Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Santa???

This year Sarah learned the secret about Santa. She was kind of sad for a while as she thought about it. But then we talked about how it is our duty to keep the spirit of Santa alive in what we can do for others and how it is part of growing up. I got this story in my e-mail today that helps tell the story of how we can be Santa. I really liked it, so thought I would share:

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her. On the way, my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her
"world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted .... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it! That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my
neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat.

I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down."Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.

Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

He's coming

Yesterday at work. The big boss was coming. Not the manager, or my manager's boss, but the big cheese, the owner of all the restaurants in our network. We didn't know when he was going to show up, he was just coming sometime that day. Needless to say, my General manager was in a tizzy trying to get everything cleaned just right and have signs up the way they were supposed to be, and make sure that everything was done the way it should have been so that she wouldn't get in trouble. As we were scrambling around, cleaning, etc. while still trying to take care of customers and do our other regular tasks, I got to thinking. (uh oh)
We knew that the boss was coming and we were fast preparing, but how much less scrambling would we have had to do, if all those tasks were taken care of on a regular basis. What if the signage that was supposed to be up, was already up? We wouldn't have had to be searching the store to try to find them. What if all things were already clean the way they were supposed to be?
I got to thinking about this and compared it to the 2nd Coming of Christ. We know He is coming, but we don't know when. It is soon, though. Are we prepared? Do we have our lives clean the way they are supposed to be? Are we living so we don't have to do a mad dash cleaning up and repenting at the end? Will He be able to look at us and say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant?" He's coming. Are we ready? Am I ready?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Its December already??

O.K., I guess I'll write about November then.
Richard & I had a chance to go see some Community Theatre that I wasn't in. It was fun to just go see a play. On the 14th, we saw 'K-O-L-D Radio-Whitefish Bay' in Clear Lake. It was about a small town, northern Minnesota Radio Station whose main show was about crappie fishing. Fairly local humor, and you definitely came out speaking in that Iron Range accent, you betcha.
The next night we went to Turtle Lake High School and saw 'Hello Dolly'. It was a high school production and was very well done. The gal who played Dolly was very talented. I wish our high school would do things like that with our kids, but no one seems to want to put in the effort, including the kids. sigh. So we do community theatre instead.
We had our Primary Sacrament meeting program on the 16th. Our pianist was sick, so I ended up filling in as pianist for the program. At least I knew the songs. The kids all did a good job. It was Michael's last program.
Daniel got his Bobcat badge at the pack meeting on the 20th.

I sang at a ladies luncheon with my friend on the 22nd.
On the 26th, the kids got out of school early. We had the missionaries over for dinner. Later that night, Alisha, Emily, Richard & I went to see Twilight.
Thanksgiving Day. It was just us. We hung around the house, I made food (for several days before) and we ate.

Several of us were fighting colds (and are still fighting them, may I add...grr) so it was a fairly quiet day. Alisha did spend the morning serving at a Thanksgiving Dinner at a local church and the rest of us were watching for a girl from Clear Lake who was in the All American Marching Band at the end of the Macy's Parade. In the afternoon we went to the movies. Some saw Quantum of Solace and Sarah, Daniel & I saw Bolt. Bolt is REALLY cute!! I highly recommend it!
I sang 'The Lord's Prayer' at church on Sunday.
Then the cold which I had been avoiding really hit me Sunday night. sniff.
Have a great December!