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'Tis The Season

weird christmas pets
weird christmas pets

I am a Pastor’s Kid. At this time of the year, it is painful. Why? Three Words.

Family Christmas Cards.

Every year. Even the awkward ones. Thank you Jesus none were as bad as the above photo, though some were close. Luckily this is my favourite time of the entire year.

Have you noticed that no one feels “meh” about Christmas? The way I see it, there are only two categories of people – Buddy and Grinch. I am without a doubt in the first category, except that I refuse to put a reindeer nose on the front of my car.

Today I want to share what makes this ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ for me:

Mariah Carey

The only way to start a Christmas list. There’s only one way to listen to Mariah Carey’s Christmas album (aka the best Christmas album ever made). Full volume. Using all lung capacity. Anytime from September.

Christmas lights

Some houses look like Buddy the Elf threw up on them. And I love it.

Family – the extended Murphy family.

It is big. It is loud. It is offensive. Don’t believe me? Last year, Santa was a he, dressed as a she.. I’m serious. I can’t make this stuff up. Pray for us, who knows what 2013 will bring.

But most of all, it is the laughing until we cry that I love. It is the way my grandma is entirely political incorrect that make me love her even more. It is the banter between my dad and his siblings that makes the day. It is my Aunty Robyn’s conversation starter place cards, as if we were strangers on a first date. It is the memories. It’s my family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Ok, so I get the whole “it’s better to give than to receive” thing but at Christmas time, it’s pretty much an even playing field. Just being honest.

Christmas Traditions

Every Christmas morning we wake to a loud, invasive shout of, “HE’S BEEN! HE’S BEEN!” It’s my dad letting us know it’s time to wake up because Santa has been. To this day, Santa still comes and drinks the milk and eats the cookies. Every year, without fail, we walk down to the kitchen and look on the balcony to see reindeer snow footprints (which tastes remarkably like flour). There’s even a snow mark from where a reindeer crashed into the doorpost. You’d think Rudolph would have it mastered by now.

Poor guy. It’s the nose.

The Mall

Don’t get me wrong; the car park at Christmas time is a trap from hell itself. But if you can get passed the preying sharks in Jeep’s, the vibe in the mall is totally worth it. I may be in my twenties, but when I see Santa, sitting in his chair taking photos, I can’t help it. I stop and wave. My favourite is when he smiles and waves back. In that moment, I feel like a little girl again.

But you want to know my absolute favourite thing about Christmas?

It’s waking up on Christmas morning. Before getting out of bed, I smile and whisper, “Happy Birthday Jesus.” I’ve done it for as long as I can remember. That is my favorite thing about Christmas. In all the mistletoe and mayhem, I get to speak to the birthday boy himself. And you can too.

Well that’s my list. This Christmas season, why not take some time to write your own? Feel free to share yours in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas.. And happy birthday Jesus!


Life Is Short... Drink Red Wine.

jim and i My uncle went to be with Jesus yesterday. Seven months ago he was diagnosed with end stage brain cancer, but now he is partying it up in Heaven, probably in white, but still wearing his sneakers. I imagine him sitting with CS Lewis, the two of them drinking red wine and philosophizing life, politics and Narnia.

These past seven months I have seen him fight.  I have seen him worship. I have seen him speak in tongues when he could no longer speak words (it bypassed his brain, don’t tell me that the Holy Spirit isn’t real). I have seen him gain a sense of humour unlike any he ever had before. I have seen him up-close and personal.

I have seen and I have learned.

Today I want to share with you some things I’ve re-learned in the last 24 hours. Because sometimes it takes a little reality check to remember the important things in life.

1. Make more friends. To my knowledge, no one on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I had more twitter followers.”

2. Drink red wine (if you are legal, you little rebel). My uncle was the healthiest man I have ever known. His diet was stricter than Miss Trunchbull from Matilda. His one allowance was a glass or two of red wine in the evening. A man after my own heart. When he got sick and moved in with us, this became our tradition. We would sit on the balcony and someone would take the shift, fill up a glass and join him. Some of my best memories of him are with a glass in hand on the balcony. Cheers Uncle Jim.

3. Joy is a choice. Choose it. Happiness is a feeling but joy is a choice. Sometimes we just gotta tell our soul that today, we are choosing joy. It’s amazing how the feeling follows, no matter the circumstance.

4. Prioritise family. It’s a weird moment when you look around and realize that your siblings are your best friends. That your parents are your side kicks in life. I’m lucky to have the best family on the entire planet, and it’s easy to be grateful for them but whatever kind of family you find yourself in, find something to be grateful for. Tell them you love them. They won’t be around forever. Bring out embarrassing photos. Make memories.

5. Offense is a waste of time. Life is too short. Offense only ever kills our joy and poisons our heart. People can be jerks, there is bad in the world, but let’s not get caught up in it. Focus on the good, there’s lots of that too.

6. Love Jesus. I am jealous of my uncle’s relationship with Jesus. Is that allowed? Whatever. I’m not bitter. I’m inspired. He worshipped him at every opportunity. I love that. I want that. I plan to pursue that for the rest of my life.

Life is short, make the most of it. Do something crazy. Go for a midnight swim. Watch the sun rise. Go on a date. Climb a tree. Call in sick and do whatever you feel like. Go all “Yes Man” on your life. Why not?