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