Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: STEAM (12/03/15)
- TITLE: Fogged Glasses Be Decking The Halls
By Judith Gayle Smith
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George, gnarled, arthritic and unforgivably grouchy humphed to his unsympathetically teasing wife and returned his distracted attention to the television news. "Don't bother me until the New Year, Edna", he simmered
Unmercifully, Edna, still chuckling over the perverse catalogue, simpered sweetly and chirped "Martha and Al just got their tree today. The first week in December. Can you imagine? They want us to come and help decorate tonight." Her impish irresistible grin demanded fun
"Over my dead body" roared George. "Remember last Christmas? When we worked on that idiotic tree with them last year? Have you forgotten already?" His red-rimmed rheumy eyes struggled back to the news glaring on the screen.
"Well, I may just call them and cancel. I don't want to start traditions that cause you to yell at me like that", Edna, no longer playful, sniffed.
"Look, Edna - there is no need to blubber. Didn't we go shopping Black Friday to satisfy all the greedy little . . ." asked George.
"Oh yes, George. And you were in the foulest of tempers, haggling over prices, driving the clerks crazy, complaining about the music," grumbled Edna, wiping her steaming glasses.
Edna pushed George too far. She couldn't help but notice the steam emanating from her usually sweet hubby. What was she thinking, bubbling over Christmas traditions, knowing George had reasons for his impatience? Some buttons need not be pushed.
Edna steamed silently, angry at herself more than at George - dear George, who would not suffer her silently. She opened the back door, angrily slammed it shut, and headed out to the street to sit on the curb and pout.
What in the world - a fully decorated Christmas tree? At the curb? A sign from God? Who would give them such a gift? "I must tell George," Edna exclaimed eagerly, dashing back to George like a six year old child.
Dragging grumpy George out to the curb did not delight him at all. "Harrumph," growled George, "someone had the good sense to toss the thing." He picked off some delicate glass ornaments, shattering them on the hard concrete street.
Shocked, Edna dropped to the grass, her nose running an even race with her tears and temper. "George," she soddenly cried, "What happened to the fun guy I fell in love with? Who loved Christmas carols, pageants and . . ."
"Where does any of this figure into the birth of Christ?" snarled George.. "Santa, Rudolf, elves, North Pole, toys, expenditures, poverty? Why is everyone wanting things? Why is Santa omnipotent, seeing you when you are sleeping, knowing when you're awake? My Lord, Santa is now God in everyone's minds. What next - we celebrate the birth of Santa Claus?"
"Oh George. You've been reading that old worn Bible again, the one your mother left you?" Edna whispered more to herself than to George. What to do? Close the house, run from Christmas - where to go?"
George, quieter now, dropped down beside Edna. He felt guilty, causing her grief over what she enshrined in her girlish heart every year. It was more difficult now, with her parents gone. She did cling to her traditions . . .
"Edna? I'm so sorry I upset you darling. I'm not fighting you. It's the lack of Christ at Christmastime. We have attended church services where lip service is given to God, and then the turkey, ham and pumpkin pie with eggnog is served. Then the gift exchange around the tree. Why, the tree is a shrine for the gifts on the floor."
"George?" Edna offered a tear-stained cheek for a soft kiss, "Can we start a new tradition? Gather the kids and grandkids over to read why Jesus had to be born?* And share what we have because of Him with those sleeping under the bridges?"
"Edna, you are filled with His Spirit" George enthused. "It's His Birthday we celebrate, even if it is held during the Winter Solstice. We are not a silly bunch of pagans worshiping a gloriously decorated tree. We are His Family. Why, Thanksgiving is a better day to honor Him, as we are so grateful that God sent His only Beloved Son for us."
"Dear Edna, please forgive my foul temper this season, as it does not glorify our Savior", begged George - turning his cheek for her understanding kiss.
KJV 1 Timothy 1
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