‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house; not a creature was stirring… except for John Q ­— who’s in the kitchen. He is not really a “creature” per se, just a little yellow bear guy… what’s he doing in there? (Oops… forgot the rhyming thing).

The stocking was hung on a doorknob with care; we’ve a chimney now, but a TV’s stuck in there. The grandkid was unconscious — sprawled out in his bed, while Zombies and Plants waged war in his head.

I’d laid on the sofa and pulled down my cap — taking a break from the holiday crap. Barely had my feet lifted up from the floor, when there came a faint knocking via the front door. And…I didn’t care.

No flying to the window to see “what was the matter.” Nope, not this time! Every night before Christmas there’s a “clatter”, noise or explosion. Then some iconic holiday personage (or thing) shows up to be dealt with. Well there’ll be no Easter bunnies, Grinches, Krampuses, Vampire-Clauses, giant-killer lobsters, distressed Santas, zombie reindeer or little drummer kids this year. Because there is no way in Helsinki Sweden we’re opening that… “Oh hewo!” and John Q. just answered the door.

John ran back in kitchen shouting, “Jesus Cwist” so I assumed our visitor wasn’t that nice. Sigh… here we go…

Away to the gun rack I flew like a flash; took down the twelve gauge, guess it’s time to kick a**! When from the front doorway our guest addressed me, in a voice soft and low, “Peace be unto thee.” Wide-eyed, I relented, re-racking the gun. Our guest was no threat, He was a carpenter’s son. As I drew in my breath, and was turning around, He stepped through the threshold onto now hallowed ground.

He was dressed in a robe, from his head to his toe. Which you could see, He wears sandals you know. A large dogwood cross He had flung on his back, which He propped by the door, beneath the hat rack. His eyes were so peaceful, His expression serene!

His palms were like roses, (you know what I mean)!

“Come in,” I invited, “don’t be a stranger, but shouldn’t you be…away in a manger?”

He threw back his head and let out a soft laugh, thank God for humor or I’d got a fire bath.

I offered a seat, would you like sofa or chair? He smiled and was indifferent, he didn’t care.

Finding myself speechless — unsure what to do — a cordial visit or heavenly interview?

There were so many questions but where to begin; when at that very moment… John Q. busted in.

“A long times ago in a Galilee far, far away in a manger *KERPOW* Happy brifthday to you, happy brifthday to you!” John Q. sang out loudly, handing Jesus a cake. So that’s what he’s been up to — who knew he could bake.

Christ blew out the candle, said the cake looked quite fine. Then John gave Him a gold coin and toy Frankenstein. I looked at him questioning and he rolled his eyes, saying “They’re traditional gifts — like from the wise guys!”

At this I interrupted and interjected, my small stuffed yellow friend must be corrected. “Hold on a minute, John, but I‘m pretty sure, the wise men’s gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

“Huh-uh,” John retorted belligerently, “I don’t anyknow what myrrh is but gold was to buy diapers and one of them wise’s names was Victor so he brought Frankenstein monster along to protect the baby from matches cuz those “wadded up” clothes were flammable and that’s why he’s ascared of fire!”

Okay… I think he meant “swaddling” clothes. But the rhyme scheme was ruined. So apologies were shrugged to our guest, who was chuckling through a mouthful of cake.

He handed us each a slice and said, “Gifts are irrelevant in their content and amount, in the end it is the thoughts behind that truly count. Reasons for celebration can be convoluted too, just be sincere in putting faith behind all the things you do. Whether on the twenty-fifth or late in September, the important thing is that you always remember.”

We’ll leave it at that! That’s a wrap and we’re done — Merry Christmas to all, Happy Birthday to one!

I welcome almost all questions and comments via the Focus, or E-mail me directly at [email protected].

Hope to hear from you, until then try and stay focused. See ya!