A BARNYARD CHIRSTMAS

IT LEANS MORE THAN IT USED TO, BUT THEN SO DOES THE LAZY DOG AND I

IT LEANS MORE THAN IT USED TO, BUT THEN SO DO THE LAZY DOG AND I

I’d fit in well with the now famous gang that lived out on the farm. I’m not sure what my title would be… I suspect it wouldn’t be as charming as “The Little Red Hen’s”. Mine might be more in line with the her barnyard buddies; The Lazy Dog, A Sleepy Cat, and The Noisy Yellow Duck. I suppose my title could be “The Grouchy Man”.

That’s what it feels like and probably what I look like when it comes time to decorate the house for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come to appreciate and desire the festive decorations like The Lazy Dog, Sleepy Cat, and Noisy Duck do the freshly baked bread. I, like they, want the benefits without the earning it.

Unlike the barnyard gang, I know the working part of the scenario. Before we start I know the role appointed to me around the house isn’t so different than that of The Little Red Hen’s… only the attitude is… Some things are too heavy and our twelve-year-old Christmas tree is the same amount of feet as it is in years. So along with the weight, the high work, that’s mine too.

Hauling the massive step ladders from around the side of the house, navigating them through the house without knocking anything over or taking chunks out of the walls is an art. One perfected over time and many-uh-season.

While I was standing close to the top rung of the ladder, I was trying to untangle one strand of the cream beads with golden accents. A heavy hand that believes strength can overcome all adversities ended with milky colored beads falling from ten feet up in the air like rain… When they finally did stop bouncing off the stone floor, it looked like a movie set for a classic slapstick comedy.

“Where at?” I asked my wife who was directing me like a traffic cop while I held out the red ornament about as far as I was able, still holding onto the grand ladder, and spoiling gravity’s fun… for the moment… The useless metal clip that has been long gone from the top of that ole ornament forced me to use the threaded loop to lasso one of the artificial branches that hung just about out of reach.

The tired and overused red ball hung proudly there for about a second and a half before plummeting to its death and leaving microscopic glass shards everywhere. I sighed deeply, fighting the frustration within me that often seems to have even more pull than gravity, as I descended back to earth to grab the vacuum.

The dread of the inevitable frustrations, I can’t deny, but neither can I deny the gratification that follows most any discipline in this life.

The grand tree with the glowing lights ignites the night and overwhelms the senses. It points to the endless battle that rages within a fallen world and the supernatural power of free will given to us by God to overcome instinct.

I pray all of us might use ours to honor Him this season and all across the year.

The Christmas tree looks pretty good, even with all the dead lights… As much as I dread the process of baking the bread or setting up for Christmas, I find it’s well worth the payoff.

I gotta quit hanging out with the barnyard animals… they’re a bad influence.

Merry Christmas and God bless.