Twas the day after Thanksgiving and out in the garage
Were the Christmas boxes stuffed behind my old Dodge
I began to unpack them yet again with dread
There were no sugar plums dancing around in my head

I knew the massive fake tree would test my patience
Along with my poor patched up back’s endurance
Each box has gotta weigh at least a hundred pounds
No holiday cheer here, just my straining and grunting sounds

It takes half a day to get the tree up and in place
And there’s always a short in the lights to trace
That’s when I make my first trip to the hardware store
I’ve learned the hard way that there will be more

With the heavy part over, now comes the dangerous part
By that time I have the same attitude and the Grinch’s heart
With the tall extension ladder leaned against the wall
It’s carefully and ever so slowly up the rungs I crawl

I wince and am quickly reminded that I have bad knees
Till a thorn sinks deep into me from the bougainvillea trees
The neighbors stop by, I keep working till they feel ill at ease
When I’m putting up lights I’m never in the mood to shoot the breeze

The lights were working just fine when I put them away last year
How a lot of them don’t work from year to year is never clear
So it’s down the ladder and back in my truck
They’ll still have my color if I have any luck

With the lights finally done it’s on to the yard
It’s a lot lighter but still way too hard
The trees are fairly easy, but not so with the deer
Takes a genius to put them together, or darn near

As it is with the lights so it is with the extension cord
How they always go missing drives me outta my gourd
So it’s back yet again to the hardware store
They know me by name, smile and hold the door

sometimes the gift is the gratification from the work

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment
And forget even these gifts are heaven sent
We gaze at the lights as the sun goes down
And my weak flesh lets go of the frown

It’s a gift to have a task at hand
A wise person begins to understand
This is a blessed and glorious season
And the gift of God and His Son is the reason