The Christmas of 2012 was… by far… one of the most fun we’ve had. Filled with giggles, decorating, sarcasm, family, worship, music, gifts, movies, travel, football, a lot of talking, and a little bit of resting.
Here are some of our highlights.
Angie and I were able to attend two great concerts over the holiday season. First, we went to the Ryman Auditorium for “Behold the Lamb of God” led by Andrew Peterson. Earlier this year, I met and interviewed Andrew on The Exchange. He and his friends have been doing the concert for thirteen years. It is raw, beautiful, without pretense, and some of the most fun I’ve ever had at a concert. The album played in full without any commentary presents the panorama of the need, expectation, and arrival of Christ. We plan on attending again next year and taking the boys. You should do the same.
We also went to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center to hear “Joy – An Irish Christmas” by Keith and Kristyn Getty. The Gettys are well-known for crafting modern hymns for the church such as “In Christ Alone.” For this concert series, they return to their Irish roots and delivered a powerful reminder of the majesty of Christmas. There are few voices in the world as beautiful as Kristyn Getty. If you have an opportunity to hear them in concert, do it.
One of the Christmas “presents” for Angie this year was a family trip to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. After visiting with my sister and her family for a few days in South Carolina, we headed to the largest house in the country. It was decorated with enormous Christmas trees and more floral arrangements than you can imagine. The house is a fascinating view into a world of wealth and a time gone by that we may never see again. Angie and I plan on visiting it again in the Spring.
And then there were the movies. We watched many of the classics at home. My current favorite is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In the theaters, we saw both The Hobbit and Les Miserables. In the two movies are interesting contrasts and similarities. They are stories of sin, the law, and unexpected redemption. Of course, with The Hobbit, it is being broken into a trilogy of movies and we’ll all have to wait three years to see the story completely play out. With Les Mis, it was my first viewing of the story and it was gut-wrenching. Watching Anne Hathaway’s performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” was simply amazing. “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” by Eddie Redmayne as Marius was heart-breaking. “Valjean’s Death” in the final scenes may or may not have brought a tear to my eye. (ManCard still intact.) It is a movie that I will likely see again.
I must also mention our church, The Fellowship. We had beautiful worship services on December 23rd and 24th. For me, it was the first time in several years that I preached throughout the Christmas holidays. Teaching four times in two days was definitely a highlight of the season for me. I love our church and continue to be hopeful as to what will become of us in the future. As we say around The Fellowship: I am convinced that God can use our church to change our city and our world.
So, what was the memory or the highlight of your holiday season for 2012?