Christmas Time

Well, I am finally sitting down and blogging after an extended absence.

One of the things that kept me away from the blog was a family vacation to Sea World in Orlando. My frugal wife found us good tickets back in the summer so our admission was paid for — and very dear friends opened their home to us yet again so our housing was paid for — and that left only eating. And we have to eat wherever we are so that was not an increased cost.

We rode down on Sunday after worship. Got squared away in the house and began catching up with our friends. We made a day at the park on Monday. Tuesday we paid a visit to the in-laws at Fort Wilderness at Disney world and the kids swam for hours. Wednesday we returned to the park where Ashleigh got her dream of getting daddy soaked on the Journey to Atlantis ride. (My shoes were still wet for the ride home on Saturday!)

Thursday we slept late, then Al took us on a hike/walk of something like 1.5-2 miles. We then shared a Thanksgiving meal with our friends — home cooked, traditional with all the fixings. Naps all! We then rode to a nearby town to feed swans, walk around downtown and look at our first Christmas lights.

Friday was a trip to a local “flea market” to buy fresh produce and lunch at 5 Guys for my first time. Then it was off to Sea World for our last day. We stayed to Friday because that was when the park shifted to their Christmas schedule. We have been several times, but never for their night shows.

As we looked at the schedule of shows, and read the descriptions of the different themes, we talked about how we expected they show to honor or not honor Christmas as Christians. And I am here to tell you, Sea World once again exceeded my expectations.

I am always amazed at the ways they interact with the animals. And I am amazed and God’ secretive genius as I gaze upon these amazing creatures. But I am here to tell you, Sea World honors Christmas. In the Nautilus Theater they do a Christmas show that is told from the perspective of the animals in the stable. Now that is not your usual story, but as the music begins, you have no doubt that this is the story from scripture. They sing arrangements of traditional Christmas carols, they retell the biblical account, given it has taken literary license for its perspective, but they keep to the real story. They do not edit the carols, nor do they hedge on the story. And it is a WONDERFUL way to re-experience the biblical account. And it raises goosebumps on your arms, makes the hair stand up on your neck, and brings tears to your eyes with its power and majesty.

Yes, they have many secular Christmas displays and the Ice Show is very secular. But it is tradition, and honest in its spirit as well. And as you walk the park, you hear a wonderful blend of classic, modern, religious, and secular music. (It does mess with your head to be walking around in shorts, short sleeves, and wet to hear Christmas music.)

So thank you to those that make the decisions for keeping Christmas alive and well in this setting. What a blessing it was for our family — and who know how many other families.

Until the next time…..The Hog Father,

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