Sharing a special Christmas

The Christmas I was eleven is one I will never forget because it was the night I came to fully realized how deeply loved I was. 

Every Christmas Eve without fail, Mother, my brother, David and I went to midnight Mass. 

Oh, how I loved midnight Mass!

My Father had passed away when I was three, leaving my mother to raise eight children alone.  David, and I were the youngest and he was four years older than me.  He and I were kind of raised by ourselves because our older siblings were gone from home by the time I was six. 

Our mother worked two and three jobs to keep body and soul together and to be able to provide for our needs.  She worked seven days a week.  Her only time off, really, was Sunday mornings.

We never had a car so we always had to walk to mass. In the bitter cold of a South Dakota winter, even in the middle of the night, I was always very excited to go.

The church was always decorated so beautifully!    The Christmas trees beside the altar were always aglow with white lights. The manger, including the straw, was usually placed in front of one special tree. The fragrance of pine is a memory that will never leave me.

 Every Christmas Eve Mass one could hear the  choir's music coming down from the choir loft which was in the rear of the church.  The church was always dark with just the Christmas tree lights and candles.

I remember I always lit a candle in memory of my Daddy and my grandparents (whom I never had a chance to know; they passed away when my Mother was young).

Our precious priest, Father Biever, always told the Christmas Story as no one else ever could. 

I remember, too, never feeling so wonderful about receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in communion as I always did on the remembrance of His birthday.

As I said, this particular Christmas eve was the year I was eleven years old.  As always, we had walked to church and by the time we got home to our warm and cozy but very humble little home from Mass we were all frozen to the core.

Momma fixed us hot chocolate.  We turned on our own Christmas tree lights and sat in the quiet of the living room watching the tree.  We didn't have the fancy bulbs that adorn the trees of today.  Our lights were the tall little tubes with something in them that made them glow.  All I really remember about them other than the way they still look in my mind is that they were called Bubble Lights.

Mother had worked all day and had to have been just dog tired, God Bless her, but I, at the age of eleven, and David at fifteen begged her to let us open one of our packages and she let us. It took us at least ten minutes to decide which one we were going to open!

Mine turned out to be a brown dress which buttoned all the way down the front and it had orange piping that went down the front by the buttons and orange piping around the collar.  I had never before, nor since, seen a dress more beautiful!

We decided that Momma needed to open a present also.  Fair is fair, right?  She chose one with only "Momma" written on the package.  I was the only one of us kids who spelled her name "Momma" so it was easy to see that she knew it was from me.

She opened my coarsely wrapped package and her eyes lit up brighter than our beautiful Christmas tree!  She had an aqua-blue dress I had bought her at our little local drug store. There was also a pair of aqua oval-shaped stone earrings with little tiny pearls around them.  Tears filled her eyes and I'll never forget how wonderful the hug felt that she gave me that special night.

Oh, how Special and Loved I felt!

I will never stop thanking God Almighty for the incredible and magnificent gift He gave me when He chose me.....Yes, me, to be Momma's daughter; her baby girl.

May God  Bless Her for as much as she loved me.

She is tenderly in His Hands and I miss her so much, but I shall see her again.  Thank You, Jesus!

Story by Mary Catherine

Please do not take without her permission.

Click on her name to visit her site.








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