Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’
Posted on December 16, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
The Inkspers want to take this opportunity to wish all of our reader friends a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. We will be taking the next two weeks off to focus on celebrating with our family and friends, and we know most of you will be doing likewise.
And exciting things are coming to Inkspirational Messages after the new year. We’ll soon have a fresh “face” and all of the behind the scenes fixings to go with it thanks to our own dear Linda Fulkerson. We can’t wait to share it all with you!
We’ll miss all of you during our break, but please know we treasure each and every reader, and we pray that your holiday is filled with the wonder of God’s love for us.
Posted on December 12, 2013 - by Regina
The Innkeeper’s wife hadn’t stopped for anything all day. Cooking, cleaning, making sure the less-desirable guests didn’t make off with the possessions of the nice folks who just wanted to follow the rules and do as they were decreed.
Now, rowdy guests finally quiet, kids fed and put to bed, the kitchen ready to start up before daylight – which wouldn’t be too many hours, now – she is finally ready to lay her head on the pillow and claim her OWN bed.
She could hear the clink of coins on the other side of the curtain, wondering just how long her innkeeper husband would count and re-count the money. This census was a God-send for them. Yes, it was hard work, but it was the first time a decree from Caesar Augustus had resulted in a positive way, financially, for the little people in their part of the world.
“Please, Father God, bless all those under our roof.”
She prayed for their guests. She prayed for her husband and family.
When the candle went out and the curtain parted, she breathed a sigh of relief. A few hours. That’s all she needed. She relaxed.
Just as her husband was settling in – immediately starting to snore, as usual – she heard a voice outside -
“Please! Help us!”
Fear rippled through her as she wondered – was this legitimate? Who would be out at this time of night? But then, travelers had been arriving all day. Why not all night?
With a sigh, she poked her husband. “Wake up! There’s someone outside!”
“There’s always someone outside! The town is FULL tonight. WE’RE full tonight. They’ll just have to go somewhere else . . .” He turned over, his sentence ending on a little snort-snore.
She shoved his shoulder. “No! They’re asking for help!”
“Then you go . . . I’m exhausted . . .”
Another punch. This time, harder. “Get out of this bed or you’ll have to sleep with the donkeys tonight!”
She didn’t usually threaten, but there was something about the young man’s voice, and the stifled cry of pain from what sounded like a young woman that made her anxious.
He got up and put his robe back on, lighting a candle once more. After a few seconds, she followed him to the door. What she saw broke her heart.
A very frightened young man was turning away from the door, going to a heavily pregnant young woman. A girl, really, her face etched in pain.
Her husband turned away from the door to face her. “I told him we have no room.” He shook his head, as if saddened at the situation. “There’s just no place for them – and if there were, she can’t have her baby HERE, in the midst of all these people.” His hands were in front of him, entreating her to understand.
Her earlier threat to her husband came back to her – sleeping with the donkeys – and the innkeeper’s wife smiled triumphantly.
“Go and catch them! We do have a place!”
His eyes widened. “Not my bed, I hope!”
“No, somewhere even better – the stable!”
“ You just put clean straw down in the last stall in case anyone came with a donkey or camel, and nobody has asked for it. It’s there, it’s warm, and it’s got no eager onlookers.”
“But . . . the stable?” He was not convinced. “Besides, they’re long gone by now . . .”
“Take a look.” She pointed out the door to the young man and woman just a few steps farther than they had been moments before. She was squeezing the young man’s hand tightly, gritting her teeth as another wave of pain had obviously stopped them in their tracks.
“Young man! We have a place! It’s not much . . . a stable . . . but it’s clean and warm. You’ll have it to yourself if you don’t count donkeys and cows.”
Relief was evident on the boy’s face. He glanced at the girl. “Will that be OK? It’s a stable, not an inn.”
The young woman spoke gently. She looked at the young man, and then back at the innkeeper and his wife. “God has provided a warm place. And I can’t go farther. It sounds perfect.” Another contraction made her close her eyes as the color drained from her face, visible even in the dim light of the lantern.
“We’ll take it. May God bless you people, as you are blessing us.”
The innkeeper’s wife gathered some extra blankets and rags, and an extra lantern, and made her way behind her husband as he showed them down the path to the stable. It was a cave, really, but a place where the wind would not cut, and the horde of people invading the town for the census would not bother them.
