Posted in focus on faith, need a laugh?

Life Change is a Process

sport-927759_640-copyI couldn’t get in to my Gym class yesterday. It was full. And I was there early. Then I remembered–the New Year’s Resolution Bulge (in business, not in waistlines even though that is a factor!).

Things will be back to normal in a few weeks.

Every January gyms across our nation do a booming business thanks to the Number One New Year’s Resolution–Lose Weight/Get Fit. I assume Weight Watchers, Dr. Bernstein, Jenny Craig and other diet-centric programs see a lot more traffic this time of year too.

When asked to raise our hands (in a Baptist Church no less, what’s this world coming to?!) if we made a New Year’s resolution last Sunday, January 1, only 25 percent of the group responded. The pastor assumed the number was slightly higher and we, the people, were not forthcoming.

Perhaps.

I don’t make resolutions any more. Do you?

I did make them while in the naive bloom of youth but eventually I became jaded by the shocking reality that less than five percent of New Year’s resolutions are ever kept! And I quit.

Dan Sweaza, lead pastor of Connect Church, told this hand-withholding group (of which I was one) that even though very few of us made resolutions, or were willing to admit we did, all of us were probably interested in self improvement. All of us believe that we could be better, do better, get better.

Yup. Preach it! He had me.

But what about my dismal track record? The promises to get fit, be a better wife, spend more time with my kids, conquer my fears, become a responsible pet owner (Hey! The pet store TOLD me to put the aggressive gerbil in the freezer. It was either that or feed it to a snake!). I had so many failures and failings!

Then Dan said something that gave me so much comfort and encouragement: life change is a process not a project. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, (Romans 8:29 New Living Translation). God’s purpose for our lives is to make is more like Jesus. That has to be an ongoing process.

Projects have a finish line, an end point.

  • Remodel the kitchen–after a few weeks of chaos and dust, it’s over and voila, new kitchen. That’s a project.
  • Paint the trim–risk your life on that extension ladder for a day or two and BAM, it’s done. Project completed.
  • Finish the basement–install some crooked walls, pull some wires, cover the whole mess with ill-fitting drywall and right when divorce court is the next logical step, call in some experts to make it all look like a couple of deranged idiots were not involved and bingo, it’s done. And we’re still married.

Projects have deadlines. You’ve gotta get the kitchen reno done before your grandkids, twin boys known as BamBam and Whackamole, come for Christmas. The pressure is on as December gets consumed by the Christmas craziness and the project stalls.

But life is simply a series of projects, you might argue. Yes and no. We do accomplish things but eventually those projects get old and worn and have to be redone or we move and start all over again. So, in a sense, even projects become part of the process of self improvement, or space improvement.

When you view life change as a process instead of a project, the deadline no longer looms. And you realize that you are never really done.

Am I fit? Courageous? A better wife? An involved parent? A good pet owner?

  • My thighs don’t rub but, in fact, they’ve never met because I am bowlegged so…?
  • I can speak onstage without puking but I still get nightmares about home invasions so….?
  • Ask my husband…when I am out of town or on my deathbed.
  • They grew up and left and gave me grandkids and it’s way easier and more fun with them.
  • I concede defeat and am pet-less (thank you Polonius).

But hey, it’s a process!

  • I will not conquer all my fears but I have come a long way in dealing with them.
  • I will never win the World’s Best Wife Award but my marriage is stronger, healthier and way more fun than it was way back in the resolution-making phase.
  • I will never give parenting advice but my adult kids all like me and say they had a great childhood. Parents are too hard on themselves!

And in case I still felt discouraged in light of all my failed resolutions, Pastor Dan quoted: And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6 New Living Translation)

So don’t lose hope or give in to cynicism, fellow failed resolvers–

  • we are the majority after all!
  • there is no earthly deadline because self-improvement seems to be on the heavenly agenda.
  • as we walk with God, listening for His guidance and seeking His will, He continues to lead us to be more like Jesus and thus, a better version of ourselves.
  • it’s a process!
Posted in focus on faith, need a laugh?

Ready or not: what childbirth teaches about life

When I was expecting my first baby, the doctor wanted to find out if I was ready so he asked me what I thought about natural childbirth. I didn’t know what he meant. I mean, wasn’t childbirth natural? What was unnatural childbirth–a big slimy alien bursting out of your chest?

He suggested I research the Lamaze Method and come back in a month.

