Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Countdown to Christmas/Advent (10/23/08)
By gayle jackson
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Though often razzed for this short coming, I blurted loudly; “Gees, it isn't even Halloween yet.”
The friendly sales girl, who knows my face, smirked and said; “They made us put it out already.”
And just who were they? Why “they” are us; the consumer. We are the reason, we fuel the businesses by continuing year after year, to start the Christmas countdown. We also support the many other “hallmark” holidays. We buy the stuff.
As I got back in the car, the impending thoughts whirled. Knowing how short money was this year with the economy, and financial delimas, buying the “stuff” would be a huge burden. I started reciting my grateful list.
Peace as promised arrived, and I pulled in a parking space; a happy memory surfaced. The thoughts of my Advent bell ringing friends, standing at the mall door, day after day.
Focus on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, of excellence and worthy of praise.
I wondered what God thought about December 25th? Did He appreciate the hullabaloo, the materialism and Santa?
Rearrange the letters in Santa and you get Satan! I quietly said a prayer on my way in. Oh Lord, please help me not to be so judgmental. He reached down and touched my heart, it would be ok.
Halloween was that days topic for idle conversation. Several of the employees had worn Halloween garb. We learned among other things, that in some states, it didn't exist. Wow I had planned on wearing my Halloween vest the next day; such a pagan. Might as well judge myself.
All of a sudden, I thought about my Christmas sweaters. I loved wearing them. Maybe I'd get them out. What was I thinking, it was too soon. Why not?
If they put the “stuff” out early, why couldn't I? The whole holiday thing sends me somewhere anyway. Maybe I would start a trend? I would definitely take a lot of tongue lashing.
Better than a real lashing. Oh my, Jesus. Advent; the coming; the countdown; the arrival; the second coming; then it really hit me.......YES.
Having a positive mantra, like my grateful list, was said to be good stress buster. For weeks I struggled to find just the right saying. God provided my simple yet perfect mantra. It was one word; YES. As a visual, I taped it on the bathroom mirror the day before.
YES, YES YES Lord, I'll wear those sweaters now. And take the verbal abuse, the teasing and be an Advent witness; the early arrival. God does come, every day. Gees, will He want me to wear them in the summer?
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