The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Christmas Story series: Part One, Childhood memory


December 5, 2018

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Mountaineer will be running a series of Christmas stories this season. Keeping the Spirit of Christmas alive for all of us.

When people tell you their memories about Christmas, it's seldom about the gifts, unless there is a much larger meaning to the present.

It was a difficult financial year and with four children all wanting a variety of toys, the parents tried to think of way to make Christmas special. The children knew they didn't have any money, so the toys they asked for were cheaper. What they really wanted was a Miniature Dachshund puppy the neighbors had, but understood the cost of the puppy was way too expensive, so they were ok with just going over to the house and playing with all the puppies.

When the time came the father took his four children down to Woolworths to buy a present for their mother. They all had to agree, because they could only buy one present for her from all of them. They walked all over the store finding all kinds of things to buy for their mother, until the dad said excitedly, "I know! Your mom was just telling me the other day she wanted a basket to put her laundry in. After she sprinkles the clothes, she needs a basket to put the damp clothes in to wait until she can iron them." So, they all marched over to the baskets to try to find one that would work for their mother when the father pointed out the exact basket his wife would want. But the children weren't convinced, "That's a dog bed dad!" "Oh, I know, but think about it, your mom would love it. She can put her hand right in here," pointing at the dip in the basket where a dog enters, "pull out exactly what she wants without disturbing the rest of the clothes." The father was so excited about the choice he convinced the kids it was the best present to give their mother. He said he would wrap the basket after the kids went to bed.

The next morning, of course the Miniature Dachshund puppy was laying in the basket under the tree. It was the only present that year, but it didn't matter. To this day the puppy is always considered one of the best presents they ever received. The best Christmas in their memories. They named the puppy Chris, for Christmas.

It was Christmas 1930. They were still living with her grandparents. The grandparents that had homesteaded the farm.

So, there were six people living in the smaller house. Her brother was six years old and missing his two front teeth. She was four years old. Her grandfather had found two

front teeth belonging to a horse in the corral, washed them up, and hung them on the tree as a gift to her brother. She remembers she thought it was really funny, but her brother didn't. She doesn't remember anything else about that Christmas.

Another woman remembers a Christmas when the whole family got together, including every cousin. It was so much fun spending two days together. When I asked what made it so special she just said, "Well, we've never been all together since." It wasn't about gifts, or trees, or special music. It was about relationships. Relationships she missed having today.

The most incredible Christmas for me was the Christmas after my mother had died. She died of cancer in late November and I was dreading Christmas that year. I have always loved the season-everything about the celebration, but was so sad as Christmas approached. I carried out all the traditional activities, but there was no excitement. Until Christmas Eve, when miraculously while reading the biblical scripture Christmas's real meaning blew me away. I realized my mother was alive, in heaven, and I would see her again due to the birth of Jesus. That Christmas was the best Christmas I have ever had.


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