Saturday Musings – What’s Happened to Christmas?

The reason for the season....

My wife, Roselyn and I were chatting yesterday, and she mentioned in passing that there seemed to be an effort by some people to remove Christmas out of Christmas. Since "Merry Xmas" didn't appear to catch-on “Merry Christmas” is now being supplant it with “Happy Holidays”.

Although there isn’t anything inherently wrong with wishing someone a “happy holiday” I do believe that we need to take a step back and consider what is happening here. In order to do this, we need to reflect upon what this season is all about.

Christmas isn’t just about presents, eating copious amounts of food and holidays. At its roots, Christmas is a Christian religious celebration that centres upon the birth of Jesus. It’s about God reaching down to man, not as a judge but out of love by sending his son as the saviour for the world. Whether you believe the above or not is irrelevant to the millions of people that have this conviction in their heart.

If we are to be respectful towards Christians then I believe we need to call this period what it is, Christmas. Similarly, to be respectful to Muslims we should not try and rename Ramadan to something else or the Hindu festival, Diwali, as the “Happy Light Show”.

This would suggest that to make the least offense the politically correct lobby should insist that everyone says, “Merry Christmas”. The question I began to ponder is why don’t they? I could almost guarantee that if we renamed Hannukkah to something else then the Jewish community would be appalled and there would rightly be a voice of protest.

Continue reading
  1622 Hits
1622 Hits

Saturday Musings - Putting the Christ Back into Christmas

Christmas - love, compassion and sacrifice.

I do apologise if I offend anyone in this post….it is not my intention. Over the years I’ve noticed that Christmas has become more about commercialism and political correctness than it is about the true spirit of Christmas and the reason for it’s being.

Christmas is a derivation of two words, “Christ’s mass”. According to etymology, Christmas is derived from the Middle English Cristemasse, which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038 followed by the word Cristes-messe in 1131.

Christmas is all about Christ and the spirit of love, compassion and the ultimate sacrificial gift that he brought to the world. When I say, “Merry Christmas” to someone I’m wishing all of these Christ-like blessings upon them.

Whether you are a Christian, of some other faith or of no faith at all, you would have to acknowledge the fact that there was an extremely influential man about 2,000 years ago that walked the earth. Our whole dating system has been based upon him. BC is Before Christ and AD anno-domini or “in the year of our Lord”. In fact, many historians now acknowledge there is more historical evidence for Christ than there is for Julius Caesar.

If someone wishes you “Merry Christmas” they aren’t trying to force their faith upon you but rather wish you rich blessings. Likewise, if a person of Islamic faith says, “The peace of the prophet be upon you,” then I wouldn’t get upset either. They are wishing blessings upon you from their perspective and we should respect the giver and the gift appropriately.

Continue reading
  1880 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Kevin Murphy
Nobody gets offended by "Merry Christmas". You've been watching too much Fox News mate. ... Read More
03 January 2019
1880 Hits
1 Comment

Merry Christmas!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all those readers of Whizzbangsblog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I would also like to say thank you to all those companies that have sponsored my blog over the last twelve months. Your continued support has inspired me to keep on writing about domains and business on the Internet.

In particular, I would like to highlight:

It’s with a sense of sadness and loss in my heart that I approach Christmas this year. A few days ago, Pepper, my feline friend of 16 years, passed away. She was a great friend that was the subject of many Saturday Musings over the years.

When I was working late at night she would come and curl up on the carpet next to me. At some point she would nudge me with her nose, hoping for a scratch behind the ears and to let me know it was time to stop working.

Whenever I went away on business my wife told me Pepper would sit in my study and look out the window waiting for my return. When I finally arrived back home she would scold me in a very cat-like fashion until she allowed me to give her a bit of a pat again….after all, I didn’t get her permission to leave the house.

We normally wrap a present for Pepper and stick it under the tree….typically, it’s her turkey dinner. Sadly, this year we’re not going to be doing that. Although there is a sense of loss I know she is lazing away in the sun in cat heaven.

So in memory of Pepper I would like to highlight a number of past blogs where she featured:

What a CATastrophe

Saturday Musings – Why My Cat Is a Genius!