This baby has just been born, she is brand new just minutes old. She looks like she jsut stepped out of heaven.
This baby has just been born, she is brand new just minutes old. She looks like she jsut stepped out of heaven.

My mother had delivered eight babies. Did I ask her advice? Absolutely not! I had been to college! And I had a library card–the Internet of yore.

I read the Lamaze book in one sitting: piece of cake! I can do this on the kitchen table, mop up and have the girlfriends for brunch.

At the second prenatal visit I told Doc I was ready and I would not be needing any pharmaceutical intervention. At all. Keep the tylenol in the cupboard; I will do this the natural way.

He was delighted.

He asked me if I wanted Gerry in the delivery room. My friend Laura had said: If he’s there to put in the order…he ought to be there to pick up the package.

Yes I do, I said.

In order for Gerry to get clearance he had to view the film, Having Our Baby. Medical professionals used this as a filter for queasy dads; if you survived the film, you were in.

I wasn’t too sure about Gerry–oldest of five boys. No sisters. I decided to go along in case he needed a hand to hold. Two weeks before our due date, we arrived matinee ready with two little sacs of homemade popcorn.

By this time I was large and uncomfortable, needing help to rise from low couches. I lumbered in and we sat on the two straight-backed wooden chairs in a room smaller than most kitchens. The screen wobbled on its flimsy tripod; we had front row seats.

The lights were doused and the reel began to chatter and whirl. Larger-than-life characters were right in our face. I opened my popcorn and began to nibble, smugly wondering how Gerry would react when things got dicey.

I peeked sideways. Gerry was also nibbling, showing no signs of discomfort. Yet. I’d better keep my eye on him.

The film’s star was obviously a Swede – buxom, blonde, cheerful and uninhibited. She arrived at the hospital with her little suitcase in one hand, her little husband in the other. Every few hours, we would revisit the Swede to see how she was progressing. Thanks to film editing, this only took minutes, giving the impression that labor is a quick, painless affair.

Hah! Just like the book, I thought, and I stole another glance at Gerry. Nibbling. Calm.

The Swede purred: I have to puuush. She began to pant. They moved the Swede from her bed to a cart and rolled into the delivery room. They transferred her onto the delivery table and suddenly it looked like the Swede was going horseback riding! (There were no stirrups in the natural childbirth book)

As soon as the Swede was in the stirrups, the camera zoomed in on the action. I had never seen so much…action! I couldn’t swallow my popcorn; I felt hot and dizzy.

I looked at Gerry. He seemed nervous, like he wasn’t sure if he was supposed to be looking at her…action.

He fidgeted. He peeked. He ducked. He nibbled popcorn. He peeked again, looked my way, shrugged and gave me a wan smile.

The Swede began to push. I felt queasier. Suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, the doctor asked the nurse for a needle. There were definitely NO needles in the Lamaze book! A close up shot revealed a device the size of a javelin. He plunged it in deep.

I gasped. The doctor asked for scissors.

Scissors!?! 

He made the judicious cut the Lamaze book failed to mention.

The lights went out all over the world.

Gerry caught me before I rolled off my chair. Popcorn scattered. “Nurse, help! Connie fainted.”

And the nurse said (I am not kidding): “Put her head between her knees.

At 38 weeks, I was great with child. He tried anyway.

When I came out of my swoon I wanted to talk to my mother. I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was.

This true story illustrates the danger of a little knowledge. It is so easy to read one book, watch one doc, view one DIY YouTube, take one class, talk to one self-proclaimed expert and prematurely assume you are ready.

Chances are, you’re not ready. I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was to have that baby. But guess what? Two weeks later, the baby came anyway!

Life has a way of doing that–of moving forward, ready or not. The inevitable truth is that none of us lives forever, on this earth. I am in the decade neither of my parents completed. They died at 66 and 69 and I am 61.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings but I do know that whether I survive this decade or not I am assured of rent-free accommodation with Jesus when I shuffle off this mortal coil. That fact was settled November 19, 1973 when I said no to being my own god and Yes to Jesus as God. I accepted His forgiveness, thanked Him for paying my debt, and stepped in to my eternal future, ready or not.

But I didn’t stop there. Walking by faith is a lifelong learning process.

My 43-year-old faith has raced ahead, stumbled and fallen, gotten trampled and lost in the dessert, evolved and simplified, deepened and matured and I’m still learning.

Are you ready?

