The Day after Christmas

Dec 26

Each year I share my one attempt at poetry entitled “The Day after Christmas.” It reminds us that Christmas is not only a day or a season but also a lifestyle. May we celebrate the good news of Christ coming into the world year-round. 

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all were asleep

The twenty-fifth had left them all tired and beat.

The stockings were slung carelessly on the floor

Stripped of their contents and of interest no more.

The children were exhausted, collapsed in their beds,

With visions of sleeping-in fixed in their heads.

And mama in her flannel and me with my mate,

Were in hopes that we too might get to sleep late.

When out in the front there arose such a racket

I sprang from my bed like a frightened jackrabbit.

I stubbed my big toe on the way to the door,

And set off the alarm system on the first floor.

The early sun’s light shone bright on the toys

Left in the front yard yesterday by my boys.

Then I saw a car splashing right through the muck,

A red, white and blue delivery truck.

My head was aching and my stomach felt ill,

As the postman delivered a hand full of bills!

The charges were listed in dollars and cents,

Payment would empty the United States’ mints.

Now, Visa! Now, Penney’s! Now, Macy’s and Rich’s!

On, Walmart! On, K-Mart! On Abercrombie and Fitch’s!

November and December we had a great ball,

Come January, we owe something to all.

I made my way through a maze of presents piled high,

Looked again at the bills and gave a great sigh.

Turkey bones roosted on the dining room table,

Yesterday we ate all we were able.

I tried to turn on the new espresso maker,

Complete with a digital, alarm clock waker.

My family stumbled slowly down the stairs

As cordial as a den of hibernating bears.

I bent down to pet our faithful dog, Carl,

But he snapped at my fingers and let out a snarl.

My wife dressed quite quickly and shouted to all,

“I’m going bargain hunting all day at the mall!”

The children slammed the door behind them as well,

Going to friends’ homes for Christmas show and tell.

And I collapsed in my brand new easy chair,

To see how my favorite football teams would fare.

I held a glass of Alka-Seltzer firmly in my fist

Regretting last night’s snack I should have missed.

During halftime I arose from the recliner,

My team was ahead and the world seemed much finer.

Wading through the wrapping paper piled knee high

Something on the mantle piece caught my eye.

Half hidden beneath discarded ribbons and bows:

The manger scene had been placed weeks ago.

Carefully clearing the bright paper away

I witnessed the reminder of that first Christmas day.

The Christ child rested in a bed simple and small

Sent by God into the world to save us all.

Nativity figures of that first silent night,

Made it quite clear what had been lost to sight.

“A Happy Christmas to all!” is because of God’s son,

On the day after, our Christmas has only begun.


Christmas Worship at Northside Church

I invite you to join us for Christmas worship at Northside Church.

Thursday, December 22

  • *6:00   pm       Contemporary Service in the Faith & Arts Center

Saturday, December 24

  • 10:00   am       Family Service in the Sanctuary
  • *12:00 noon    Family Service in the Sanctuary
  • 2:00 pm           Family Service in the Sanctuary
  • 4:00 pm           Contemporary Service in the Faith & Arts Center
  • *6:00 pm         Traditional Service in the Sanctuary
  • 8:00 pm           Traditional Service with Communion in the Sanctuary

Sunday, December 25

  • *10:00 am       Combined Service in the Sanctuary

Sunday, January 1

  • *10:00 am       Combined Service in the Faith & Arts Center

*Services that will be live-streamed and archived at

O, Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Bubble Lights

My grandmother’s home possessed a magical appeal during the holidays. A live fir adorned the living room with antique ornaments and glittering tinsel. Strings of bubble lights draped the tree, granting an illusion of liquified fire flickering within glowing candles.

The bubble lights possessed a dark side. The candles grew hot to the touch, threatening to turn dry limbs into flashfire tinder. Shattered globes inflicted razor-sharp cuts. The ornaments contained methylene chloride, a toxic liquid if ingested, inhaled, or touched. The lights diminished in popularity during the 1970s, replaced by safer “fairy bulbs.”

Several years ago, a coworker found a novelty bubble light online. It plugged into an outlet and bubbled after a few minutes. I expressed my admiration of the ornament, and my personal Christmas light appeared at the church a few days later.

The ornament holds a year-round place of honor in my office. It highlights a collection of manger scenes that surround it. It bubbles constantly during the holidays, but I randomly turn it on throughout the year.

The bubble light invokes the Christmas spirit in my soul. It reminds me of an innocent age when I thought my grandmother’s home bordered the North Pole. The mélange of holiday memories makes me smile as I recall absent family.

I pray that you experience the holidays as Holy Days during this season of childlike wonder. If you need some help, then drop by the church and bask in the nostalgic glow of my bubble light.

Christmas Traditions

My childhood, holiday traditions included watching three MUST-SEE specials on primetime TV: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. They aired only once during December, and I carefully noted the dates and times.

IM always HO, the mid-1960s represented the Golden Age of Christmas TV specials. Computer-generated images cannot compete with traditional animation or stop-motion photography.


The Grand Miss Haisley has introduced me to a new generation of holiday specials. Note I said “holiday” and not “Christmas.” Even Charles Schulz would not get away with reciting Luke’s Christmas story on prime-time TV today. Nevertheless, I actually like some of the newer shows.

Our granddaughter and I agree that Olaf’s Frozen Adventure tops the list. The cast of Frozen reunited for the holiday adventure. Olaf the Snowman discovers various families’ traditions associated with Christmas, Hanukah, and the Winter Solstice. The show culminates with a Disney-they-lived-happily-ever-after ending.

The animated special emphases the importance of traditions. Rituals shape identity, meaning, and purpose. They inform who we are in relationship with others. Seemingly insignificant customs contain great import. The rites often begin with little intention but become part of a family’s legacy.

Parents and grandparents recognize they are making memories with their children and grandchildren. Investments of time result in priceless returns. Some day our children will share family traditions with their children in turn.

The Bible implores parents to raise up children in the way they should go. Therefore, I have introduced Haisley to some old friends, including Charlie Brown, Rudolph, and Cindy Lou Who.  I have met Olaf, Anna, and Elsa through her in turn.  

This Christmas keep some traditions and make some memories. They last a lifetime and beyond.