A few hours later, the innkeeper’s wife was awakened by a cry. Not a frightened cry, but the amazing, heart-warming cry of a newborn just introduced into the world. She smiled, relieved that the worst was over for this young family, and went back to sleep.
Little did she know that what had come was her own salvation.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Posted on December 11, 2013 - by Brenda Anderson
It had been a long day. A good one, yes, yes it was, but long nonetheless. The innkeeper yawned as he carried his money purse beyond the curtain where his family lay–his wife and his full quiver of children–their slumber so deep even the rustling coins wouldn’t wake them. He rubbed his belly as another yawn escaped. There was nothing like a full stomach to bring on needed deep sleep.
He hefted his purse onto the table. Judging by its weight, his family’s appetites would be fully sated for many weeks. This census that Caesar Augustus decreed, it was a good thing for the merchants in this normally sleepy town of Bethlehem.
Not so good for the travelers.
Every bed was taken. Every pallet slept on. Each blanket claimed. Even floor space was consumed by the visitors, yet much more was needed. He’d lost count of the number of weary souls he’d turned away, without an idea of where to direct them.
But that wasn’t his problem.
He sat at the table, preparing to dump out the day’s take when a pounding on the door interrupted. Likely another traveler. It was easier to ignore them than to peer into their longing faces. He took care dumping the coins on the table as noiseless as possible, but the knocking persisted, accompanied with a muffled, yet clearly desperate voice.
“Please, my wife is with child, and her labor has begun.”
The innkeeper stared at the thatched roof. “What more do you require of me?”
A feather weight rested on his shoulder. “Answer the door, dear husband.”
He sighed. His wife was not one to be turned down.
Shoulders heavy, he slouched to the door and tugged it open, his wife’s presence directly behind him. “I have no room,” he said gruffly, but then his gaze went to the young woman seated on a donkey led by a man. The woman was a child, yet great with a child of her own. The man held out coins, barely enough for a blanket. They would find hospitality no where else.
The innkeeper rested his hand on the man’s shoulder and softened his voice. “I am sorry, but we have no space available. Not even floor.”
“We do have space.” His wife came beside him, carrying a blanket, the blanket from his children’s bed, the last one in their home. “Wife, we have no room.”
“Yes, but the stable does.”
“The stable! That’s not fit for–”
“We’ll take it.” The young woman spoke up, pain flaring in her eyes.
The innkeeper just nodded as his wife handed him a bundle. “I will show you the way.”
This story always makes me consider the space we have in our home. The warmth. The food. Mary and Joseph merely wanted a roof to stay under, walls to keep out the wind, and they settled for the lowliest of places.
Unfortunately their plight is not that uncommon even today. In my county alone, there are hundreds of homeless families, many are teens on their own. The temperatures in Minnesota this past week have hovered around zero, and those teens have no place to stay.
The innkeeper didn’t know it at the time, but in providing for the “least of these,” he was providing shelter for our Savior. The innkeeper set the example–now it’s up to us to follow it.
Below, I’ve provided the link to one of my favorite organizations, one that helps homeless teens. I’d love it if, in the comments below, readers could provide additional links to organizations that help the homeless.
Help for homeless youth: http://hope4youthmn.org/
Posted on December 10, 2013 - by Stacy Monson
The Christmas Story is especially poignant, I think, because of the circumstances from which it started. Mary – the mother of God’s Son – was a teenager. Not just a teen, but on the younger side, 14 at the oldest. And not only was she pregnant through strange means, she was betrothed to a man quite a bit older. I’m not sure what that means since the lifespan 2,000 years ago was much shorter than today’s. But it seems Joseph was not a teenager like his betrothed.
Mary has already encountered an angel of God, telling her news that would make any of us tremble (or fall over in a dead faint). She was told she was favored by God, and that she would bear a child conceived by the Holy Spirit. Her response? Very different than what I think mine would have been. She bowed her head and accepted this calling, this life-changing event with dignity and grace. I wasn’t dignified, graceful or brave at that age.
I can’t imagine how she found the courage or the words to tell Joseph. His reaction was probably less than joyful, probably not very pleasant. It wasn’t until he had a dream (where he learned that the strange and disheartening news she’d given him was actually true) that he accepted the situation. It must have been very uncomfortable for them as a couple until that point. (It’s hard enough to navigate the path of a new relationship without this kind of a wrench in the plans!)
