Unwrapping Christmas, and general updates

Merry Christmas

Hey everybody. It’s been awhile. A long while. It seems I’ve dropped off the face of the earth the past few weeks, and I apologize for it.

My father going into the hospital really set me back. So many things were put on hold or postponed or cancelled. I tried, at the start to post something small every day, but going back and forth to the hospital in New York, spending all day in tiny hospital rooms and lobbies, fighting traffic in the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, and still trying to do Christmas things in the (late) evenings… it took it’s toll.

Merry Christmas to meWell, the good news is that my father was, in fact, released from the hospital the day before Christmas Eve. We weren’t sure if it was going to even be possible for him to be home for the holidays, but thank God it all worked out. Christmas was good this year, as you’ve already heard if you listen to my Utterz. I was sick on Christmas Eve and Day, but am feeling much better now. I got a Mr Potato Head. No, seriously. I mean, I did get some gift cards and cash, but I can honestly say I got a Potato Head for Christmas. 🙂 Actually I didn’t want anything. Especially as of late I’ve become dissatisfied with how commercialism has taken over what Christmas is really about.

ConsumerismEven while I was out shopping for gifts for my family and friends I was watching the frenzy people were in running here and there, shopping carts bursting to overflowing, clearing the shelves of every toy and department store. And while it is an amazing and beautiful thing to remember the gift God gave us on Christmas 2000 years ago by giving to those we love, it seemed a bit off to me. Maybe not off. Excessive is a better word perhaps. I heard a teaching in the weeks leading up to Christmas via podcast from a church that my friend goes to in Indy. The teaching and movement they were proposing resonated with things already stirring in me and helped refocus my priorities for this holiday season. I live in the most blessed nation on the planet. We have way more than we could ever need. Yet still there are millions within our own borders and billions outside them who can’t even afford life’s basic necessities. And so I decided to join the conspiracy and give away a significant portion of my “Christmas budget” to bring relief, aide, and justice to those who lack it. It forced me to rethink my shopping and spending. Let me tell you, I realized even moreso how easy it is to fall into the traps of overspending and excessiveness . It was a struggle to keep the dollar amounts down. But forcing myself to do it on top of my father being in the hospital really spoke volumes to me. I mean, what’s really more important? Getting a new iPhone of Xbox 360, or the fact that everyone in my family was able to gather in relatively good health and celebrate the season together? In comparison who really cares about money and stuff?

Honestly, there’s so much more I have to say about stuff that’s happened over the past few weeks, but it’s after 2am and I’m still extremely tired. I don’t even know if what I’ve typed tonight makes any sense. I’m too tired to go back and read through it and edit. It is what it is at this point. I think I may have to take my leave for now. Tomorrow is going to be a long day as well, but maybe I can blog more on Saturday.

In the mean time you can see what I’ve been up to by visiting my Flickr account. I’ve uploaded close to 300 images of my journies and experiences for your enjoyment. Recently added, you’ll find sets of:

1. The School 23 Christmas Party
2. Carlos’ Christmas Dinner for the 4th Ward
3. The Sanctuary’s Christmas Worship Service
4. Our journey to Tuscarora Inn and some Cracker Barrel!
5. My Small Group’s Christmas Dinner
6. Angelica’s School Christmas Concert
7. Castro’s 21st Birthday Dinner
8. The Bridge: Midtown‘s Christmas Party
9. My father’s hospital journies & random shots around NYC.
10. Visiting the Rockafeller Center Christmas Tree
11. Christmas 2007
12. Playing Transformers Risk
13. and finally, a set for photos not in a set – so you can find the most recent random images quickly amidst the mass uploading of other galleries.

5th Ave, Manhattan My turn?

Of course you can always follow me on Twitter or now on Utterz to see exactly what I’m up to right at that moment.

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