Christmas Joy

Choose Joy

Joy lights up the top of the old piano in our den for the Christmas season in the form of this decoration.

Joy lights up the top of the old piano in our den for the Christmas season in the form of this decoration.

This actually is not the final look for the piano top. There may be some garland and some other stuff there. But I thought the Joy sign would make a good photo with the red lights on the cowboy tree on the left and the red light from the lamp at the right, so here it is.

Just a few thoughts about joy: You hear a lot about joy at Christmas because after all, we are joyful that God sent his son Jesus into the world to be the salvation from our sins. That is definitely a great thing to be joyful about. But you don’t hear as much about joy during the rest of the year.

Joy is definitely a choice. Joy is much deeper than happiness. Happiness depends on our circumstances, or what is happening. But you can be joyful even when things aren’t happening like you would want them to happen. Many times we are joyful despite what is happening because we choose to be.

Many times, the most important thing about a situation is how you choose to handle it. You can choose to have a bad attitude about it, or you can choose to have a good attitude about it.

So when things don’t seem to be going your way, choose to have a good attitude anyway.

Choose joy. All year long.

The Old Piano

I mentioned that the Joy sign is on the top of our “old” piano. How old? It was built around 1895, so that makes it pretty old to me. Definitely much older than I am. There are getting to be fewer and fewer things that can claim to be older than I am, so I like those old things.

And yes, since we have an “old” piano, we also have a “new” piano. Well, newer, because it is still over 40 years old. Which isn’t exactly new, but it is newer than the old one.

Before you think we are wildly extravagant, we have both of those pianos because of our families. Both pianos were eventually going to be displaced, so we took both of them at different times. We really aren’t trying to start a piano collection or anything. Although that might be pretty cool.

The newer piano has been heard in the Burnsland Podcast a few times, in case you are wondering. And sooner or later, the older piano will be heard in the podcast, too. Trust me, you will know it when you hear it.

Bible Verse

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. - Philippians 3:1

About the Photo

I really liked the lighting in this photo. There was a lot of natural light coming in the nearby window, which was the main light for this scene. In fact, I had to close the blinds because the light from outside was just a little too bright at first.

Then you also have the lights on the sign, the cowboy tree, and the lamp. The light bulb in the lamp is actually a color-changing LED bulb. I used its remote control (Who would have thought a few years ago that a light bulb would come with a remote control?) to select a red color that matched the cowboy tree lights. And then the amber glow of the Joy lights really stands out even more with the surrounding red lights.

I considered having the Joy sign centered in the frame, but that would not work for a couple of different reasons. One way to have it centered was to shoot the piano straight on, and I didn’t want to do that. Angled photos are much more interesting to me. But then to have it centered from this angle, the corner of the room and the window would be visible at the right, and I thought those were just a little distracting. So I chose this off-center view instead. Because the lights in the Joy sign are so bright, your eyes are still drawn to them as the focal point of the photo, so that works fine for me.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 50mm f/1.8
Date: December 17, 2019
Location: Home, Williston, Tennessee

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.