Start with the gospel of John. But don’t stop there, remember, a little knowledge can be dangerous. Continue reading all the gospels, then read the letters of Peter, Paul, James and John. Join a Bible study group (virtual or real), make friends with other believers, get involved in a church and establish some spiritual momentum because…

…ready or not….

 

 

  

 

Posted in focus on faith, need a laugh?

We Laugh Here

IMG_1003The first thing people see as they enter my home, besides me that is, is the framed photo of Nancy. Nancy’s afro draws the first curious glance but the tiny caption which calls visitors to lean in close is what gets the laugh: Nancy always had thick ankles, but no one really noticed.  

Originally a Thank You card from a friend, “Nancy” so encapsulated the quirky sense of humour I enjoy, I had it framed and hung it strategically across from our front door. Why? I want people to know we laugh here. 

And just in case they miss Nancy, there are two more hints in the guest bathroom. Directly across from the throne is a pristine starched white hand towel — the kind nobody ever actually dries their hands on. On it are these words: I’m afraid there is no PMS and this is my personality. This was a gift from a sister years ago and I’ve always wondered if she was trying to tell me something. Ah well, if the shoe fits….

And finally, when the guest washes up, there is the colourful metalwork plaque behind the faucet: Mirror, mirror on the wall…what the heck happened?! 

We laugh here! And I want people to know it.

What about God? The Word? Our faith? Do people know we are believers when they come to our home. They’d have to be blind and deaf to miss it! The place is littered with Bibles, Christian books, framed Scripture. I think it is important to let people know I am a Christ follower. But before they get scared that I will beat them over the head with my faith, I want them to know, we laugh here.

Not everybody does, you know. Laugh, that is.

We have been in homes where they don’t. We have had people come to our home and thank us for the laughter. Some confide that they rarely laugh at their home. They wish they did, they add wistfully.

I’ve met many believers who talk about the joy of the Lord but they forgot to send the memo to their face.

George McDonald says: It is the Heart that is not yet sure of its God that is afraid to laugh in His presence.

Not everybody is born with a sense of humour. I wasn’t. Just ask my sister, 10 years my senior. She shared briefly about our family of origin at my Birthday Bash last Spring and finished with this: Connie was a beautiful little girl with her wavy blond hair and blue eyes. But she wasn’t happy. Mmm-hmm, she was an unhappy child…. Then she sat down. She wasn’t kidding. I thought it was hilarious! And I am really glad she set the record straight because, obviously something changed!

I am so glad God taught me how to laugh. It involved following Him into some real suffering and challenges. But I am thrilled to report that the things that made me the maddest, that frustrated me the most, and that scared the p_ _p right out of me are the very stories I have been telling audiences for years. And we laugh. I laugh so hard I can barely get to the punch line!

Still not convinced? Here’s what the Bible says:

A feast is prepared for laughter,
and wine makes life happy,
and money is the answer for everything. Ecclesiastes 10:19

Words to live by…grin.

If your home is laugh-starved, ask God to help you set a new tone. Just follow Him, one laugh at a time. Laughter is attractive. It’s contagious. It’s healing and comforting. It releases tension. It’s a gift from God and it guarantees that when you grow up,  you’ll have wrinkles in all the right places.

Posted in focus on faith

How do you spell fear? s-p-i-d-e-r!

toonvectors-12422-140My recurring nightmare as a child was my bed was full of spiders. I would wake up yelling and my dad — volunteer fire chief for 25 years — was always the first responder. He’s my hero.

He would turn on the light, pull back the covers to show me it was safe, and tuck me back into the top bunk over and over and over … until I finally got married. Then it was someone else’s problem! Some dowry eh? My phobic fear of spiders has lessened but never disappeared.

Fear is the fundamental barrier to peace, and its a deal-breaker when it comes to leading a simplified life, Bill Hybels says in the sixth chapter: Conquering your Fears. Welcome back to my bog-crawl through Simplify. Hybels says that simplified living is about more than doing less…. It requires uncluttering your soul…. by examining core issues that lure you into frenetic living, and by eradicating the barriers that leave you exhausted and overwhelmed.

Fear has built massive barriers in my life and, with God’s help, I have spent most of my adult years dismantling them. I’m not alone.

Hybles clarifies the difference between constructive and destructive fear. We will focus on destructive fear since that is our battleground. Destructive fear is baseless, useless and crippling…. it nips away at our emotional well-being, cluttering and complicating our lives by erecting false barriers in our work, our relationships and even our recreational pursuits. 

