Saturday, December 5, 2015

What a pastor should NOT do.

Pastors should not throw a fit at the Christmas tree lot.

Picture the scene: fussy baby, sick mother, agreeable father, and a kind-hearted grandfather.  A sunny and warm Saturday in Mt. Pleasant, SC -- perfect day to get baby's first Christmas tree.  We tried a few nights ago, but because the baby had a meltdown and the all the trees were scandalously expensive, we decided to try again another day.  That day was today.  And this mother - this pastor - threw a fit in the Christmas tree lot.  Not a big fit.  But a fit nonetheless.  It went something like this:

Carmen standing next to the family car: "I want a tree, but $65 for a tree is outrageous."

Clark, cheerful and ever cognizant of our public roles as pastors: "Let's go home, regroup and try this another day."

Carmen: "I hate that Christmas trees are this expensive around here!  I keep thinking of all the poor folks who cannot have access to a simple Christmas tree! It doesn't seem fair that the poor cannot celebrate Christmas." (Yes, I said that.)

Clark, knowing that his wife isn't particularly rational at the moment: "The good news is that the profits here are going to charity."

(Loud sound 10 feet away- we turn and look and see that a squirrel has fallen from a tree and hit the pavement - doesn't move)

Carmen: "This is the worst!  All we are doing is killing animals all day!" (Clark and the grandfather have been fishing)

Clark, eager to redeem the moment: "I think he's just stunned!  Like when we played soccer and got the wind knocked out of us."

(enter cheerful church member)

Church member: "Everything okay?"

Carmen, forgetting that she is a pastor: "Why are Christmas trees so expensive around here?!?!"

... blah, blah.  The encounter went on.  I gathered myself, proceeded to run into multiple warm and lovely church members who were happily purchasing trees, and was mortified when we were given a generous discount when finally paying for a tree. Pastor for the win.

I am now in bed, the baby is wailing, and we have a tree in a bucket outside. I have a hunch Jesus is smirking.  Or because Jesus is definitely doing something supremely more important than smirking at my bad behavior, I plan to lay here and feel badly for 5 more minutes.  Then there will be grace.  And throat lozenges.  Throat lozenges for everyone.


  1. just so you know - trees are expensive everywhere :). It's probably wise to buy a fake one, but I can't give into that just yet. Peace my friend

  2. Probably shouldnt tell you this but theyre $45 on johns island ��

  3. Poor Carmen! And, methinks you are right. Christmas trees are expensive. Here in PA, though, we get them kind of cheap ... $25 and up. COME BACK! :)

  4. I simply love the story and the storyteller very much!

    1. Love to you, my dear! Thank you for reading! Wishing you a joyous December! xoxo - Carmen