Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays AP readers. I can't tell you what a pleasure it is working at Android Police. One of my favorite parts of the job is interacting with all of you. Without you guys, there wouldn't be any point to what we do. More importantly, there wouldn't be any money, and as much as we enjoy our work, I don't think any of us would work here for free, except Corbin, he still doesn't know the rest of us get paid (shhhh).
You guys give us a lot, and this year, I would like to give you a little something back in return. As a token of gratitude, I'm giving each and every one of you a free Pixel 2... wallpaper pack (sorry, I don't have the money to actually buy you all phones). The wallpapers are honestly just fine for any phone, but I wanted to point out that they are specifically for the Pixel 2 to maximize discord in the comments. Lemme grab some popcorn real quick.
Photography is a favorite hobby of mine, and I take special satisfaction in using my own images as wallpapers on my phone. As weird as it might sound, I actually frequently take photos specifically to be used as wallpaper images. Yeah, I know, that's like the photography equivalent of composing elevator music, but hey, I enjoy it. I'm hoping that you'll each enjoy at least a couple of the 34 images in the galleries below. I've organized the pictures into three categories – Macro, Landscape, and Industrial. If you have questions about any of them you know where they go, I'll be happy to answer them. If you'd like to download multiple images with ease you can view the entire album on Google Photos (plus a few extras).
A surefire way to feel the spirit of Christmas.
I have one more picture to share with you all and this one is much closer to my heart. This cute little guy is my buddy Ezra Koenig.
Ezra has had a pretty rough life for a kid just a year and a half old. He was born with not one, but two, major heart defects. Defects that were serious enough that his parents weren't sure if he'd survive longer than a couple of weeks after his birth. Through a series of miracles and thanks to a selfless donor family, Ezra received a heart transplant in August of last year, and the grand old age of three months.
The transplant was an incredible blessing for his family and has given Ezra a new lease on life, but it also presented a whole new series of challenges. His new heart requires a rigorous medication regimen, with as many as 42 doses of medicine every day. He's also more susceptible to getting sick than your average kid and has spent at least one night in the hospital during every month of his life thus far. In fact, he's at Seattle Children's right now, fighting a nasty virus. He'll be spending Christmas there with his family as he recovers.
While the amount of care Ezra requires is daunting and exhausting, that's only half of the crisis the Koenig family is facing. The other trial for Ezra's family is the staggering costs of his medical treatments. A transplant alone can run upwards of $500,000 in the US, and that isn't even taking into consideration the dozens of additional hospital stays, medical supplies, and medications. Yes, insurance covers some of these expenses, but not even close to all of them.
I love this time of year, a time when everyone seems a little kinder and more conscious of the needs of those that are struggling. Nothing brings me and my wife greater joy during the holiday season than helping someone else in need. If you've been looking for an opportunity to give to a worthy cause this holiday season, then I would invite you to consider donating to help Ezra's family. You can read more about their story here. If you aren't able to assist them financially, a few words of encouragement would also be great!
Donations can be submitted to the Children's Organ Transplant Association. COTA is a non-profit institution (which explains their awesome early 2000's web design) that gives 100 percent of proceeds raised to families that are struggling financially in the wake of a transplant. Many employers will match contributions made to COTA and donations are tax deductible.
You guys are the best, thanks for your support and contributions to this great site and community. Happy Holidays to you and to all those you hold dear.
- Jeff Beck
A special thanks to Artem for allowing me to create this post on behalf of the Koenig family. Please thank him for his generosity and wish him and Ezra a Merry Christmas in comments below.