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On Second Thought…

I woke up early this morning to the buzzing of my phone, announcing that I had just received an email.  Still in a horizontal position and with blurry eyes and fuzzy mind, I slowly made my may through the long email message. Someone was concerned about my plans to secretly decorate a few of the Richmond Hill candy cane – shaped wastewater vents by wrapping red ribbon around them for the duration of the Christmas season.  (see October 13th post)

As you know, without permission, what you are considering to do would be an act of  vandalism, which is against the law of the land and is against God’s commands in The Bible.”

I stumbled down to my laptop and looked up the definition of “vandalism” because I felt confused and discouraged. My motive in making these vents look like candy canes was merely to  “bring a smile and a snicker to those who are walking of driving by.”  Yet, this was the second time that someone had mentioned the vandalic nature of such an act.

According to, vandalism is: “deliberately mischievous or malicious destruction or damage of property.”

From my perspective, I wasn’t going to destroy or damage anything.  I was going to temporaily alter the appearance of the vents. That’s it.

The person who wrote the email had obviously given this situation far more thought that I had given. This person had written the email in love. This person had cared enough to seek counsel about the situation and to challenge me.

It was a dilemma for me and I wrestled with it all day long. As stated earlier, it’s the second time that someone had presented the idea as vandalism. I suppose the fact that my plan involved dressing in black and skulking around the neighbourhood in the dark hours of the night, speaks of behavior that is questionable. But I had eleven people email me and tell me that they wanted to join me in this fun, Christmas decorating escapade! How could “spreading a little Christmas spirit” be so wrong?

Well, I’m here to announce that I’m not going to go through with this mission on November 20.2011. Why not?  I have one reason.

I’m taking the high road – a lesson that I learned years ago. Yes, I think this was a cool idea. Yes, I think it would make people smile during the Christmas season. But I choose to yield my opinion and let this one go. Sometimes, standing up is the right thing to do. Sometimes it’s not. This time, I think honoring God involves sitting down and not making this a big issue. I want to be wise, humble and loving. I don’t want to be a stumbling block to others.

So, fellow members of the vent-decorating committee, we will need to figure out a less controversial way to put a smile on people’s faces this Christmas season.  Any suggestions?

Sin always leads us much farther than we intended to go. —James Philip


No Comments

  1. Anne

    You could always ask permission!

  2. Oh nuts !!!
    Yes ask the municipality or your local councillor- they could bring it up at a meeting and make the suggestion…

  3. Vivian

    Maybe you should just go around and handout Bibles to people and tell them about Jesus, his birth, his life, his death for our sins and his resurrection. The gospel is the power for salvation. Candy canes are nice but they do not have the power to save anyone.

    • Hi Vivian,
      Thanks for commenting!
      There is no evangelistic motive for wrapping red ribbon around these vents at Christmas time – it’s just a fun, lighthearted thing to do that might bring a smile to people passing by. Diane

  4. Linda

    Hmmm….I’ve been pondering my comment to this one all day. Interesting remarks so far.
    First off let me say that putting red bows or ribbon on something is NOT vandalism, it may be defacing property and if that’s the worse thing we do during the holidays, well…. I can think of a few things that are worse than that and are specifically mentionned in the bible as well as in our court of law.
    Secondly, I can’t count how many times over my 50+ years that I have heard and read about the birth, life and death of Jesus. What I want to see more of is people actually LIVING out their faith by DOING and BEING the hands and feet of Christ to our hurting world. Talk it AND live it. Our family’s favourite adventure at Christmas is to anonymously drop off packages of goodies to people. We call it “elfing”. Oh dear….can elves actually bring joy to someone on Christmas Eve? Does the word “elf” offend? Honestly, let’s lighten up, have some fun, and generate some good will at Christmas. We have actually left glitter on people’s front porches. Is that vandalism? Is it defacing porch and garden? Honestly….

  5. As I pondered this today, I started to ask myself,
    “What about the MADD ribbons on posts?
    “What about garage sale notices?”
    “What about Lost Cat/dog notices?”
    “What about taped or stapled Craft Sales, Concerts and other Community Events’ notices?”
    These are all posted on posts as you drive along the streets.
    We stop to read them at red lights.

    “What about the notices on our community mail boxes ?” advertising roofers, painters, lawn services, etc.
    Did they ask permission?
    We think “Hmmm. A craft sale before Christmas/ Great Idea!”
    Is this any different?
    Let’s loosen up !!!
    Why are we getting so bent out of shape over a fun, smile-producing visual aid to cheer some of the glum faces you see in the next car !!
    Just MY opinion….

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