ANGELA: Dale, it’s time to begin decorating for Christmas.
DALE: Sorry, sweetie. It’s my busy time of the year at the Church. Can you just do it yourself?
ANGELA: Sure, precious. I’ll go out and cut down a tree, and haul it to the house, and stand it up all by myself! And I’ll buy all the gifts, and wrap them, and I’ll do extra baking and maybe invite the neighbors over for dinner, one family at a time.
DALE: That’s my girl!
ANGELA: You really don’t think that’s going to happen, do you? If I put up the tree, there will not be anything under the tree for you.
DALE: Yes, dear!
The action moves forward. The tree is now standing, though it might be a bit wobbly. Angela blames Dale, and Dale blames the tree, the stand, and the uneven floor. Angela insults Dale at this point, suggesting that he was the direct descendant of Neanderthals. Dale tells Angela that someone with roots in Alabama should never insult someone else’s family tree! The action now moves forward.
ANGELA: Sweetie, the tree is leaning to the left.
DALE: Honey, that tree is standing perfectly tall and straight. Your perception may be off a little.
Dale and Angela retire for the night. Around 3 AM, they are awakened by a crashing noise, coming from the living room. Dale suspects the house is settling. Angela suspects the tree has fallen. When they rise the next morning, it turns out that the tree has, indeed, fallen. This is not unusual. It happens most years. Dale takes the blame for not leveling up the tree, and he carefully levels it this time. Meanwhile, Angela is making certain that this fiasco is not going to repeat itself. She threatens Dale with a slow and painful divorce. At this point, they don’t talk with each other any more than necessary for the remainder of the day. Upon rising the next morning, they realize that the tree has not fallen, and that all the lights work, and the wreath is still in place, and the stockings are still hung by the chimney, with care.
ANGELA: See, I told you the tree was leaning! Why didn’t you just get it right the first time?
DALE: Can’t we just kiss and make up?
They do, and they live happily ever after.
Jesus is coming in three weeks. The house is ready. Are we?
See you Sunday. What we do here matters.
Dale has been in ministry for over forty years. He's a teacher, singer, and story teller.