Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas Season is Here!

Jared here, saying Merry Christmas everybody! It isn't too early to start saying that, is it? If it is, I don't care. One of the best things about writing on this blog is that I don't have to be as politically correct as I do when putting the newspaper together. Here I don't have to do that "inoffensive" Happy Holiday thing.

I know Bailey certainly doesn't mind a mention of Jesus. She's already got a big old nativity scene set up in the front window of Java Joint--Mary, Joseph, shepherds, even angels flying over the whole thing suspended from the ceiling. She's got all the cute little animals in there too. Can you believe Wilbur keeps suggesting she scatter coffee beans in there to simulate manure? He says it would lend accuracy. Every time I go in there, he's lobbying for coffee bean manure, asking innocent tourists things like, "You ever seen a barn without poop?"

Anyway, I think it looks great, Bailey. And I love having somewhere to go where Christmas is still about the nativity. Even the songs Bailey has playing are the good old carols. None of that "Santa Baby" stuff they're always blasting at the supermarket and the mall.

It's hard to be a newspaper man this time of year. Part of me wishes I could take the whole month off and whisk all my friends and family to a cabin in the mountains somewhere, so we could celebrate peacefully and simply without having to see the news. It makes me sad--people shooting and trampling each other to get the newest version of the Playstation. Other people putting themselves deep into debt buying things they don't need. Some suffering the loneliness of a holiday spent without family. Some spending it in Iraq.

But then I remember that Jesus knew how sad and wicked the world was, and He came into it on purpose. He didn't need a mountain cabin to hide in. He could have just stayed in heaven. But He didn't. He came--into the darkness, into the world full of greed and violence and loneliness, into a manure-filled stable.

Then I decide it is good to be at the paper, writing and reading the news, painful though it may be. It reminds me to pray more, give more, say Merry Christmas more often, and "God bless you," too. Wherever you are this season, I encourage you to be a light (like Bailey so faithfully is). Go down to the church and help Hank with the Christmas outreaches--the gift baskets for the poor, the carol sings at the nursing homes. Pray for our men and women overseas, visit someone who's lonely.

Okay, about now, Hank must be wondering if I'm trying to steal his job as preacher. I'm not, buddy. Just getting all this stuff off my chest that I can't print in the paper.

So maybe Wilbur has a point. The manure does matter. When we see it, smell its putrid odor, the wonder of Christ's holy presence is all the more amazing. Thank You for coming into such a dark world, Jesus.

Merry Christmas season everyone.

-- Jared

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
Thanks for the post, Jared. It does all matter. And I agree escaping to a quiet place with our families to celebrate the season and remember the true meaning behind it would be wonderful. Somehow to focus on the peace and the fact that the manger was just the beginning.
Posted by Blogger Cara Putman : 6:55 AM
I'm with you, Jared. And Christmas is back at Walmart. Yay!
Posted by Blogger ~ Brandilyn Collins : 8:13 AM
Go ahead, Wilbur, scatter the coffee beans. When Bailey takes down her display after Christmas, she can use those beans to make your coffee.
Posted by Anonymous burt laroy : 8:59 AM
LOL! Wilbur is so funny. I have GOT to meet this guy one day. And Bailey too. She sounds like a pretty cool lady. Merry Christmas!!!
Posted by Blogger Dineen A. Miller : 12:33 PM
Wilbur, for heaven's sake. Isn't anything sacred? Let Bailey's nativity scene be.
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 6:22 PM
Hi, everybody, it's been a while since I wrote! I agree about the Christmas thing--it's good to hear Merry Christmas in stores!
Posted by Anonymous carly suggs : 6:23 PM
But, Jared, you gotta admit "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" is a peppy Christmas song.
Posted by Blogger Ane Mulligan : 7:21 PM
I'll give you that, Ms. Mulligan. Who doesn't love a good reindeer song. I like "Leroy the redneck reindeer" too. The fun songs are great as long as Jesus stays the focus. Hey, don't drink too much egg nog:)

Where are you, Wilbur? Thought you'd appreciate all the press I gave you here.
Posted by Anonymous Jared Moore : 8:24 PM
I'm right here. Been too busy scattering coffee beans around Java Joint. Heck, figured why stop at the nativity scene when we could have barnyard poop all over the place. Maybe we'll scare off the tourists. Then I won't have to keep reminding people the stool on the far left is mine.
Posted by Anonymous wilbur : 9:43 PM
Jared, S-Man, Jake, Somebody!Wilbur's going nuts with this thing. Jake, you want to take Wilbur hunting or something? There's a new James Bond movie out--maybe he'd like to go to that ...
Posted by Blogger ~ Bailey Truitt : 9:45 PM
The escape sounds wonderful, Jared. And speaking as a farmer's daughter, so much time is spent clearing those coffee beans out of a stable, why put them back?
blessing, e
Posted by Blogger Storyteller : 12:35 PM
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