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Here Comes Christmas – How’s Your Backyard?

     Christmas is almost here! Not really, but Thanksgiving’s over and it’s only – wait, I have to go consult my calendar – thirty-two days ’til Christmas.

     Work requires my presents – see? I’m getting in the mood already. What I meant was: I have to be at work five days of every week, so that only leaves the weekends to get ready. So really there are only eight days to Christmas. Christmas Eve doesn’t count. If you’re not ready then, you’re not ready.

     No big deal. The first weekend is for the cards. Do you still send cards? I’m thinking of signing up with Hallmark or American Greetings for their electronic greeting cards. That’d be neat! Think of the postage I’d save. And all that licking of envelopes.

     I know. Where would you hang an e-mailed Christmas card? You might feature it on your computer screen, but you’d have to show it to everyone before it expired.
You could print it, but some printers have a hard time getting the musical effects and bouncing elves onto the paper. You could record the music on a CD, but I don’t know what you’d do with all those bouncing elves.

     I just thought of something. You could send one card to everyone! You could put everyone’s e-mail address and click “Send!” Voila! Christmas cards taken care of!
Would Hallmark let you do that? Wonder how long it would take before Jenny and Uncle Walter and Dad and Christy noticed there were forty-six other people’s addresses on their card…

     That would sure cut the time spent on sending out Christmas cards. The part where you personalize the card might take a while. “Happy Holidays to you – Connie and Uncle Walter and Dad and Kathy and Kevin and…”

     Well, I think we have the cards well in hand. The second weekend is time to do some serious planning. Whom do I have to buy for? Who will be cooking Christmas dinner this year? Shall we get a fake tree or a live tree or a cut tree?

     Oh no! I forgot all about the decorations!!! Haven’t even got the outside lights up yet. I just learned you can pay people to do that for you. No wonder all those houses are decorated so beautifully. But on the other hand, there goes more money out the window and under the eaves and around the trees and over the lawn...

     Shopping will have to wait ’til the third weekend and after the shopping there’s all that wrapping and then there are holiday meals and parties and what to wear and…

     Whew! I gotta go take a nap!

     It’s a wonderful time of year. In spite of the hurry-scurry; in spite of the Middle East, the place of Christ’s birth, being in turmoil. Actually much, much worse than just “in turmoil.” But still, the sun shines; the stars twinkle; people turn out in droves to help the needy; families come together - even if some of the old squabbles simmer below the surface; carolers sing; and churches are filled. All the more people to pray for peace…

     Prob’ly won’t help. Seems like people do what they do no matter how hard we pray.

     Whoops! Can’t give up. Christmas is coming and love is in the air - at least in places where the air isn’t occupied with other things.

     Maybe we have too much news to handle. Maybe we should just look in our own backyard. Things are pretty peaceful around my backyard. How about yours?

     When Christmas comes, we’ll get together with my brother and sister and dad and our sons and daughter and our grandchildren and nieces and nephews and we’ll all sing carols and share cookies and punch and sandwiches and a few presents for the little ones and life will be grand in our backyard. Hope it is in yours!

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