Destructive fear mutes our joy and robs us of satisfaction. It makes us anticipate the future with dread rather than exhilaration. Hybels then cites people who refused to buckle to paralyzing fear but bravely stepped out into history and changed the world: Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai.

Conquering fear is tough work. The first thing you must do is NAME your fear. Hybels lists some common fears: financial pressure, relational breakdown, unexpected bad news, moral failure, impending mortality. What are you afraid of?

Here’s how to craft a strategy to overcome your fear:

STEP 1: Understand fear’s origin. Can you identify the source? My arachnophobia began as a result of some innocent child’s play. My cousin would catch daddy longlegs spiders, pull off a couple of the legs and then drop them down my shirt. No matter if I ran, she was faster and she always caught me. That feeling of helplessness, knowing I could not escape, carried over into my dreams.

STEP 2: Expose fear’s lies: What are the lies that fuel this fear? All spiders are dangerous, creepy, and terrifying. Spiders will hurt me. Why do these lies seem believable? Some spiders are poisonous! But the truth is, most are not. There are virtually NO dangerous spiders that share my habitat in southern Alberta. Having long legs isn’t creepy, it’s sexy! (ok, I’m trying really hard here. Cut me some slack!)

STEP 3: Face Fear Head-On: What is one baby step you will take to face this fear? Forget it Hybels! No way! I will NOT be touching any spiders in the near future, or ever! Long deep breath …….. Movin’ on. Before you judge me a coward, ask how I overcame 12 years of crippling fear of public speaking.

STEP 4: Speak Words of Truth: 

  • Self talk: What strengths do I possess that will help me say no to this fear? What is the logical truth that most people believe about this fear? I am bigger than all spiders and I can squish them. All the spiders in my neighbourhood are harmless. When I travel to poisonous spider zones, I will take strong sedatives — ha ha, just kidding…sorta…. No, the truth is I have found spiders IN MY BED on occasion in other peoples’ homes and I have managed to kill or chase them off and then sleep undisturbed. I remind myself of this when the fear rises.
  • Scripture: memorize one or two verses to recite when fear grabs you. I wish I were that spiritual! When gripped by fear, I am paralyzed. Scripture does not spring to mind. Maybe this is why I offer a weekend retreat called Hope for the Rest of Us: when sainthood eludes you, God can still use you!
  • Prayer: What specific requests do you want God to answer re: your fear? You want specific? Would I be out of line to ask that He eradicate all spiders from the face of the earth? Knowing that’s pretty unlikely, I do request that He allows me to overcome my fear without ever having to willfully touch a spider in this lifetime. Also, it would be great to be able to brush one off me without doing the Freak-Out Dance and risk breaking a hip.

How about you? Does fear rob you of peace? What do you do to beat it into submission?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in need a laugh?, tips for speakers

7 Compelling Reasons you need Laughter at your next Outreach Event

IMG_3324Did Jesus laugh? We know Jesus wept. The shortest verse in the bible says so. But there is no corresponding verse to John 11:35 that says, “Jesus laughed.” Or even grinned!

What then are to make of the fact that there are hundreds of biblical references to joy? Do joyful people laugh? You bet they do. And it’s contagious. Because I have made people laugh at hundreds of events since 1999, I have seen what laughter can bring to a group.

The typical checklist for what we want at an event includes prayer, sound biblical teaching, practical help for Christian living, encouragement, inspiration, and lots of chocolate. Here are seven compelling reasons why we need to add one more thing to our next Christian women’s outreach event checklist: guaranteed laughs.

  1. Laughter is inviting: You want people to come to your event. And you want people to come back next time. The primary purpose for most Christian events is to connect people to Jesus and to your Christian community. A guaranteed good time is a strong invitation.
  2. Laughter is attractive: Our best Christian witness is a happy life. Most people want to be happy. If they see the joy we have and the way we share that joy – often, but not always, in the form of laughter – then they want it too. (Note: a “happy life” is not free of tragedy, loss, betrayal or suffering. It is a life characterized by the joy of the Lord in the midst of difficulties and challenges)
  3. Laughter is the best medicine: A good laugh makes you feel better. Laughter might not cure what ails you but it certainly puts it out of your mind for a while. There is so much pain and suffering in real life, people need to get relief that doesn’t destroy their liver!
  4. Laughter is the “spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down”: Real healing often means we have to deal with our “stuff.” In order to help people, they need to be made aware of nasty things like selfishness, greed, jealousy, pride, in a word, sin. Tough love is easier to swallow if it is coated with a little sugar!
  5. Shared laughter builds trust: It is much easier to trust a friend than a stranger. People never laugh with their enemies but with their friends. A roomful of laughing people feels a lot friendlier to someone who might have come in the door hesitantly.
  6. Laughter builds bridges: People who might otherwise think they have nothing in common with “church people” can see that the Christian life can be rich and meaningful and joyful.
  7. Laughter can signal a new beginning: there will be people in every crowd who literally have not laughed since their most recent tragedy. I have often had people thank me after a hilarious talk with words like this: “You made me laugh. I didn’t realize how badly I needed that. I haven’t laughed since I lost my husband (child/mother/marriage) three weeks (months/years) ago. For the first time, I think there might be hope that I can live again.” The irony is, every single time this happens to me, it makes me cry! But they are tears of sympathy and joy.

