Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Meaning of Christmas
Since God gave this gift to all of us in the form of the life and death of Jesus, Christians at some point decided to give gifts to each other, in remembrance and emulation of God's gift to us. In the course of giving out these gifts, we visit with our families and friends. Even those who are not religious can appreciate the fellowship of sharing a meal and pleasant times with loved ones.
Along with the shopping and gatherings of season comes Christmas music. There are two songs in particular that can provide inspiration in our lives. Read on as I tell you my thoughts on two Christmas favorites - The Little Drummer Boy, and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.
People came to where Jesus had just been born with gifts for this newborn "King". One young boy was there and saw what was happening. He wanted to give a gift too, but he was poor and had no money. However, he did have a skill. He was a pretty good drummer!
Now some may say that he was given this skill by God. Some think that God decides if and when to give a mother a child, and has a reason for bringing that child into the world, and has a plan for that child's life. If that is the case, then God put us here for a reason, gave us skills for a reason, and it is good to develop our God given skills and use them in service according to God's will.
Others may think that the drummer boy inherited certain skills from his parents by way of the genetic code he received random parts of, from each parent. But still, the child owes it to society to develop their skills for the good of society, because it was society that allowed that child to get to where he presently finds himself. Human animals need contact and care from other humans, or else they die. We are born helpless and we can do nothing on our own to survive for an initial period of time, and it takes us a long time to be able to live independently. By that time, we owe a large debt to society. Our parents and family members fed, clothed and cared for us. Society provided a framework and system of providing food, clothing and all kinds of goods and services for the people of the world. We make a lot of choices and efforts on our own but we also have a lot of infrastructure in place for us. It is good to contribute to society since we have already received so much from it.
In either interpretation, it seems to me that we have an obligation to develop our skills and use them in celebration of what we have received in this life. The Little Drummer Boy presents the baby Jesus with a performance of the thing he knows how to do, play his drum. What is something you are good at? How will you develop that ability even further? Will you use your skills as a thankful gift to what made you who you are, as the Litte Drummer Boy did?
Sometimes it is not so obvious as to what our skills are. Everyone is unique, no two people are exactly alike. We have a set of characteristics that make us who we are. As we live and interact with others, we come to think of some of our traits as assets and others as detriments. We discover certain things we are able to do that bring pleasure and utility to ourselves and others. But we also find that we have certain characteristics that are perceived by others as a weakness or a strangeness.
As we all know, there seems to be something in human nature that instinctively leads us to judge the fitness of our fellow associates. Perhaps by finding their faults and weaknesses, it helps us to feel relatively superior. Further, we seem to identify who will help us in our lives and who will be a drain on our resources. In nature, we see animals making the decision to sometimes abandon the weakest of their young when resources are scarce, or leave behind a group member who is too old or infirm to be useful to the pack. But humans are different from other animals. We can use our imagination to devise new ways of using our skills and characteristics that might not at first seem obvious. We can think about something that at first seems like a weakness or hindrance and discover the hidden utility of this trait.
In Rudolf, we have a tale that shows how this very concept played out. We can identify, because we see that sometimes we have something that is not generally considered useful or worthy of having. It may be that this skill or attribute is only an advantage in certain rare situations. But when that situation arises, we are glad to have it, and so are all our associates! While they may have once shunned us for being different, they now idolize us for this unique thing which all of a sudden has been shown to be very important! Rudolf used his strangely glowing nose to light the way through the storm. What is your unique talent or characteristic? How will you show others that your difference is something to be celebrated? Will you take a moment to praise someone for something they might not even realize they have, like Santa did for Rudolf?
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Danni is ready for Christmas!
Guest Blogger Danielle Hatfield is back with her latest post for YouTubeStars! Danni is from Alabama and is currently a college student studying Marketing. She is also a talented singer! I was following Danni when she entered Cree Inglees Idol Search competition on YouTube. Check out the excellent singing videos on her YouTube channel! One of my favorites is this video of Danni singing Amy Winehouse's hit "Rehab" Also watch and listen to Danni sing "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele.
In her newest guest blog post for us, Danni reviews four videos about the Christmas Season! The first two are tag videos. Then we will see two videos about Christmas Gifts. See what Danni has to say and watch the Christmas videos she talks about! Danni knows about Christmas videos; she sang Rockin Around The Christmas Tree! Merry Christmas to all!
Now that Thanksgiving is over until next year, we can officially change into the wonderful holly jolly holiday season of Christmas. This time means something different to different groups of people, but for me, it’s one of the happiest times of the year! It’s a time when people have out all the beautiful decorations, and let’s not forget those sparkling lights. It’s a time when the family can get together and watch Christmas movies by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. It’s a time of giving and receiving, but for me, the most important point of Christmas is the “Christ” in Christmas! It’s the time to celebrate the most beautiful birth of all, Jesus!
I've found a few fun filled Christmas videos to share. Now the first two videos are “tag” videos, and if you don’t know what a “tag” video is, it’s a fun type of video that helps different YouTubers get to know each other through questions. There are different themes of “tag” videos. I feel, for people in the YouTube community, it’s important to get to know each other a little, and this is just a creative way to achieve that. You can be personally tagged by another YouTuber, or you can just do a “tag” video that you enjoy and want to share. Watch this “tag” video done by both BeautyBySiena and MickieRay22, called “All I Want for Christmas Tag!”
The next video is a gift guide for stocking fillers. However, remember that we all live in different parts of the world, so there may not be the exact items available where you live……BUT this video will help give you ideas of “similar” items to fill those stockings with! This video is by FleurDeForce. She also has gift guides for her and him on her channel, so check those out!
The last and final video, that I wish to show you at the moment, is the “2012 YouTube Christmas List” by Strawburry17. This video is perfect for those that are interested in becoming a YouTuber, or just want to become a better YouTube videomaker with better equipment that you may not be sure you need. (Perfect to share with someone you want to buy you a gift. ☺ This video is also great if you are the one wanting to buy the perfect gift for someone else who is an aspiring Youtuber.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Playgirl is a hypnotic trance techno psychedelic dance tune that reminds me of two other songs, "Plan A" by The Dandy Warhols, and "Some Velvet Morning (Phaedra)" by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood. All three are trippy tunes. Some Velvet Morning is from 1967, the year when Hippies ruled Haight Ashbury in San Francisco and the drug of choice to open up your mind and possibly the Doors of Perception was LSD. The Dandy Warhols have psychedelia in their genes and if you only know them from "Bohemian Like Me" then you should dig deeper into the Dandys.
In my mind, I hear the Nancy Sinatra Phaedra vocals and the swirly phased electronica from Plan A in Ladytron's Playgirl. The video adds to the experience. There are 80s retro references and the freaked out playgirl herself walking around pulling an IV pole. Scottish singer Helen Marnie looks fabulous in a subdued understated way, and her huge eyes stare out at us as she sings, generally motionless other than a few moments when she bops to the beat.
Check out the videos for Playgirl, Plan A, and Some Velvet Morning. Do you hear the connection? If you dig Playgirl, be sure to check out Ghosts which is equally hypnotic and catchy, but with a bit more of a guitar sound to it.
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