Thursday, December 26, 2013

Encore: Deck the Halls (Part Three)

Pastor John says God wants us to be a blessing to others. There's a lot of that going around this Christmas, with layaway accounts being paid in full by mysterious strangers and other random acts of kindness we haven't seen much in decades past. I've asked myself if I have ever been a blessing to anyone. The answer is...I'm not so sure. I've always been more a holy terror than a heavenly gift. But I am still a work in progress, so as long as there's breath in me, there's hope.

Hope...that's what Christmas is really all about, isn't it? My hope for each of you, my friends, is that the spirit of Christmas finds its way into your heart an burrows deep so that it flourishes. One person really can change the world. On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of one who did. Today, I leave you with the last repost for this year of my visits with the Ghosts of Christmases Past....


12/25/09: Merry Christmas, everybody! 

OK, it's not politically correct. I'm not politically correct. Stats say 80% of the U.S. is Christian. That means I'm in the majority, and last time I checked, majority rules. Even if it didn't, I'm a Christian and proud of it. 

I have a lot to apologize for, but that's not on the list. 

Christmas 2008: In Iraq, Santa was making the rounds wearing a bullet-proof vest and packin' heat. Who'd ever have thought Santa would have to travel with weapons? 

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus--and he's armed and dangerous.Don't let him catch you being naughty. There's a stiff penalty for being naughty. 

In New Zealand in 2007, a bunch of drunken Santas invaded a cineplex. Drunken Santas?'s so hard to get good help these days. 

Normally, I try to be done with everything long before the Big Day because I detest crowds and insanity (except my own, of course), but yesterday, I not only ventured out into the last-minute chaos, I was oblivious to it. I had my trusty MP3 player with me, so all was well. 

Music really does soothe the savage beast. I'm living proof of that. 

First stop: the bank, to make a deposit before their early close at noon. We've been with the same bank for something like seventeen years, through numerous mergers and name changes. I've been there longer than most of the personnel. At the teller window (I don't think they call 'em teller cages anymore, though at times they probably should), Pat was smiling. She had good reason to smile: a holiday falling on a weekday. They get, if you'll pardon the expression, screwed on Sunday holidays. Not even a half day off.

Big smiles all around. 

"I'm going to get my turkey," I mentioned. 

She didn't miss a beat. "I thought he was at work," she deadpanned, referring to Collin, not the edible turkey awaiting me at Dierbergs' deli. 

I laughed like a looney tune. Couldn't help it. That was a good line. Wish I'd thought of it. 

We had a pre-fab (OK, pre-cooked) turkey. My son, then an aspiring chef, had no intention of preparing the Christmas dinner. (Did I mention this before? Or maybe I only mentioned it repeatedly to HIM.) He worked all week at the restaurant and had no interest in cooking on his one and only day off. So with our pre-cooked bird, instant sides and my aversion to cooking anything other than in a microwave, dinner was ready in a record 30 minutes. 

Hey, I have better things to do on Christmas Day than cook.


  1. I see that many santas and I think the council of infinite santas.

    There is much to be said for an easy meal to be cooked as opposed to a grand production

    1. There certainly is! Collin came home from work bearing food--I got Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast, which I love, and he had pot roast. I don't like turkey, but he loves it, so I had a turkey breast in the crock pot for him.

  2. awwwwwwwww so funny I also say Merry Christmas.
    One year I did a sign for the front of the Elementary School oldest son was in I drew a alligator (it seemes right at the time) dressed up like the Christmas St. Lucia. With the crown, candles and a flowing white gown. It said Merry Christmas.
    They took it down because it said Merry Christmas and not Happy Holidays... this was 30 years ago !
    what a joke

    cheers, parsnip

    1. I'm so fed up with political correctness, I feel like doing the opposite at every opportunity, just to be rebellious.


  3. lol.. you ain't kidding! Cooking isn't high up on my list either when I've got so much writing to do, but holiday time is family time, and I've got the kids' memories to fill with a happy childhood. :)

    Nothing wrong with doing it the easy way tho!!

    1. We had all that when Collin was little, and it's important to give kids those traditions. A friend and I were laughing the other day about my dad refusing to even decorate for Christmas until Christmas Eve...but now that it's just Collin and me, and he's almost 35, we figure we'll make things easy on ourselves...until he has kids.

  4. I cooked a turkey and it turned out great and made Collin's fruit salad (what I call any fruit salad now) and everyone enjoyed. I had each of the kids bring side dishes so not a lot of work but the house smelled good all day.

  5. People have usually always been kind to me but I think you're right. I think more people are taking the "Pay it Forward" philosophy to heart.

    And I hate to cook, too. But there's always Honey-baked Ham.

  6. I hear you Norma, as far as cooking goes let's make it as simple as possible :) bet it was just as tasty as if you'd slaved away in the kitchen all day :)

  7. p.s. I'm also a big fan of random acts of kindness.. should be more!


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