 

Posted in need a laugh?, tips for speakers

Three Ways to Inject Laughter into your next Outreach Event

 IMG_1160We have all been to events that were so much fun we lingered later than we planned, laughed more than we expected, and left feeling glad we went even though hours earlier we had a hundred excuses why we should stay home.

Why did we have fun? It could have been a number of factors ranging from the logistics to the guest list to the program to the refreshments to how we felt in our new outfit. The common denominator if you were to poll the guests after the fact is probably something as simple as: “I had fun because it was fun – I laughed.”

Laughter brings a guaranteed return on the investment of time it takes to inject some humor into an event. If your guests laughed that is a pretty good indication that they had a good time and they will come to your next event. That is why I think it is so important for Christian event planners to make sure they include “laughter” on the checklist of things they need for their next outreach event.

We’ve all met fun-loving people – maybe you are one – who know how to have a good time and they bring laughter wherever they go. My sister Lisa is like that. The minute she walks in the door at a family get-together, she always announces: “I’m here! Let the fun begin!” And it does! She brings it with her in the form of games, contests, funny stories and family lore.

Sadly, my sister Lisa is not for hire. So let’s look at some sure-fire things you can do to include humor in your next outreach event.

  1. Personally invite fun-loving people to attend: You might even consider offering some of them scholarships or discounts! A board game that made me shriek with laughter with one group of friends felt like a funeral mass with a different group a week later. Obviously it wasn’t the game (or me!) that was funny it was the group of game players. Make an effort to find “gamers” who know how to have fun and pepper your audience with as many of these fun-loving people as you can. The value of what they have to give (shared laughter) is as important as what they can get by attending.
  2. Make sure at least one program personality is funny: It doesn’t matter whether it’s the emcee, a special guest who does fun music or sketch comedy, or the speaker as long as someone brings some levity from the platform. This is important because if it comes from the platform, it gives permission to the audience to relax and enjoy themselves. It sets a joyful, fun-loving tone for the whole event. This doesn’t mean there won’t be seriousness and even tears; just as you can set a tone for fun you can shift the tone into weightier concerns when the time is right.
  3. Include fun in your program: What about an un-fashion show? The more outlandish the outfit, the better. Or a demonstration of what not to do in home decor or home reno. Old standbys like skits, games, contests or short videos also work. Not every event needs these add-ons; because I am a comedic speaker, sometimes the program is simply “sweets and me”! They eat chocolate and laugh at my stories and go home happy. But maybe your next event doesn’t have a funny speaker and you still want people to laugh because you know laughter will help them relax and be more open to receiving whatever it is your wonderful speaker wants to impart. In that case, look for something people can either watch or participate in that will get them laughing. The Internet and fun-loving people you trust are your best resources.

One final thought for you to gnaw on: La Chapelle, a new church in Montreal Quebec, is attracting and winning people to Jesus by the hundreds. Last year they baptized 70 converts. Pastor David Pothier attributes their growth to their willingness to adapt their timeless message (the gospel) to a new methodology: “We are constantly driven and focused on reaching people. We do and think everything through that lens.” One of the items on a short list of essentials for Sunday Worship is humor. Pastor Pothier knows the value of shared laughter in building trust, breaking down barriers and establishing community. Humor is a valuable tool – don’t underestimate its importance.

 

Posted in focus on faith

Need a laugh? Find a kid!

turkish delight 008My daughter is reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to her kids, ages six and seven. I dropped off some Turkish Delight the other day to give the children during story time that evening. When the package was opened Eli, the younger sibling, burst forth, “You mean it’s real? I thought this was a make believe story!” Mommy explained that the story was fiction but the candy was real. “Candy!” Eli shouted, “I thought turkey delight was like ham!”

