First On The Block Again

Pastor Mark Hopper

By Mark Hopper

I have shared in the past that my wife likes to put up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. We have boxes and boxes of decorations that take hours and hours to put up and display. It is a lot of work, but she really enjoys decorating for the Christmas season.


Part of decorating for Christmas includes putting up lights on the outside of our house. This is primarily my job. I use the same colored lights every year. I suppose they look a little dated, but they still work!

I always like to be the first on our block to have Christmas lights on our house.  Sure enough, we were first again this year.  I think that the City of Diamond Bar used to give recognition to the homes that have the best outdoor holiday decorations.  I doubt that we will ever win that prize, but I wonder if we might win a prize for being the first in the neighborhood.


However, I must admit, I was a little grumpy this year.  Decorating is a tedious task.  I have to get the lights out of the garage and test each string to see if all the bulbs still work.  Then I have to get out my step ladder and climb up and down numerous times to hang the lights up on the house.  I always forget which string of lights go where.  After all, I only do this once a year.


And, I think I was a little grumpy that I was putting the lights up by myself again this year.  The kids are grown and gone, and my wife spends many more hours than I do decorating the inside of our house.   The grandkids are too young to help.  Maybe I had a little too much Turkey at Thanksgiving this year.  I just wasn’t as motivated as I have been in the past.


Secretly, I was hoping that it might rain the day after Thanksgiving so I would have an excuse to not work on the outside lights.  But, unfortunately the weather was beautiful with temperatures in the 80’s.  It was inevitable – ready or not it was time to put up the outside Christmas lights.


Gradually my attitude and outlook began to change as I put up the lights.  I realized that I shouldn’t be grumpy that I have to put up the lights on the house, but that I should be grateful that I have a house to put lights on!   I’m sure there are a lot of people who would be thrilled to have a house to decorate for Christmas.  I should be grateful not grumpy.


By the time I was finished, I was glad I was able to decorate the outside of our house for the holidays.  I was thankful we have a house to decorate!  After the sun set on the day after Thanksgiving, I was pleased to see the Christmas lights on our house again.  They looked pretty good, too!


I hope that you enjoy the Christmas season this year.  Enjoy the season with a thankful heart.  Don’t be grumpy about the decorating, shopping or spending.   Be grateful that you have a home to decorate, and friends and family to share it with.  They will be glad you did and you will too!


Pastor Mark Hopper

Efree Church of Diamond Bar

3255 South Diamond Bar Blvd


Christmas Services December 24th

At 9:00, 10:45 & 5:00 PM