Category Archives: Personal

‘The Christmas You Get You Deserve’

For those of you who care enough to follow this blog, here are a few gifts I would like to share with you on this most extraordinary of holidays.

First, if you haven’t yet read my previous post, The Music of the Light, I invite you to do so.  What began as a rant against ugly Christmas decorations morphed into heartfelt joy for this season.  As I am exhausted after a long Ebenezer Scrooge run, I don’t think I can put words to my feelings as effectively as I did there.

Recently I heard a song called I Believe In Father Christmas.  I don’t know why I had never heard this song by Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & Palmer until a couple of weeks ago on XM’s Classic Vinyl channel, but it instantly struck a chord with me the moment I became aware of it. 

Here is a version by U2 for your enjoyment:

Here are the lyrics:

They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on Earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the Virgin’s birth
I remember one Christmas morning
A winters light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas Tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire
They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a Silent Night
And they told me a fairy story
‘Till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
‘Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear
They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas you get you deserve.

I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake

I understood the message decrying the over-commercialization of this sacred holiday, how its meaning is lost on those of us who focus on what we want over what we wish to give, and our culture’s slipping grasp of the true power of this season.  A little research turned up some interesting interpretations but here’s what Lake has to say about his song:

I find it appalling when people say it’s politically incorrect to talk about Christmas, you’ve got to talk about ‘The Holiday Season.’ Christmas was a time of family warmth and love. There was a feeling of forgiveness, acceptance. And I do believe in Father Christmas.

I thank you, Mr. Lake, for using your gifts to bring us such a wonderful song as only you could have produced.

Lastly, here is a little bit of my childhood I carry with me in adulthood especially at this time of year:

May the true Spirit of peace on Earth and goodwill toward Man be present in your heart today.  And may we all be blessed with a Christmas better than we deserve!

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I’m Sleeping with Satan

Arlette MorganAlthough Arlette Morgan is part of a cast of fourteen undoubtably gifted performers, I simply cannot help but single her out as exceptional.  She is remarkably talented, preternaturally beautiful and the warmest of souls.  And the most amazing and joy-inducing fact about Arlette for me is this — she is my wife.

So I look forward with great delight to seeing her perform this weekend in Stolen Shakespeare Guild’s From the Beginning to the Nativity running at the Fort Worth Arts Center.  Despite the organization’s name, this will not be a production of one of the Bard’s works; rather, it is a medieval mystery play.  What is a medieval mystery play?  Glad you asked!

Medieval mystery plays began in the 10th century as serious church performances and developed into colorful and theatrical spectacles involving the whole community. Our concept for this show borrows from both the ancient and the modern. We have chosen to perform these plays as Shakespeare might have seen them as a boy, with Elizabethan costumes and settings, but with a contemporary holiday twist. We hope that these plays will be as silly and as moving as they were hundreds of years ago.

Plays being presented are The Creation, Noahʼs Flood, The Procession of Prophets, Josephʼs Trouble About Mary, The Salutation of Elizabeth, The Offering of the Magi, The Flight into Egypt, The Slaughter of the Innocents, and The Purification of Mary.

— from a Stolen Shakespeare Guild press release

Arlette will be portraying a number of personas in this production, the most notable being that of Lucifer — that highest of created beings who grew prideful, rebelled against God and became Satan.  Hence the title of this post.  I have to make this clarification lest she go medieval on my ass.Stolen Shakespeare Guild

If you enjoy the opportunity to see a true professional actress practice her craft, then I highly reccommend you come out and see Arlette’s show.  Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling Theater Mania at 1-866-811-4111, or you can buy your tickets at the box office starting one hour before show time.

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The Music of The Light

I’m driving through my neighborhood a few nights ago and come to realize that Christmas is upon us.  Given that I had been in rehearsals for six weeks and now perform in a stage production where Christmas is tossed around more often than the F-word in a Tarrantino movie, perhaps I should be troubled that I am only now coming to that realization.  But not as troubled as when witnessing the awful carnage of holiday tradition littering my neighbor’s front lawns.  Achmed sings 'Jingle Bombs'Seriously, my street looks like Achmed the Dead Terrorist  detonated in the seasonal aisle at Wal-Mart.

Let me clarify: I’m no Scrooge (no offense, David Lambert).  I appreciate the expression of joy my fellow homeowners display during this time of the year.  Furthermore, I share that joy myself and would never intend to discourage others from demonstrating it.  Having said that, while the expression of such joy is always legitimate, the execution is often less so.  It’s like when your four year-old brings you their latest artistic achievement in crayon.  You love it, it is beautiful, you proudly display it on your refrigerator.  Well, that’s my neighborhood at this time of year — one big, ugly refrigerator.

So, burdened with the conflicting joy of the Christmas Spirit coupled with the dreadful, can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it fascination one experiences driving past auto accidents, I pull into my garage, say a little prayer as the door descends and enter my home content in knowing there is love in the world even if it is not always pretty.

Then my friend Steve Lindsey posts this on Facebook:

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Perhaps some people find this a bit excessive and maybe it is.  However, I find this to be leaps and bounds above the thoughtless acquisition of inflatable snow-globes, chaotic light strands and holographic Rudolfs with big, undulating backsides (I kid you not; there’s one three doors down).  Clearly this is the product of a very intelligent and creative individual who engages all his energies when expressing his Christmas joy.  This remarkable display is a reflection of its creator who, in turn, is a reflection of his own.  This is an example where the beauty of expression comes close to unifying with the glory of its Inspiration.
As we go through the holidays, let us remember there is a Music underneath our celebrations that goes deeper than our ears can hear.  Our eyes can’t see it; our hands can’t touch it; our minds cannot fully appreciate it.  It is something or Someone in whom only our hearts can feel and our souls rejoice.
This holiday season, my wife and I, from our heart and soul, wish you a merry Christmas.

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Smash & Grab

Well, sadly, events unfold that remind us we live in a world where man is truly a fallen being.

My wife went to lunch with a friend today and, upon leaving the restaurant, found that someone had smashed the driver’s side window of our car and stolen the portable GPS that was inside.  The blessing is that no one was hurt and we are both grateful for that.  Indeed, we’ve managed to make light of the situation.  We sort of feel bad for the thief who made off with an ancient GPS with outdated maps and a bad tendancy to route you to the wrong place entirely.  He’s probably lost somewhere right now cursing the spoils of his effort.

Upon reporting the incident, my wife learned that someone witnessed the theft and called the cops with a description of the perp (I’ve always wanted to use the term “perp”).  If it’s God’s will, he will be caught.  Otherwise, life goes on and so shall we.  After all, it’s only stuff, nothing of real value — certainly nothing worth the risk of getting caught and going to jail.

Tough break, perp.  😛

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