Telling the story of Eli’s reaction to the Turkish Delight brought grins and guffaws to my classmates the next day when I returned to my weeklong intensive course on C.S. Lewis and his works.  If you need a laugh, hang around with kids.

My granddaughter Madi, five, is a constant source of hilarity. Her mommy said to her the other day: “Madi it’s free dress day tomorrow; you can wear whatever you like.”  Madi, who considers clothing a necessary evil, jumped up and down with delight: “Woohoo! I’m goin to wear naked!”

And while travelling home after Christmas, an unsuspecting lady in the Houston Madi static hairairport noticed cherub-like, curly-headed little Madi and sweetly said, “Aw, you’re soooo cute.”
Madi was quick to set her straight: “I’m not cute; I’m dangerous! I can actually be very scary when I need to be!”

Kids are the best source of free humour I know of. If you don’t have any kids or grandkids, find a way to borrow or adopt some kids every now and then. It’s good for the soul. As long as you don’t get all creepy about it, you can even take a seat at a playground or park for a few minutes just to watch kids play. Their energy, delight, imagination and antics will lift your spirits.

A delightful thing about kids is they are honest. Kids haven’t learned political correctness, diplomacy, or evasion and redirection. They just tell it like it is.

My friend Phyllis took her preschool daughter along with her on a visit to her new neighbour. She planned to invite the woman to her church. During a lull in the conversation, the neighbour asked Phyllis’s little girl how she liked going to church. The little girl didn’t hold back: “I’m sicka hearin’ ‘bout Flippins, Floshuns, and Paul’s Pistol to the Romans!”

A longtime friend and pastor, Lou, took his six-year-old son to visit a neighbourhood family who had just had a baby. He invited them to attend his church, where, he announced proudly, “even babies have a Sunday School class where they can learn about God’s love.” After watching the newborn undergo a diaper change and noticing what looked like a withered brown string on her tummy, Lou’s little boy demonstrated how he had benefited from growing up in Sunday School: “After a baby is born,” the tyke piped up, “the doctor has to cut the un-Biblical cord, right dad!?”

dalmatianAnother of my favourite bits of kid humour is thanks to my friend, fellow author and former pastor, Murray. His little girl adored her spotted dog. Taking her and the Dalmatian with him, Murray visited some newcomers to their neighbourhood, and, you guessed it, invited them to visit his church. After Murray introduced his daughter, she introduced her beloved dog: “His name is Dexter. He’s a damnation!

Posted in need a laugh?

Need a laugh? Meet my sister Margy.

naughty dogMargy’s Facebook Post this Christmas:

The busy, “naughty pet” owner’s Christmas To Do List:

Friday: Finish wrapping gifts. Place gifts under tree. Prepare guest rooms. Dig kitten out of Christmas tree. Redecorate tree.

Saturday: Rewrap gifts destroyed by naughty pets. Laugh at silly antics of pets. Dig kitten out of Christmas tree. Redecorate tree. Shake dirt off tablecloth from kitty digging in poinsettias. Take stock of grocery needs.

Sunday: Rewrap gifts destroyed by naughty pets. Reprimand pets. Dig kitten out of Christmas tree. Redecorate tree. Shake kitten. Shake dirt off tablecloth from kitty digging in poinsettia. Get groceries. Buy more gift wrap. Buy more tape.

Monday: Rewrap gifts destroyed by naughty pets. Dig kitten out of Christmas tree. Redecorate tree. Shake dirt off tablecloth from kitty digging in poinsettias. Tie up naughty dogs. Lock kitten in kennel for 10 minutes. Prepare wife saver breakfast for Christmas morning.

Tuesday (Christmas Eve): Rewrap gifts destroyed by naughty pets. Dig kitten out of Christmas tree. Redecorate tree. Shake dirt off tablecloth from kitty digging in poinsettias. Yell at @#%!! pets. Place naughty dogs and kitten in kennel for 4 hours (oops forgot they were in there). Clean bathrooms. Welcome guests (who brought their dogs). Slip into bedroom and sneak a swig.

Wednesday CHRISTMAS DAY: Get up. Kick fallen Christmas tree ornaments across the room. Hand out gifts already unwrapped by pets. Drink cup of coffee with a healthy dose of “special creamer”. Have a laugh.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!