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Santa Dog Gets a Makeover

Kathy Bunse

December 2021

Santa Dog emerged from his storage bag looking worn and shabby. His black boots and belt were faded and cracked. Even his nose, once black, had turned a pale tan. Seventeen years of sitting on a wreath can wear anyone out, even Santa Dog.

For two months every year, Santa Dog greets family and friends arriving at our house. A storm door protects him from snow, rain and wind. However, days of staring into the sun take their toll. Ten months per year spent sealed in a plastic bag, stored in the basement don’t help him recover. In fact, the protective bag may do more harm than good.

“It’s time for a makeover,” I told the plush dog. I hung the wreath on the door selected a black permanent marker and began coloring Santa Dog’s belt, boots and nose. The touch-ups made a big difference! The cracks remained, but he looked almost brand new, ready to serve as our “door dog” once again.

“You’re one handsome dog!” I exclaimed. Did his stitched-on grin grow wider or was it simply my imagination. Who knows?

Time takes its toll on people too. The past two years have been extremely stressful. Covid-19 changed the world in ways no one could anticipate. But you don’t have to live through a pandemic to need renewal. God, our Creator, knows us and provides daily opportunities for us to revive and enrich our faith.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV) says “The steadfast love of the lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

The Christian year is filled with seasons of reflection as well as celebration. Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day, is only one. It’s a come as you are event. Bring your hope and joy as well as your sadness, pain and disappointment. God invites you to heal, not hide.

Hear the familiar story of Jesus’ birth with new ears. Discover a fresh message, just for you. Start the New Year strengthened, renewed and, perhaps, smiling.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” Ephesians 4:24 (ESV)

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