Saturday Musings – Why Cats Are Geniuses

Saturday Musings – Being Obedient To Our Masters

Saturday Musings – When Someone Spoils Your Week….

I hope you enjoy reading those articles as much as I did writing them.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Michael Gilmour

PS. I will be taking until the new year off see you in 2017.

  3223 Hits
Recent Comments
I was of course heartsick to hear of Pepper's final days, especially at this time of year when everyone is expected to "put on a h... Read More
24 December 2016
Guest — JP
I wnjoyed reading them. Merry Christmas. Sorry about Pepper.
24 December 2016
Guest — Rob Monster - Epik
Thanks for your diligent effort as a voice in the domain industry, sharing insights so consistently, and somehow managing to get i... Read More
25 December 2016
3223 Hits

Personal Musings - Being Generous...

It’s that time of year, where the tree is trimmed and Christmas is in every shop window enticing us to buy, Buy, BUY! Despite the commercialisation of Christmas there is an underpinning of good-will and generosity that permeates the air. So what is generosity and why is it so important?

For a start, people often view generosity as something that involves money. This is only one of the facets of generosity and depending upon your circumstances it is often the easiest one to enact. There is no reason you can’t be generous with your time, your attention, or your love. Generosity is more of an attitude of life rather than doing something at a point in time.

For example, there is nothing worse than talking to someone that is constantly looking at their phone. They are being a miser with their attention as they constantly tell you that someone else is more important than you are. It’s also just plain rude.

If a person is to be generous then it must be an act of free will. This seems obvious but have you ever been to a restaurant with someone where they’ve waited for you to pick up the tab? They’ve essentially stolen the joy of being generous by manipulating the situation for you to pay…..not cool.

A generous person also needs to be wealthy in what they are being generous with. If you’re time poor then you’re unlikely to be generous with your time… just can’t afford it. You may need to ask yourself why you are a pauper in that area of your life and work on how you can bring some flexibility to your schedule that allows you to become time rich.

So many people claim to be time poor but after a few minutes of talking with them you quickly realise they are this way because they consume their time on themselves rather than being generous to others. For example, how much time do you spend watching television, youtube or play games on your phone? Could you cut out just one of these activities and suddenly be in a position to bless others with your time?

For me, there is no faster way to destroy an evening out then when someone pulls out a calculator app to work out how much they should pay. It gets even worse when they ask the waiter for a menu so they can get their numbers down to the cent. But isn’t this fair? What’s the problem with that?

The real enemy of being generous is people who live a life of being fair. Being fair sounds so good until you realise that it removes all generosity. You see, generosity isn’t about being fair, in fact, it’s the polar opposite. Being generous is going above and beyond fair just because you want to bless someone else.

True generosity also means there are no strings attached. I know some people who act like they are being generous but carry a mental ledger of whom owes what to whom. This isn’t about being generous at all…’s about balancing the scales so everything is fair…’s also a lot how politicians behave.

I knew a couple that would literally keep track of who spent what amount of money on themselves so they could balance everything up. The wife bought some new clothes so the husband could then spend money on some technical gadget. Rather than being happy for the other person’s purchases they had a desire to balance the ledger…..sadly, the relationship broke apart.

One of the sad things about Christmas is it can dissolve into a time of obligations. I must buy a present for so-and-so because that’s what’s expected. The levels of expectations rise up and is one of the contributing factors for why Christmas is not very “merry” for many people.

The fastest way to put a smile on your face is to decide to be generous with your giving…..this doesn’t necessarily mean more money. It could be you spend the time making something. I’ve kept every birthday, Christmas and Father’s Day card that my kids have ever made for me.…..they are more precious than anything Hallmark could have produced. Maybe it’s time you dusted off your artistic skills?

If you ever want to do a “generosity health check” then do something for someone else where there is no possible way you can get anything in return. Don’t be a miser, go way over the top. Buy the groceries of the person in front of you at the store, give your favourite coat to a homeless person, pay for the McDonald’s of the car behind you in the drive through, anonymously donate money to a worthy cause, help a stranger with a broken down car or spend an afternoon with a nephew or niece.

