“Have you met the new neighbors?”
“Yes, we stopped in the first Saturday after they moved in. They seemed nice and all, even said they were Christians, but once the Christmas decorations came out; I don’t know.”
“I know Christy! Did you see all that? Are they some sort of Gothic weirdos? They look normal, but the yard, it looks like something out of the Addams family.”
“Joyce, it’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. When we visited them we invited them out to church. They came the next day. They seemed like a good Christian family. The man, Robert, even joined in the conversation in Sunday school and made some good points.”
“Maybe no one ever told them that Christmas colors are red and green.”
“You mean black is not a Christmas color?” The two women sipped their coffee after a good laugh.
About a week later in the Robinson family living room Christy could no longer contain herself.
“Don, why don’t you go over there and talk with the new neighbors about their yard?”
“You know what I am talking about. It’s Christmas not Halloween!”
“Look, sweetheart, it don’t look anything like Halloween. There are no witches or jack-o-lanterns.”
“Have you gone blind Don Robinson? Don’t you see that over there? All they have done is cut figures out of plywood, paint them solid black and place them in the yard and on the roof! Solid black snowmen, solid black Christmas trees, solid black candy canes. Have you seen the roof? A solid black heart followed by letters reading, “THE REASON FOR THE SEASON” with a cross at the end; all ten foot tall; looking freaky in the color black!”
“Look Sweetheart, there are other problems in the world you could worry about other than our neighbors Christmas decorations. Who knows maybe they are color blind and think everything is red and green.”
Christy’s eyes moved like a snail in the snow from her husband to the yard across the street. She just stared. The longer she gazed the more resolved she became that someone had to talk to them. Christmas is supposed to be the holiday of cheer and joy, not black and gloom. At least with no lights, once the sun went down the black figurines could not be seen. However it was the middle of the afternoon, it would be hours before the ghastly sight would fade into the twilight.
Christy began putting on her coat.
“Where are you going?”
“Look, my Darling Husband, if no one else in this neighborhood will take initiative and find out why our new neighbors decorate for Christmas by making their property look like something out of a horror movie, I reckon I will!”
“Sweetheart, you really shouldn’t do this.”
With a stride and a gaze that every soldier only wished they could have when marching into battle, Christy advanced toward the door across the street.
“Hey, Christy, hello. Come on in out of the cold. It is so nice to see you. I wanted to compliment you on the wonderful job the children’s choir did last Sunday. You must work so much with them. Oh, here, let me take your coat, come on in and have a seat. What can we do for you?”
“Uh, oh, thank you. I didn’t expect . . . ”
“Well, never mind about that, but I did want to talk to you about something.”
“Yes, Christy, what is it?”
“Your Christmas decorations, specifically, the color of them. They just don’t seem to exhibit the Christmas spirit.”
“Everything out there is explained by the roof. The reason for the season is our black hearts and the cross.”
“But the babe in the manger is Christmas, the cross is Good Friday.”
“Yes, God did come as the babe in the manger but the reason He came as the babe was to later die on the cross for our sins. Therefore, the reason for the babe, the reason for the season, is our sinful hearts and the cross of Calvary.”
“So you have everything black so people will think of their sin and realize the real reason for Christmas.”
“Yes, believe it or not it is one small way I try to get the gospel out to people.”
Christy walked home a little while later and told Don, “Next year, when we decorate for Christmas, I want to put a cross behind the manger.”
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