Mary went to visit her much older cousin, Elizabeth, who greeted her in an unexpected way. Elizabeth claimed her own unborn child had leaped for joy within her at the sound of Mary’s voice, and that she (Elizabeth) was thrilled to be visited by the mother of her Lord. Can you imagine traveling to see a relative, an elder, who greets you like that?
With all of that going on, Joseph learned he was required to travel to Bethlehem for the census. They had to go right then, not when it was convenient (like after the baby was born). So they packed their donkey and off they went. Mary was ready to deliver at any time but there she sat, atop a donkey, for miles and miles. Owww, comes to mind.
Arriving in Bethlehem, among the hoards of others there for the census, Mary was ready to deliver. No midwife, no family, no one there to help but Joseph – and no actual room to stay in. The Inn was full. About to deliver the Son of God, and they’re turned away from what appears to be the only Inn in town. But hey, the stable is available.
No doubt exhausted, dirty and in pain, the stable may have sounded okay. So they settled in, and in the silence of the night, this teen mother delivers her divine baby (which probably didn’t feel so divine) with only Joseph in attendance. Odds are he didn’t have a lot of experience delivering babies. Mary probably didn’t either.
Yet even though they were alone, I think they must have felt God’s presence. He’d started this whole process, after all. He wouldn’t leave them to fend for themselves. He didn’t provide a luxury suite at the Inn, but He made sure they had a roof over their heads. He didn’t announce the Baby King’s birth with earthly trumpets and fanfare, but the very heavens sang and rejoiced. There wasn’t a long line of royalty forming to greet the child, but wide-eyed shepherds came in awe then went out to tell the world (the first evangelists!).
We may not be called to do something as world-changing as Mary, but I think she shows us how to handle whatever God asks of us – with dignity, grace and an abiding trust that He who calls us will be faithful to see us through.
Posted on December 2, 2013 - by Lorna Seilstad
What time of year is it?
Obviously, it’s Christmas, and as the song says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
But Christmas goes beyond the shopping sprees, the Christmas programs at school, and stories of Santa and his tiny reindeer. During the next two weeks the Inkspers want to celebrate the greatest gift every given–the birth of our savior, and we want you to step into the story with us.
Most modern theologians agree that Jesus was not actually born on December 25 because the shepherds would not be in the fields in the winter and no census would be taken during the cold season. But the date is not nearly as important as the gift of the Christ child. Have you ever wished you could have been present when Jesus entered the world? Would you have wanted to hear his first cries? Been an angel bringing the good news? Each of us are going to choose someone from the story of Christ’s birth that we’d to exchange places with if only for a moment. Join us every day in the next two weeks and take a fresh look at an age-old story.
Elizabeth spent years of being barren. I can imagine the hours she spent on her knees praying for a baby of her own. When the angel Gabrielle tells Elizabeth’s husband Zechariah that she was going to conceive and bare him a son, Zechariah didn’t believe. He was struck mute until their son was born.
Now, imagine and older mother Elizabeth, several months along, seeing the knowing smile on her husband’s face every day. If only he’d had enough faith he could have shouted for joy every time he saw her!
Elizabeth was heavy with baby John when her unwed cousin Mary came for a visit. According to Luke 1:41-45, here’s what happened. “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’” (NIV)
If I could change places with someone from the nativity story, I’d choose Elizabeth and here’s why.
1. Custom would dictate that Elizabeth would not have been happy with the appearance of her unwed, very young cousin appearing on her doorstep. Still, Elizabeth listened to the Holy Spirit over traditions. How hard that is to do sometimes! She blesses her young cousin with her praises.
2. Baby John leaped in her womb at the sound of Mary’s greeting. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you can imagine what an eye-opening moment that had to be. Elizabeth would never have to doubt that Jesus was Lord.
3. Elizabeth is joyful for Mary. Because it had taken Elizabeth so many years to conceive, she could have been bitter. She could have looked down on Mary. Instead, she lifts her up. I imagine Mary really needed that kind of support at this point in her life. While Mary knew the truth about the child she carried, all those around her did not.