One of the most amazing things about being generous is when you do so you will actually get more from the act then the person you are being generous to. It’s like magic! The feelings of well-being and happiness that envelopes you are worth every penny, second or effort the deed required. It’s only a few weeks until Christmas, decide to bring joy into the lives of those around you by being generous and receive a great gift in return……love.

We can all be a littler more generous.....we just need to practice harder.

Greenberg and Lieberman

  7567 Hits
7567 Hits

Being Grateful At Christmas Time

I love Christmas! It’s a time where my family comes together and we celebrate with great amounts of joy, laughter and of course, food. It’s a wonderful season that is full of love.

A couple of weeks later we throw a Christmas party where the house is filled with both our kids and our own friends. It’s a bit crazy in the rush leading up to the event but everyone has a great time with way too much food on offer!

For about the last twenty years the whole family heads into the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne on the 23rd December for the Carols by Candlelight practice. When we first started going there was about a hundred people camped out on the lawn listening to famous singers rehearse for the big event that is nationally televised the following night. The practice has now grown to around 20,000 people who have a great time with their families singing along to the various carols.

After the carols Rosleyn and I put together the ginger bread house that was cooked earlier in the day so that it’s ready to decorate the next morning. Since the kids were little they’ve had the joy of decorating the house with candies….I think more go into their mouths then on the house. LOL! Now that Tim’s nearly 23 nothing’s changed other than his girlfriend is pitching in to help out.

Today we head across to my parents for lunch, who live not far away, for a traditional Canadian Christmas meal in honour of the nine years that we spent in that great country. So as well as being Australian I have a fair slice of Canadian in me that makes me want to put some ice skates on and sing “Oh Canada”! The whole wider family will be at my parent’s house so I expect it’s going to be bedlam at present time. All good!

We all roll back home and for dinner for some good wine, fruit, cheese, crackers and a slice of ham. Each year, as a family, we always read the Bible’s account of the first Christmas to help remind ourselves of the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not “happy holidays” but “Merry Christ’s mass”.

After this special family time, we all put our individual sacks around the tree, one for each member and anyone else that is staying with us for Christmas. Each of the kids have had the same uniquely decorated sacks for Christmas since they were born. We all then stuff the sacks full of presents to one another….the rules are that you can’t touch any presents in your own sack until the next morning.

I must admit that I’m like a big kid on Christmas Eve and I get so excited that the next morning I’m the first to get up (around 7am). The first thing I do is make a cup of tea for Roselyn in a cup that is only used on Christmas morning each year. The second thing I do is put on Frank Sinatra singing Jingle Bells and other carols. We only play that on Christmas mornings as well.

Now that they are older I end up waking up the kids for a great time of gift giving, laugher and fun. Afterwards we have a special Christmas breakfast that involves a magnificent parfait made by Tim and then we head off to Roselyn’s parents for Christmas lunch and more presents…..we don’t even want to think about the calories of all these meals!

Boxing day is more family activities, relaxation and this year we may even head down to the beach for some sun…one of the nice things about living in the southern hemisphere is that it’s hot at Christmas.

Amongst all of the frivolity I like to stop and be grateful for all of the blessings that life has brought me. For all of the team at ParkLogic who have put in so much work over the last year, my wonderful wife, children, wider family and friends. For the many friends around the world that I’ve made through the domain industry and the ones that I’m yet to make. I’m going to be particularly blessed this year as Roselyn is coming to NamesCon.

I’m also blessed to have had such great sponsors of Whizzbangsblog this year. Companies such as, .club, Karen Bernstein, Namejet, The Domain Conference, Stevan Lieberman and others have made it possible for me to continue to write articles that endeavour to dig out the nuggets of gold that help improve all of our businesses.

I am very fortunate to know so many great people and to be blessed by their friendship. We mustn’t forget that there are also many people that are less fortunate and look on Christmas as a time of sadness as it brings back memories of lost loved ones or other such traumas. If you are one of these then my heart and prayers go out to you.

Lastly, I would like to thank the many readers of whizzbangsblog. Throughout the year you have continued to inspire me to write with your comments, emails and many skypes. I look forward to catching up with many of you at NamesCon and online in the coming year ahead. In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year!

Michael Gilmour


Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

  6045 Hits
6045 Hits