I had a simple “Merry Christmas” post planned for today. I scrapped it. I’m wavering between my desire to let this holiday pass with a simple Christmas greeting and something more personal. I had the same struggle last year and in the end I said everything then that I wanted to this year too.
It’s an unusually low-key year for us here, but so peaceful. Sharon and I are celebrating quietly with friends. A few meaningful gifts, a lot of meals and bottles of wine shared with family. We’ve stopped with buying token gifts and the usual insanity that comes with this holiday, not because we value it less but because we value it more. Somehow even wishing someone a “Merry Christmas” seems a little trivial, as if being merry were the best this holiday can offer. Maybe I’m just getting older and more cynical wiser. 38 tomorrow, as it turns out.
What I’m certain of, and remember I didn’t train formally to be a photographer, I trained to be a pastor (hence the sermonette), is that if this holiday means anything, and if there’s historical fact in the reasons for which we celebrate, then it means more than the knick-knacks and bacchanalia it’s become. So for Sharon and I this is a quiet holiday, we celebrate the incalculable gifts we’ve been given, ponder the sad mysteries of the losses we’ve experienced this year, and look forward to another year of similar gifts and losses. In our hearts we long for fulfillments of the promises that accompanied the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, namely; Peace on earth, good will among mankind. And we pray for the strength to do what we can to be part of that.
So, because I consider you all family and friends – thank you for being part of this year for us. On behalf of Sharon and I, we wish you health and peace, the comfort of friends, and the fond remembrance of ones you too might have lost this year. We wish you light and life, joy and happiness. And yeah, we wish you a merry Christmas as well. From both of us, we wish you blessings.
Merry Christmas and a Happy Birthday! It must be wonderful to be 19 for the second time! So much vision and passion still ahead. I was one of the lucky ones to open my stocking (well actually a big red pillow case) and find your wonderful book Visionmongers inside. Inspiring and of course have only begun to read. Congratulations on a great year. Hope to buy you coffee in Vancouver this year if not in Kashmir.
May His peace and joy be in your hearts this Christmas and always.
It is sad to see this precious gift we received being overshadowed with all the commercialism.
David & Sharon,
Enjoy a most wonderful holiday season and all the best in your New Year!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Have fun, keep the spirit alive!
Thank YOU David as your blog, work, and books have been such an inspiration to me. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, and Happy New Year! 2010 is going to be awesome
Happy Birthday, and a Merry Christmas to you, Sharon, and your family. Looking forward to seeing what you have in store next year.
Wishing you a happy birthday David. Thank you for your gifts of time and knowledge. Merry Christmas to you and your family and the hope of peace on earth.
Happy Birthday David! “38” is a good year, not that I would know anything about that ;]
Merry Christmas to you and Sharon! May the blessing you’ve been to your fans be part of the light and life, joy and happiness you wish for all of us.
See you in 17 days!!!!
I discovered you this year and you have inspired me greatly. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.
P.S. I have a funny feeling my wife has a wrapped copy of Visionmongers under our tree right now. 🙂
May you and yours be as blessed during this season and upcoming year as you have been a blessing to us. Thank you so much for all you’ve done.
thank you for being a true inspiration this year. Little by little, you bring me closer to experiencing my vision, and that is a real gift. So, have a blissful Christmas (and of course, this goes out to your Sharon, too), and a very good birthday tomorrow.
Thank you for all the gifts you give to all of us throughout the year.
No post on the 24th eh? Happy Birthday sir.
Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, David!
thank you for sharing so much with us on your blog and your books.
All the best for you and your family.
Hey David, I knew we had a lot in common and now birthdays! Mine is the 28th. Capricorns unite! If age equals wisdom look out. Since the show at Black Rapid I have been selected to show in the PCNW Annual and I got into the Wall Space “New Directions” show.
Thanks for your encouragement in your writing. It has spoken to me.
Happy birthday and best wishes for Peace in the new year.
Wishing you continued health and success in the coming year.
Best wishes for Christmas and a very happy birthday. I too am glad I discovered your blog this year.
Merry Christmas to you and your family David! Thank you for being such a inspiration to me over the past year!
I wish you much continued success in your endeavours in 2010.
Saviour, Messiah, Son of God, Prince of Peace, (my choices) or Son of Man, Prophet, Good Man……whichever way you perceive the One whose birth we celebrate on the 25th, may we all be able to fill our hearts with what he represented and lived and died for.
As for the one whose birthday we celebrate on the 24th, I feel honored to be living in real time with him, to be able to experience first-hand, or first-click, the inspiration that he has brought to myself, and so many others.
And Merry Christmas to Sharon also!!
I don’t remember exactly when I first found your site (about 2-3 years ago) but it has become an absolute favorite. You gain my full attention every time I see an update appear in my feed reader – and I thank you for that.
In return, I can only offer my continued support in the hopes you continue your generous gift of knowledge and insight into this world we love to photograph.
A lovely post. Thank you.