At this time, a girl who became pregnant out of wedlock would have been terrified. The whole social structure was set up for children to be born within marriage. Genealogy and ownership of children was seen as very important. Girls who became pregnant outside marriage would probably have had to leave their homes and their families.
There was the potential of being sold into slavery or of being stoned to death. She may have been married off quickly or banished from her home and village, which may have led a women to prostitution or slavery when she had no way of supporting herself.
But it is in the arms of her older cousin that Mary finds the love, affirmation and support she needs at just the right time. I’d love to be her for day.
What about you? Have you ever thought of Elizabeth’s role in the nativity story?
Posted on December 26, 2012 - by Brenda Anderson
I realize that we’re supposed to write about Christmas disasters, but I can’t for the life of me think of anything that would qualify (unless I wrote about the Christmas Eve diaper disaster, but I really don’t think you want to hear about that!). Instead I’m reminded of a Christmas that could have been remembered for our loss, a Christmas that could have been weighted with sorrow, but was lifted by joy.
On December 20, 1995, my grandma passed away unexpectedly. She’d been healthy up until that point, and had recently returned from a trip to New York. Losing her was heartbreaking.
But then, on December 21, at 8:45 in the morning, my brother, Gary, and his wife Sandy got the call they’d been waiting on since the first of September, a wait that up until that point kept getting delayed: their soon-to-be adopted son was arriving from Korea that night at 10 pm. As a matter of fact, he was already on the plane!
Their five-month-old son Matthew (the name means gift of Yahweh or gift from God) was welcomed at the airport at 9:45 that evening by a slew of relatives eager to grasp onto joy. The very next day, at my grandma’s wake, many of us met little Matthew Bryant for the very first time.
We all wondered at this amazing gift from God–the author and giver of life. We marveled at His perfect timing. We all knew Grandma was in Jesus’ arms, still the sadness could have overwhelmed the holiday, if not for the gift of a child.
Matthew’s arrival turned our sorrow into joy–our mourning into celebration.
What a beautiful reminder about the real reason for celebrating Christmas.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called
The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Posted on December 25, 2012 - by Stacy Monson
Over the years, we’ve had plenty of Christmas disasters:
- New potatoes that never cooked (maybe they were old?) – left like tiny bowling balls on every plate.
- A tree that had to be tied to the ceiling with dental floss.
- A dog helping herself to part of the meal – before it had been served (a few dog germs never hurt anyone…I don’t think).
There are funny memories too:
- Our five-year-old exclaiming for the camera, “My very own scissahs! (She couldn’t say her r’s very well). And a toothbwush!” Good thing her expectations were low for what was in her stocking. She’s always been a particularly grateful kid!
- Learning to open the gifts from the in-laws at the exact same time since we all received the exact same things.
- And the infamous box of Ribbon Candy that gets passed around each year to one unsuspecting person (the box is from 1982). It has appeared tucked in an old book after the gift-giver cut out the insides, arriving from China more candy dust than pieces (not one of my brother’s most stellar ideas), hidden in the bottom of a homemade reindeer planter.
But the memory that stands out the strongest for our family is the year we had to unveil “the secret.” That particularly grateful five-year-old was deathly afraid of anything in a costume. We have exactly one photo of her on Santa’s lap – the year she had just turned one. Screaming bloody murder, her bald head a deep red from the exertion. Poor thing!
She hated clowns (we found that out after attending the circus – once). Didn’t like any character in a parade approaching her. She liked dressing up but didn’t like any kind of spooky costume at Halloween. She was even leery of pumpkins once they were carved.
As we tucked her into bed one night, she shared with us that she was afraid of that man.
“What man?” we asked.
“Santa. The man that comes into our house.”
“But honey, he just comes in, leaves presents under the tree, and goes on to the next house. He won’t come into your room.”
Tears. “I don’t want a stranger in our house!”
Oops. I guess she took that stranger-danger lesson a little too much to heart. After a few days of ongoing conversation, her anxiety escalating, my husband and I decided we’d have to tell her the truth.
After her three-year-old brother was in bed, we sat down with her and prefaced our talk with the admonishment, “What we’re about to tell you, you cannot ever tell your brother. Not even when you’re mad at him. This is something only big kids get to know.” Truly a first born rule follower, she nodded very seriously and promised. So we told her the truth. Santa wasn’t real. He was just a fun way to celebrate the gift that God gave us – the real gift of Jesus. (It was a great chance to talk more about the real reason for celebrating Christmas.) We told her the presents under the tree were actually from us. Nobody would sneak into our house on Christmas Eve night. It was just her Daddy and me.
