmas (on the Second Day of Christmas)

By Tim Butler | Posted at 23:37

Well, so I am late. Things have been really busy here the last few days, and it seemed like I only had enough time to read e-mail (and not even reply). But, now that I'm back, I wanted to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. I hope all of you had a good Christmas.

I'm hoping to get back into regular posting over the next few days. Perhaps I'll aim to add to the asisaid Challenge tomorrow, including a final tally regarding last week's edition. In the mean time, let me say it again “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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