I'm going to go out on a limb here with a blog post that's a little random and probably out of left field.
I love Christmas -- there's the timely, relevant part. My mind is wired to start feeling like a kid again around the holidays. Christmas music triggers all kinds of memories -- a single song segment can transport me to a young age when G.I. Joe figures were the treasures masked by festive paper that just needed to be shredded by anxious fingers. And just as memory-jogging are distinct smells -- like that of pine or cookies baking in the oven and the cold December night air. I love it all. Call me Mr. Sentimental and it wouldn't be far from the truth.
Believe it or not, with JFH approaching its 17th year in existence in 2013, there was a time -- wait for it -- when I wasn't running JFH. There was actually a time when I was just your average kid who loved Christian music and would get Christian music CD's for Christmas and birthday gifts. This was an age before the dawn of JFH and before we started receiving free review copies of most of the major releases (and then some). There's something special about buying your own music or being gifted a most anticipated album for Christmas.
And that is where this blog is coming from.
I have a couple of fun Christmas memories involving "CCM" (Contemporary Christian Music, as it were) gifts, and my absolute favorite memory was in 1994. I knew very well that the "newest" CD from a pop rock band called PFR was about to release, but it wasn't hitting stores until December 27 -- otherwise known as two days AFTER Christmas. So, you can imagine my--and my older brother's--surprise when we unwrapped a copy of PFR's Great Lengths ON Christmas morning! This was a time when I was young and naive enough not to know that music was even remotely obtainable outside of the exact "release date." That, and I never knew -- until a few years later -- that there were even things such as "pre-releases" (go figure!). But with elated faces frozen in amazement, we asked our parents how they could have worked this kind of magic to get an album several days early. It turned out that our local Christian bookstore had put out a couple copies of PFR's Great Lengths on their shelves early -- and my parents just happened to be there when they had a couple copies out. It was a Christmas miracle in our eyes.
So, with that little trip down memory lane, I want to know -- Do you have a favorite Christian music-related Christmas memory? Did you get anything special from someone that involved a favorite artist or album? I'd love to hear it!
...and Merry Christmas! :)
~ John DiBiase
I remember I believe it was 1995 when DC Talk was putting out Jesus Freak. I had requested it for Christmas along with a slew of other Christian CDs. Actually, I think I asked for something like 10 CDs. I got all 10 of them too. But, to my joy and much elation, I remember opening a package and seeing Jesus Freak in there.
In my family, we do the gift-opening on Christmas Eve. Well, I ended up listening to Jesus Freak until some time after 1am. I even woke up early Christmas morning and played it for a few more hours. I just couldn't believe that I got it. I consider it one of my favorite gifts of all time.
Christian music is how I got saved and to make it even better, I got saved around Christmas!!! This transpired in the eighth grade, I went to a private school and we did a class gift exchange. A friend of mine and I would do our own "under the table" exchange off to the side. He got me Relient K's The Anotomy of the Tongue and Cheek. After hearing it a few times, reading the lyrics etc, I knew that I had a decision to make, Jesus was calling and I am glad I answered!