To say she was relieved was an understatement. Thrilled would be a better word. The rest of the season passed happily (while we held our breath hoping she wouldn’t spill the beans). She didn’t tell her brother that year – or anytime after that. We finally had to break it to him when he was nine!
To this day we get a chuckle out of that crisis. She’s grown into a lovely, well-adjusted twenty-six-year old married woman who still isn’t particularly fond of clowns – but at least she doesn’t run away from them anymore. We can’t wait to see if she takes her future children to see Santa or just skips that whole scene and goes right to the manger.
Blessings to you this Christmas time. What a joy to celebrate the gift of Jesus with all of you!
(By the way, that’s a photo of my friend “Santa Joe” – Joe Courtemanche, a fellow writer and member of MN-NICE and ACFW.)
Posted on December 20, 2012 - by Shari Barr
The first year I moved out of my parents’ home I was excited at the thought of decorating my little apartment for Christmas all by myself. Feeling adventurous I decided to do things the old-fashioned way. Heading back to my parents’ farm, I slipped into my old boots, grabbed my dad’s hand saw, and trudged through the snowy field in search of the perfect Christmas tree.
Unfortunately exquisitely groomed pines don’t grow in abundance in these parts. Scrappy little cedar trees do, however. (Of course I already knew this, but I thought for sure the perfect little tree would materialize just for me.)
Charlie Brown would have had a heyday that day. Me—not so much. After wandering around for about an hour, I gave up my dream of finding the perfect tree and settled on an odd-shaped little thing that would look sorta normal if turned just so-so. I dropped to my knees and realized I would have to lie on my stomach in the snow in order to reach the trunk. In case you’re not familiar with cedar trees, they’re a million times pricklier than pines and sticky with goopy tree sap too. With the needles poking my face, I slowly hacked away at the trunk until it toppled.
My anticipated simple adventure turned into a whole afternoon ordeal by the time I dragged that tree a half-mile back to the house—uphill through half a foot of snow. Mom and Dad assured me that the tree would look beautiful, so I shoved the scratchy little thing into my trunk and headed for home, determined to make this thing a feast for the eyes.
After dragging that tree up a flight of stairs into my apartment, I wondered how I would ever hold it up straight and tighten the tree stand at the same time. (I also noticed that when I’d chopped down the tree, I sawed the trunk at an angle instead of straight across. Since I was naïve, or maybe a little dense, I didn’t see this as a problem, though.) By the time I finally managed to get that tree to stand upright, I was more than a tad bit grumpy.
My mood didn’t improve any as I struggled with the strings of Christmas lights, and I wondered why I ever wanted this stupid tree anyway. Well into the evening, I felt the first hint of satisfaction as I hung the last ornament. I filled the tree stand with water and added a little green food coloring because I’d heard this would help keep the tree green longer.
Feeling proud of myself I sat on the couch and admired my little tree, all sparkly and twinkling with colored lights. By George, it turned out to be kind of cute after all.
Then it happened. The tree slowly began to lean; then it toppled over in a heap on the floor. Ornaments crashed and lights flickered. I gasped at the puddle of green water soaking into the carpet.
Racing to the kitchen I grabbed a towel, frantic that the green water would soak through the floor and drip into my landlords’ living room. I sopped it up as best I could, praying that I wouldn’t get evicted.
With the mess finally cleaned up, I realized the importance of sawing the trunk straight across, but since I had no saw to fix it, there was only one thing left to do to keep the tree upright—tie it to the plant pole. (Remember those suspension rods from the ‘80’s that reached from the floor to the ceiling?)
I never did get a phone call from my landlords about a green stain on their ceiling, and the tree stayed firmly secured to the plant pole until I took it down a few weeks later. I also never discovered whether or not green food coloring helps to keep a tree green.
After that first Christmas in my new apartment, I knew one thing for sure. I was cured of the desire to cut down my own tree ever again.
Posted on December 19, 2012 - by Rose Ross Zediker
The first few years of our marriage we had real Christmas trees. One year our son asked to put up a real Christmas tree versus our artificial tree since he’d been too young to remember having a real tree. After much debate, my husband hates stepping on dry needles imbedded in the carpeting, we purchased a five-foot tree.
