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Posted December 21, 2011
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE ONE AND ONLY
The dinner table looks great. Mom has it set with her best china and charger plates accented with ruby red goblets and greenery. The turkey is smelling up the house and making me sooooo hungry.
But now I've been ordered to bed for begging to open gifts when it isn't yet time. Oh yeah, and I stole a gift that was supposed to go to Rudy the reindeer who was outside checking out the mulberry bushes after he'd eaten too many poinsettia leaves. And also, I'm sulking in the corner, listening to my human grandmom telling this story:
"Sometimes we forget the true meaning of Christmas as we're wrapping gifts to put under the tree and waiting patiently for Santa to arrive. But for me, I've always been so happy to celebrate the birthday of Jesus before celebrating my own. Santa's story is a delightful fairy tale and fodder for many movies, however, the story of Jesus is the real deal."
I'm trying to doze off but she keeps blabbing. No wonder she's all happy. She was mentioned in Southern Writers Magazine's Christmas song but no...not one verse mentioned the Duchess Tula Belle of Oxford, Mississippi - a.k.a. Tootie. Thanks Gary Fearon. See if you get any of Grandmom's broccoli cornbread or Uncle Marty's Peppermint Bark. And there is no peace to be had in this house for the Duchess. Bah. Humbug.
Grandmom rambles on to Mom."Remember when I was talking to your friend Julie recently and said to her, 'You know, when I was younger, my heart was literally grieved when stores were allowed by law to open on Sundays. As a child, I often worried our country was going downhill even then.'
"And Julie replied, 'What I remember about Sundays was being upset when the mall Chick-fil-A wouldn't open so Mother could buy my favorite meal.'"
Grandmom has Mom laughing. I fail to see the humor.
"Yes," Mom says. "I remember that conversation."
I don't think it's a laughing matter because the mention of chicken reminds me of the bird in the oven and my bed is soppy wet from drool. There is more than one Grinch in this house.
"We all laughed and of course I admired her for the honest reply, however, I was also saddened. Most of the younger generation doesn't even know that the blue law was one restricting activities or sales of goods on Sunday, to accommodate the Christian sabbath and that the first blue law in the American colonies was enacted in Virginia in 1617. It not only required church attendance but authorized the militia to force colonists to attend worship services. There's no evidence to support the assertion that the blue laws were originally printed on blue tinted paper. However, in the eighteenth century, the word 'blue' was used as a not so nice reference to strict moral codes and the bluenoses who observed and upheld those codes. *Sigh* I'm not crazy about forced anything but we could go back to some decent moral codes."
Yes, well, amen sister and my nose is going to turn blue within the hour if Santa doesn't get here and I don't get some turkey soon and what about me being forced to stay in my bed in the corner!
Grandmom keeps up the yakking."And some people from other areas are surprised when they find some states still adhere to the blue law of Sunday Liquor Sales Bans. They have little or no knowledge about our country's history.
"But saddest of all, some have no knowledge about the Bible's story about the Savior sent to save them but they can probably recite parts of Twas the Night Before Christmas."
Wait a minute. I know that story! "...the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that Saint Nicholas would soon get his fat self here..." Yeah, Mom's been reading it to me every year since I was a pup! This conversation is getting interesting! Enlightening even.
Grandmom continues the saga."So when I first watched Becky Kelly's video song based on a true story about a little boy at the mall asking, 'Where's the Line to See Jesus?' -- my heart was quickened again. There are people still teaching their children about the true meaning of Christmas. And naturally, a child's mind would think that Jesus should have at least half as much attention as Santa -- after all, it isn't Santa's birthday but it is the designated birthday for Jesus. With a birthday usually comes a party. With presents."
Mom had also read me the story about Jesus' birthday last Christmas. But then he died. Then was buried. Then raised to live in heaven. Guess He's having birthday parties up there. But if Jesus is having another birthday party in my neighborhood, I sure want to be invited and I hope there's plenty of organic apple treats! Hotdog! I want my invitation to that party!
Then Grandmom said,"And Jesus should also be receiving gifts because the Bible gives an example of the shepherds and wise men visiting with gifts in hand. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
"I'd never thought of it like that before," she added. "A weekly tithe of money is a gift to God, but what about a special birthday gift for his son Jesus the One and Only? If I was to give a special gift to someone who had sacrificed His life for me, what in the world would my gift back to Him be? Certainly nothing I could purchase in a mall and wrap with bright paper and colorful ribbon. Hmmmm.
"Since God owns everything anyway, since He made everything, Jesus is the Son who has everything as well. There isn't a thing I can give him He doesn't already have. Except perhaps something money can't buy. My loyalty. My time. My utmost belief in Him. Then the tough question: If Jesus gave his life for me, can I give my life in return?"
Mom and Grandmom stopped talking then. But I couldn't help but think. What does a bulldog have to give? The lucky cat next door has nine lives. He's down to seven about now. Heh-heh. But I have only one. Could I give my one life? Hmmmm. That means Rudy will be left behind to scarf down all of my Peppermint Bark Uncle Marty sends if I'm outta here.
It's definitely something I'm going to ponder.
But then Rudy swaggers back inside after checking out the mulberry bushes and interrupts my meditation when his antlers get tangled up in the Christmas tree lights. And as usual Grandmom *forces* us into doing that cheesey pose in front of the Christmas tree. Again.
But after the photo shoot, I can't help but think about that waiting line to see Jesus and all Grandmom has said. I am a guard dog now for my family and I'd guard my family with my life. Even Rudy, though he's public enemy number one in this household. A real pest. Ahhh, maybe he's not so bad. But could I give my life for Jesus? Someone I've never even seen? Definitely something I'd have to think about when I watch the Jesus birthday story tonight. In the meantime, Happy Birthday to the One and Only!
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:11-14
And may His peace and favor rest on all who read this blog post and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
(And if you want to know why Rudy was checking out the mulberry bushes, read the blog before this one!)
P.S. And, you're not going to believe this! Gary Fearon read my blog article and wrote a song just for me. Cracked me up! Made Rudy prance in circles and me howl out loud! You have to check out the Merry Christmas Duchess song. Thanks Gary! *Dog SMOOCH*
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