I remember the Christmas I was six years old and although I didn't realize it then, we were really quite poor.  My Father had lost his job on the railroad and was given the pink slip just a few days before Christmas. 

It was very cold that year, but my Dad went out looking for a job. He would have taken any kind of job to have the money to buy our Christmas presents.

My Mother and Daddy had ordered our Christmas from Sears and those folks in Chicago had cashed the check, but there were no toys and it was December 23rd. 

I can remember my Mother going to the phone.  She called my granddaddy.  My grandparents lived a long way from where we lived, about an 8 hour drive in those days. 


I remember my mommy crying on the phone as she told my granddaddy what had happened. I couldn't hear what she said because she spoke in quiet whispers. I didn't know it then, but she told him what had happened and that we would not have Christmas presents. She hung up the phone and dried her eyes on a dish towel.

We didn't know what to think and couldn't understand why she was crying. 

My Daddy came home right before dark and the look on his face was even more puzzling to us than that of our Mother crying earlier.  

We were sent upstairs to take a bath and get our little homemade nightgowns on.  We were very good that evening.  No loud noises or splashing water from the tub.


When we came down the stairs Mom and Daddy were hugging each other and Mommy was crying again.
 

However, because my little sister had just turned four and I was six, we had not a worry or care; we just knew Santa would be coming.

The next day, Daddy was again out all day in the bitter cold looking for a job.  My Mother was quiet and busied herself with cooking and cleaning the house.


That Christmas evening Daddy came home and put his arms around Mommy and I remember seeing his lips trembling. To this day I can still see his face.  Mommy wasn't crying, but she was very, very sad. 

Our Christmas tree was beautiful. Daddy had gone to the woods and cut it.  Mommy had made most of the ornaments for the tree and the lights on it were beautiful.  Back then, we couldn't burn the lights all the time like we do now, and we could only have a  tree up for a few days.

We sat in front of the tree and just looked at the lights, spellbound. About that time we heard a noise at the front door.  My Dad went to the door and there stood my granddaddy and grandmother!  Oh my!  The joy that we had that night will never be forgotten.

My Grandmother tucked us into bed because my Mommy and Daddy, and my Granddaddy, had to go somewhere.  We were so tired that we didn't even question where they had gone.


My grandparents had driven all the way to Kentucky after dark to a toy warehouse.  My Granddaddy bought us the most wonderful Christmas two little girls could have wanted. 

 
The doll that Santa (Grandpa) left the next morning was the most beautiful doll I have ever seen. It was the one I had wished for from the "Wish-book"!

We had a wonderful time; my Mother played the piano and all of us sang.  My Grandmother had done most of the cooking and I still remember that meal!


 

This memory will never fade for me and  I remember that day like it was yesterday. I knew we were loved. I knew we would always be loved. I knew my Mother and Daddy, and my Grandparents loved us with such a love that nothing would ever harm us. 

 

As little girls, we didn't know or understand all of these happenings. It wasn't until we were grown that our Mother told us the circumstances of that blessed
Christmas eve.

My Grandparents and my precious Daddy are gone to be with God now, but I know that their spirits will always live in us, and with us, and WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY IT WILL BE WHEN WE ALL SEE JESUS - MY, OH, MY!  A homecoming for all of His children!



A few days before Christmas that same year, Mother had told us to be good and watch cartoons while she went next door to help our neighbor bake a cake.  We were good little girls.  Mom went to the neighbors and we didn't know it then, but she had gone to make us clothes for the dolls that she had ordered for us from Sears. The lady next door had a sewing machine.


After she left the house, I just couldn't stand it.  There were two little presents for each of us under the tree.  I went to the tree and stood there for the longest time - temptation overcame me and I grabbed my present and ran upstairs with it.  Hurriedly, but ever so carefully, I unwrapped the gift, knowing that I must be very careful, I managed to get it open without a single blemish to the wrapping paper.  It was a small rectangular, white box.  Nothing on the outside to give away what was inside.  I carefully opened the tiny box. Inside was a BIBLE!


Oh, dear God!  Not a Bible!  But, yes... it was a Bible.  The guilt I felt was overwhelming!  I could have easily gotten into a closet and never seen daylight again!  Why couldn't it have been any other kind of book?  No, it had to be The BIBLE!


I wrapped that BIBLE up so fast and I was flying to get it back under the tree before Mom came home!   I managed quite well to conceal my sneaking deed. However, when my Mother asked me if I had been into my present, I lied and said, "No".


I was dead in the water.  I knew if I died I would go to hell for lying, especially about a BIBLE!  I could just see Jesus looking down at me and knowing that I had told such a BIG ONE - I knew He was disappointed.


I had to act like the BIBLE was a big surprise!  Oh Dear!  That was so very hard to do; feeling such guilt. But from that day on I have never opened a present until it was time!  If I had it would have been just my luck for it to be a copy of the TEN COMMANDMENTS!  LOL!
 


Not long after my son, Jeffrey, was born I made a nativity set and his Daddy built the manger.  Every Christmas we would take out all of the pieces and after they were all in place, we would read the Christmas story from the Bible - from Luke.  It became a yearly tradition with our little family.

One year we unpacked all the pieces that had been carefully wrapped and stored.  We were getting ready for our traditional Christmas story reading.

Well, for some strange reason, the Baby Jesus was missing!  He was gone! My daughter, Kimberly was very little and it was before her daddy, Bud, died.

Kimberly was absolutely panic stricken!  

She said, "We can't have no Christmas!  There isn't any baby Jesus!  What are we gonna do?  We gotta have a baby Jesus or we can't do this!" 

I will never forget how cute she was and how we all reacted. Bud was so funny; he looked at me and said, "Well, she's right. We gotta find baby Jesus for the manger! 

We looked and looked in every conceivable place we could think of. We took all of the boxes out of the storage closet but no, it was not in there. We looked for hours before we gave up and  started to put away the papers and box that the manger scene were in.

 Suddenly, out of the papers we were gathering up fell the BABY JESUS!  Kimberly threw her arms in the air and said, "Well, thank the Lord!  We can have Christmas now! 

We laughed and laughed, but you know something, out of the mouths of babes - she was absolutely right! We could never celebrate Christmas without HIM! 

Kimberly is now the keeper of the nativity set. She treasures it so, and I hope she will someday be able to have this tradition with children of her own. I hope also that Uncle Jeff and Elizabeth and I will be there to enjoy it with her. 

 

 

 
   
 

 

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