The year before Mike’s Christmas gift to me was Terry Redlin collectable Christmas ornaments. Since I’d waited an entire year to use my gift, I was anxious to hang the heavy ceramic bulbs on our tree. So we carefully hung the ornaments, making sure they were securely on the tree branch.
For over a week we enjoyed that tree. Then one night when I was taking a bath I heard a loud crash, followed by heavy footsteps heading toward the bathroom door with our son shouting, “The tree fell over.”
By the time, I dried off and dressed, Mike and Jeremiah had the tree vertical and tied to the wall but three of my collector ornaments lay in pieces on the carpet. Disappointed, I began to gather up the pieces to throw away. But Mike told me to leave them and he’d clean them up.
Little did I know that he was noting which pictures were on the ornaments that broke until we drove to the mall a few days later-which seemed odd because my husband dislikes malls! However, there was a store that carried these ornaments and we were able to replace the three that broke!
We have no idea why the tree suddenly fell over after a week but that was the last real tree we ever put up. The next year, I purchased a small artificial tree that I decorate with my Redlin ornaments, and I make sure it’s in a very stable place!
PS..Once again, I couldn’t get my pictures to load…sorry!
Posted on December 18, 2012 - by Shannon Vannatter
I can’t really say I’ve ever had a disastrous Christmas. No candle snuffing, breaking traditions like Lorna. And since I do my best to only bring one tried and true dish to any gathering I attend, I’ve never seen a raw turkey or tried to cook one. So I thought back to our first Christmas. Not really disastrous, but funny, thanks to Oscar.
Six months worth of red gold fur with floppy ears, short legs, and a loooonnnnnggggg body. Yes, Oscar Meyer Weener was our first weenie dog. My husband brought him home shortly after we got married.
My mistake was buying tennis balls and wrapping them for Oscar. He could smell them. He waited until I was gone and unwrapped the tennis balls, knocking over the tree in the process. When I got home, there were tennis balls everywhere and three broken ornaments. I spanked our little darling, scolded him, wrapped the tennis balls up, and put them back under the tree.
But it wasn’t a one time thing. The next time I left, down went the tree and he unwrapped the tennis balls again. After the third tree incident, I took all the breakable ornaments off and put them back in storage. The next day, he didn’t knock over the tree, but opening the tennis balls became a daily thing. Each time, I scolded him, wrapped the tennis balls back up, and put them under the tree. He already had tennis balls, why couldn’t he wait?
I don’t know why I was so determined he not open them until Christmas or why I didn’t put them up somewhere he couldn’t get to them. I guess it comes down to me being a rule follower and not realizing weenie dog puppies aren’t built that way. I kept thinking he’d give up. He kept thinking I would.
With a week left until Christmas, Oscar decided maybe there were tennis balls in all the packages under the tree. Yes, he opened each one and knocked the tree over again. He didn’t knock the tree over anymore after that, but he opened the tennis balls plus two or three other gifts each day until Christmas. Eventually, I got tired of re-wrapping. As Christmas neared, the tree was looking bent and bare and the gift wrapping a little shabby as I just taped the rips closed.
One day, I was off work and home all day. We didn’t have any incidents. Until in the middle of the night, I awoke to whimpering downstairs. Oscar usually slept in his bed upstairs in our room, but he wasn’t there. I went down to check on him. I could hear him whimpering in the living room, but couldn’t find him. The tree was down, numerous presents were open with numerous tennis balls scattered about. But no Oscar.
I stood the tree up. The jacket I’d bought my dad lay underneath. Then it moved. The sleeve was packed full with a nose sticking out one end and a tail sticking out the other. The only thing I could figure was Oscar hid his ball in the jacket, then went in after it and got stuck. I. Could. Not. Get. Him. Out. I had to wake up Grant and have him pull on one end of the jacket, while I held onto Oscar.
We both folded after that night, I let Oscar have the tennis balls and he didn’t bother the presents again.
The next year, we repeated the process, minus the jacket. The year after that, Oscar grew out of his puppy hood and left the tree and the tennis balls alone.
Has anyone else had weenie dog experience? Did anyone besides me have bad seventies carpet when they first got married even though it was the eighties?