It’s Christmas eve… no I think it might be Christmas Day. As you can I see, I am imbued with the spirit of Christmas… or maybe it’s the champagne I bought earlier tonight. Damn damn damn… I bought a small ham at the supermarket earlier tonight and somewhere between the supermarket, the bottleshop and home, I lost it. Anyway, I figure if someone has stolen my Christmas ham while I was getting my champagne at the bottle shop, they probably needed it, and if I was stupid enough to drop it somewhere, it’s my own fault.

Had an interesting discussion today about Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas. On both ends of the Christian spectrum there are people who either see Christmas are too materialistic or too far from the Biblical tradition so that, although they are Christians they don’t celebrate Christmas.

For example, many Christians opposed to Christmas argue that Jeremiah condemns Christmas trees. According to Jeremiah 10:2-4 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen…. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. Other Christians argue Jeremiah is not condemning Christmas trees, He is condemning idolatry and yhe trees in Jeremiah 10 are cut down to carve them into worthless idols that will later be decorated with gold and silver. Jeremiah says nothing about Christmas trees, they argue.
Personally, I think Christmas is okay. As someone explained to me today, Christianity has a great history of appropriating non-Christian celebrations and traditions, turning them into Christian celebrations and traditions. Although I appreciate the essence of the argument – by celebrating what WERE pagan celebrations you may be honoring Satan, not Christ – I’m not sure if it really holds true if you actually spend the day honoring Christ. Anyhoo… it’s obviously a complex issue.

A bloke I spoke to today suggested that with the increasingly secularisation of society, the modern Christmas – with Santa, gift giving etc – may turn into an essentially secular celebration, while many Christians may look for something different in Christmas.
Christmas has truly hit Sydney. This year, for the first time, I have received more “virtual” Christmas Cards than paper ones which is an interesting trend. I also got a mention in someone’s Christmas Letter.

…second big blast form the past was catching up with James O’Brien who did a program on ABBA (my favourite childhood group) on community radio when we were both teenagers. I hadn’t seen him in years since we both went to the same university.. it was cool to catch up and yes, we both still list to ABBA (although I’m more likely to have Moby or Pink on the stereo these days)

And speaking of which, I have been declared ABBAMAIL’s Man of the Month for December 2002

James’ involvement in ABBA fandom goes back to his teen years when he ran his own ABBA radio program on a community radio in Lismore, New South Wales. This program, the ABBA SCRAPBOOK, ran for 5 years and eventually lead James to his present career as a radio announcer for ABC Radio Australia. James hosts the “Statewide Drive” program which is heard right throughout New South Wales each day between 4pm and 6pm. James has been a big supporter of ABBAMAIL from the very beginning and has been on our mailing list for more years than he cares to remember. An all-round nice guy, James has impressed many fellow ABBA fans with his warmth, sincerity and down to earth sense of humour. James has been a fixture at ABBAMAIL’s fan events and conventions over the years.

So there… what a way to end the year!

But don’t forget, my “Year In Review” post will appear on December 31.

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