The Two Dollar Christmas Gift


I was commenting on a dear friend’s post tonight and suddenly a few happy tears fell. Remembering Christmas‘s long ago when children squealed with delight. Hands clapping wildly and smiles from ear to ear.

We learned about baby Jesus in Sunday School but if I am honest, it was more exciting to wake up on Christmas morning. Mom and Dad were the best Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause all around. We didn’t get hoards of gifts but what we got is exactly what we told Santa we wanted.

Each Christmas was like that until the year I got married. When Christmas morning came there was no one to celebrate it with first thing in the morning. Although I had my husband, it was different.

I still could not wait to go to Mom and Dad’s on Christmas Eve. Every year it remained the same at my parents. Christmas Eve was an unspoken saved time where we knew we were going there for dinner, treats, and gifts.

Spending the time with my entire family back in those days was a true joy. What a gift it would be today if I could have a peek and relive just one of those wonderful years. Both of my parents are deceased. My half-sister has pretty much disowned me. So it is definitely not the same now, but I do celebrate with my children and grandchildren.

New traditions to try out and add to many years to come. New memories are added but deep, deep within my heart is that little void and those silent tears for what once was.

My Dad had a little thing he would do for us three kids every year. He would wait until all the gifts were opened and then he would rise from his chair look at me and smile and slowly walk a way going to  his bedroom.

When he returned he would have three brown paper lunch bag sacks. In each sack was a giant Hershey chocolate candy bar and a two liter bottle of coke. He would grin from ear to ear as he handed it to me.

My dad got a big kick out of Christmas. Of the entire year, this was the only time he truly enjoyed shopping. He didn’t care or he didn’t voice it what he got in return. I remember I used to buy him long john underwear a lot. Dad worked for the County Highway. He drove a truck and during the winter plowing, sometimes he would get stuck outside more than inside the truck.

But for me, I will be thinking this year about Christmas. It will only be Al and me sitting here, but my thoughts will be looking up to heaven and seeing Dad smiling down at me holding that brown paper lunch bag sack. He will be handing me my chocolate bar and coke. But this time I will not just say thank-you Daddy. I will jump up and wrap my arms around him so tight and squeeze him crying out how much I miss him and how much I still love him.

My Daddy, my hero of my world died six years ago Dec.1. I love you Daddy. I can’t wait to see you again. We will share that candy bar and that big coke. Hugs, your daughter, Terry.

This is my Daddy when I was caring for him while he was dying from Leukemia and Myaloma. I am the blonde next to him with my head tilted.

dad, bev, me and theda

The Gift That Almost Wasn’t


Every time little Billy went to town with his  Mommy he stopped in front of the toy store and watched the little train going round and round on the track. A big black engine with plenty of shiny silver on it. Four cars followed it in colors of red, green, blue and gold.

Mommy always tugged at his arm to follow him but he fought it, wanting to stay one more minute to watch. He heard the familiar words of how she wished she could tell Santa to bring it to him on Christmas morning but Santa had too many other children to visit and she wasn’t sure he would be stopping at their house this year.

Mommy had lost Daddy. He had worked in the mines. One day there was a terrible accident and Mommy told Billy that God needed Daddy so he wouldn’t be coming back home.

Life had been different since Daddy was gone. The three of them used to hold hands and pray before they ate their meals but ever since the one chair sat empty, Billy ate in front of the television and Mommy stayed in her private room.

If Billy stopped chewing he could hear his Mommy crying. She sure must miss him. Mommy sometimes went to other ladies houses and came home all dirty and tired. She would walk in the door and barely smile at Billy before she went to her room.

Soon he would hear the tub filling up with water. Mommy would come out later and give him a hug and then go to the kitchen and find him something to eat for supper. They used to have grand meals.

Just sitting here thinking about it made his mouth water. Nice big pieces of meat with lots of fluffy white mashed potatoes. Now a lot of the times she brought him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When things were good he got milk to drink. Most of the time though it was water.

One time a knock came at the door. It was the neighbor. A kind looking lady who asked Mommy if she could take him to church with her this coming Sunday. Mommy said yes and from that day on Billy went to church.

Billy began to open up to his new Sunday family. He made new friends in his Sunday School class. The day before Christmas his Sunday School teacher gave him a white sack. When he opened it there was an orange and lots of chocolate pieces of candy.

That night as we was watching TV Mommy walked out and sat beside him on the couch. She put her arms around him and she started crying. He stopped eating and listened to her as she explained why she wished with all her heart that she could have gifts under the tree for him, but she just couldn’t do it.

He rubbed his Mommy’s hand and told her it was alright, that he didn’t mind. She stood up and went back to her room. He finished eating and watched TV until time to go to bed. After he went to bed she came out to the kitchen and made herself some coffee.

There was a knock at the door. When she opened it her neighbor and their friends from church were standing there with wrapped gifts. Mommy started to cry as she let them in and they quietly placed the gifts under the tree.

As the last person placed his gift Mommy went to him and gave him the biggest hug she could muster. They each hugged and said good-bye. Mommy got her coffee and went to bed smiling.

The next morning Billy got up and went out to the living room to turn the TV on. His eyes became big as saucers as he noticed the shiny packages under the tree. But the biggest surprise ever was the little train going round and round with the big black engine with the four cars following it.

train

WordPress Family Award


http://craigmotor.wordpress.com

http://lorischulz.wordpress.com

Cathy and Lori have both nominated me for the WordPress Family Blog Awardwordpress-family-award

I have followed Cathy for so long. I think ever since I started WP. I love reading her blog. She is not afraid to voice her thoughts. She is a strong woman and I am  proud to call her my friend.

Here is some information on Lori. She is just a terrific lady.

Lori Schulz has a Bachelor of Science in Christian Ministry and Biblical Studies from Grace University where she was given the Delta Epsilon Chi award.  She has been involved in children’s ministry for several years.  Her involvement has included leading children’s worship, leading a Sparks group for AWANA, leading a children’s choir, teaching Sunday school, and leading a Good News Club.  She has been heard speaking at a fundraiser banquet, Good News Club training seminars, Christian elementary school chapels, and on her local Christian talk radio station.  She is also the author of the children’s book, “Papa’s Plan for Buddy Bee.”  Besides ministering to children, Lori enjoys spending time with her family.  She and her husband have three children.

When I read about her it makes me think that she is from my area. I recognize Grace, and Awana an the Good News Club. Makes me wonder, has she always been so close to where I live???

When I started writing for WP, I never knew there were awards. I was just nervous enough wondering if one person would read one of my post. God has led me into a perfect family of friends here at WP.

I have been writing for this blog a year this past March. I know that I have so much room to grow and learn. I can never stop learning. I would become boring even to myself. But one thing I will never change is the fact that people need people.

We love, we play, we hurt, we cry. Life isn’t fair, some have it all without effort. Others work a life time and have little. Some of us have visible challenges, and others have challenges you will know from being a friend.

Some are healthy as horses, and some have terrible sickness. Some face death daily and others never flaunt the word. I just know that I want to, no I have to be a servant of God. I know that for me, he has chosen me to help others when I can. One of the ways I can help, is by writing.

In return many have become very close friends, others have been angels sent to be with me at troubling times. Others can make me laugh when the skies are gray. Then there are the ones who teach me cultural differences, cooking preferences.

In my year and few months I have had

1465 followers

102,037 visitors

33,188 comments

I am not afraid to brag and say that I have the best darn friends in the whole wide world. So everyone clap your hands and give a hoop hoop holler to WordPress. Thanks both of you fine ladies, Cathy and Lori!