“Christmas is almost upon us, time to get into the holiday spirit,” says Carmen.
I casually reminded her that she was the one who wanted to take a hammer to the laughing Santa doll in the drug store. Its incessant Ho! Ho! Hos were getting on her nerves.
Pity the poor clerks. Ignoring this, she put on some seasonal music to get me in the mood. I did feel a bit like dancing, but then, couldn’t remember the steps to Gregorian Chant.
Thus begins my annual fight with the Christmas lights, laying boxed in a tangled thicket. Whoever put them away (apparently full of Christmas cheer no doubt), unceremoniously tossed them in a heap with no concern for the poor slob who would inherited the mess the following year. (Carmen accused me as the culprit on both counts.)
In a fit of Christmas zeal she has been totally rearranging the house and moving furniture around to accommodate the tree. So far no one has got into a ‘fit of pique’ over it. It does give me a chance to pit my strength against the couch though. (This year the couch won.)
I look forward to the turkey dinner, always well put out by Carmen, so that we all feast in joy and merriment. I tried to think of Christmas stories and a few come to mind. For one, I remember my sisters’ three kids waking up one Christmas morning, screaming down the stairs at high speed and overcome with excitement, opening up all the presents under the tree.
My sister spent the rest of the morning trying to figure out who sent what to whom. Here I am reminded of a quote from, Roy L. Smith. “He who has not Christmas in his heart, will never find it under a tree.”
Passed on to me was a true story that could well have taken place in the Cariboo and maybe some of you have heard it. Turns out a ranch family with little money to spare managed to scrape up enough for a few gifts for the kids and as the father was heading for town he got waylaid. He noticed a horse down by a creek trying to get water. It had been pawing away and had a big clump of ice surrounding its hoof and forelock. He knew it for a stray abandoned by its owners, so he deferred his mission, went back and got a trailer and managed to get the bedraggled horse home and put it in the barn. Although he figured it might not recover from its ordeal.
His children took a quick fancy to the animal and wanted to save it, so the gift money was spent on medicines.
In the end, the horse turned into a wonderful pet and all thoughts of missed gifts had long left their minds.
Leaving us with the thought, that the Christmas spirit invokes caring for all of God’s creatures as well.
Robert Nichol is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Advisor.