Welcome to 38 David!!! ….:)
May shalom travel with you & Sharon wherever you go this new year. Thanks for your inspiration and for choosing to use your powersfor good and not evil!
Well said. Merry Christmas and have a great new year.
Happy Birthday David,and may God continue to smile upon you. May you and family have a joyous Christmas, and a Happy New year.
Very kind words, David. Thanks for inspiring us this year. Pixelatedimage is absolutely one of my favorite photography related blogs, and I just love the way you write.
All the best to you and your family too!
I can’t express the gifts I carry in my heart because of you, I’m grateful nonetheless. Enjoy the season, the quiet and cozy, the scent of wine and hope in the air. Hugs to Sharon.
David, thanks for the contact this year. You just seem to effect people in the best way possible.
Happy Birthday, David. You have been a terribly significant gift for me this past year. No photographer of which I know has made a greater impact on my journey. Thank you.
A joyous Christmas to you and your family. Love, peace and justice kiss each other, and may they kiss you.
David, I’ll join the others wishing you a happy birthday and a joyous Christmas. It’s joyous because of He whose birth we remember and celebrate. Talk about Vision!
Peace my friend.
Happy birthday, Merry Christmas and all the best to you in 2010! thank you so much for this great community you have created and for being one of the good guys!
And to you, and thank you for all the wonderful posts and books this past year. You are part of my daily life and even though we have never met, you are like family. Happy Birthday and enjoy the holidays.
It’s CHRISTMAS??? Awww crud! I was painting Easter eggs!… 😀
David, you know the true meaning of Christmas. My wife and I have been very jaded by the Christmas stuff in the last several years. Especially, since the advertising starts the minute after Halloween and sometimes sooner. Not to mentin, Costco sells Christmas junk in August! The whole commercialization and obligatory gift buying has stolen the true meaning of Christmas. It has become an economic event!
We just want it to be a nice dinner with some nogg after words by a fireplace. Maybe play a few games of crib with the loved ones.
Merry Birthday and Happy Christmas, David! 😉
One of my high points was meeting you at the Black Rappid thing a few months ago. I’ve long followed your blog, impressed by your “mission” statement. It was a real treat to listen to you speak about your experiences, and some of your vision.
I hope 38 isn’t old, cause I’m not far behind you. It gives me hope that I could make a go of this career if that door opened.
My hope for you in 2010 is for joy and happiness (as much as is possible in this world). I’m not gonna tell you where to find it cause you already know. And for prosperity, (but not so much that it goes to your head). You have given back a lot this year David, and it’s been a real boon to me to slowly pick my way through WTF and your e-books. I look forward to 2010. And if you are ever driving down to Seattle and want to grab a bite or a pint just north of Everett, give me a shout, I’ll treat.
happy pre-birthday — Tomorrow’s my birthday as well! Though I won’t be quite as wise as you (32)
Happy birthmas eh? Like everyone I know born close to, or even on, Christmas I can see through your words of goodwill and acknowledge that, yet again, your special day is overshadowed by a kid born 2,000 years ago. Why can’t “Christmas Eve” ever just be “David’s Birthday”?
I feel your pain; my birthday is St. Patrick’s day. How can I possibly compete with the Guiness fueled day of the irish? Can I go to a bar to celebrate with my friends? Not unless I want to pay cover and have beer spilled on my head for my “lucky day”.
People say: “Your birthday is St. Patricks day? That’s so cool!” yeah, if you like poisonous colour in your beer and stupid plastic leprechaun hats.
Tomorrow, I’ll be sure to raise a glass – not for faith or religion, not for the spirit of goodwill or even to celebrate family and friends. No, tomorrow I raise my glass for you sir; “To david’s birthday! What? Why else are we here?” I’ll claim ignorantly.
Wonderful post- i’m new to your blog, but have enjoyed your words of wisdom. I’m struggling with the realization that I want Christmas to be more like Thanksgiving- the struggle being that I’m the only one feeling like that!!
Amen! David, happy birthday and may your holidays be all you want them to be. I agree 100% with your view on Christmas. In this busy, busy world, the thing I enjoy most about Christmas is not the gifts but the chance to take a genuine break from everything without worrying about the inbox filling with emails and the voice mail overflowing. It is the one time in the year where almost everyone agrees that work can take a back seat for a couple of days. That is the greatest gift we can give one another. I prefer to give the gifts to our kids and watch them be young.
Thanks for your gifts this year of Within the Frame, Visionmongers and all your ebooks. They made my world a better place.
Happy Holidays! (yes it’s a cliche, but I can’t help myself).
Great message David. We too are pulling away from the insanity of the commercialization of Christmas and focusing on the birth of Christ. One of the reasons your message reaches me is because of your faith based foundation. It’s important in today’s world. I wish you and yours a very healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. And finally a very very happy birthday!
David – thanks for your books and posts which helped keep the dust off my equipment this year. Looking forward to an even more inspired 2010!
Happy birthday, David! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for all of your insights and advice this past year. Wishing you and your family a joyful New Year.
Merry Christmas David and all who hang out here.
David, thank you for your insights and the energy to share them with you…I think I am getting a copy of “Vision Mongers” for Christmas. Truly, it’s the only thing I want (materially) …except maybe a Zeiss 21 MM…:)
Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas and all the best. Peace to you and yours.
Christmas and birthday blessings to you and your family as well, David. Your blog, books, and e-books have been a source of continuing education and encouragement to me this year–thank you.
Given your prior training, you might enjoy this little meditation by one of my day-job colleagues, Dr. Bob Lowery. It’s the Christmas story as told in Rev. 12.1-5:
And my own family’s perspective (and requisite photo content) on this text here:
Merry Christmas Youngster!
Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday and good wishes to you and yours, David. Thanks for all you’ve given to the photographic community this year, both on this blog and through your books and teachings. Enjoy the quiet, because soon it will be time for Africa and Italy(!).
Thanks for all the wishes.
Your books and e-books helped me understand a lot this year, and for this too I’m thankful.
I hope you will receive as much (and even more) as you gave this year.
Happy peaceful holiday
Merry Christmas to all of you!
It’s been a very transitional year for me creatively, and part of that process has been the insight I’ve gained from being a regular visitor here to your excellent blog and working through your ebooks. Oh… that is good stuff! Thanks for sharing so freely with the rest of us! I look forward to much more of the same in the coming year. Enjoy your birthday, and the blessings of the Christmas Season!
Well, I still like the saying Merry Christmas 🙂 Happy Birthday too. Just wanted to say what many others here have said also: thanks for the posts, the books, the tweets, the wisdom, the knowledge, and the wonderful images. Have a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Christmas. (Thats better than merry 😉
All best wishes to you too.
And long may you continue to be at the helm of this wonderful community, guiding and steering us with your insightful posts and images.
Safe travels for the year ahead
Thank you David. Happy holidays/birthdays to you, too! It’s amazing how a philosophy and perspective on life so relatively simple can continue to be inspiring to me. Thanks for writing what you do.
Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful season with family and friends!
…and that is what life is all about…great post and warm Birthday and Christmas wishes to you and your family…thanks for all the gifts you have given us….
Have a great birthday and a wonderful holiday!
Happy holidays David, to you and your family!
Happy Birthday! I also discovered your work this year. It has been a huge inspiration for me to focus on the creative in addition to all the other “stuff” which we all hear too much about. I hope you are inspired by all the wonderful comments here so that you continue to share with all of us. Thank you for sharing your inspiration with us. You are welcome here any time to teach a class in person or just visit- just tell us when you are near the midwest.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Peace and Joy
And, Merry Christmas to you and Sharon and Happy Birthday tomorrow, young man!!!
Have an awesome Birthday!!! And a peaceful and restful holiday, you definitely deserve it. ALl the best – Ian.
Speaking about photography, I’d Christmas time all over the year: you gave me inspiration; knowledge; time to stop and think; time to search and develop creativity; profound and thoughtfull blog posts; amazing, brilliant books; kindness and friendship… well I could continue listing all the “inputs” I got from you :).
Well, you’re the best Santa Claus in the World!
Sincerely and from the heart, I wish you and your family a peaceful Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Oops, I almost forgot: Happy Birthday :)!
A Happy Birthday to You!
A Very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with Happiness, Health and Wealth.
There should be a comma in there to read “for you, sharon and all who look in…”
I’d like to claim too much mulled wine but it was just a typo!
David, I’d like to wish you a Happy Birthday and for you Sharon and all who look in here I hope this Christmas is filled with great joy and the year ahead is filled with images that make a difference and moments that are precious.
David, I also discovered your work this year. Your photos, but especially your writings have been a source of inspiration for me over the last few months.
I agree with you about this holiday time and my wife and I will be spending time with family and friends, especially our new granddaughter.
I hope you and your wife have a good holiday and that next year will be even better for us all.
Thank you for all the amazing gifts you have given your readers, friends, and fans this year. Your time, insight, photography, books, and this blog have all been wonderful gifts, and I have enjoyed greatly my time spent here.
Happy Birthday, and Merry Christmas.
From Brazil, Felix Natal to everyone!!
Hey David, First and foremost, Happy Birthday, Merry (quiet) Christmas.
I’d like to thank you for your great contribution to the photo community, and to me personally. My photography, if it hasn’t improved through you, has definately become more deliberate. But I also open my eyes a little differently, especially after reading Within The Frame and many of your posts. A lot of inspiration comes from here. There are many blogs, sites, books and what have you, but the perspective you (and your blog commenters) put on this subject is different and, for me, the most enjoyable.
Please keep up, and let us know how we can thank you!
I discovered your work this year, and for me it was definitely a enormous highlight of my year. Thank you for inspiring me.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May the Peace that come from Jesus of Nazareth be with you.