Christmas Memories

 <a href=””><img src=”; title=”Christmas Giveaway 2007 Sweepstakes” alt=”Christmas Giveaway 2007 Sweepstakes” /></a>

Seeing this giveaway on brought back memories of the old firetruck pedal car we had when we were kids.  I wonder where it went?

Thinking back all those years reminds me of Thunderbolt the Wonder Horse, Sea Monkeys and Ant Farms, Candy Cigars and Cigarettes, MAD Magazine, CRACKED Magazine, Boys’ Life Magazine, Highlights Magazine with Gallant and Goofus, RatFink and all those great hot rods.  Our Christmas stockings usually contained fruit, nuts, a new toothbrush, and plenty of magazines, with maybe a few Hot Wheels cars for the boys and some small plastic animals for me.  

Mom always ordered food from Swiss Colony and Bachmann’s, sometimes from Harry & David.  She kept Christmas music playing and decorations everywhere.  As she brought out the ornaments for the tree, she retold the story of each one.  As we grew older, and the boys grew more aggressive, the stories changed a bit.  One ornament now held pieces of several others that the boys had broken while wrestling in the living room. Another ornament might have lost an appendage due to another ‘accident’ when the boys were up to mischief.  Even one of Mom’s favorite light fixtures fell prey to testosterone-driven interaction between my brothers and some of their friends.  Seems like we were constantly trying to cover up something we broke!  I learned, before I ever had children, that breakable items would not play a large role in my future.

Christmastime seemed rather magic at our house.  Mom tried to find the perfect gift for each of us and we tried to find the perfect gift for her.  One year we gathered up all our pennies and I rode my bicycle to Martin Boys’ Florist Shop.  I dumped all the change on the counter and asked what we could get for that amount of money. 🙂   Mr. Martin looked at all the change and smiled.  He reached over and said, “How about this?”  It seemed like the world’s largest poinsettia to me!  It was a bit of a struggle to get it home, but I somehow managed and Mom was thrilled.

Another year, I had about $25 for Mom’s present.  That was a LOT of money!  The boys stayed home, of course, while I rode my bike to downtown Vinita.  I went into McElwain’s Jewelry Store and looked over all the Fostoria.  My Mom loved Fostoria!  I picked out a Fostoria picher and was able to pay for it to be wrapped, too!   I was pretty proud of that purchase, what I hadn’t figured on was the difficulty in riding my bike and holding something so breakable.  I trudged along past North Park, headed out toward our home near the High School, trying to balance the picher and the hold up my bike at the same time.  I must have timed it just right because my Mom came driving up behind me (Or perhaps the good folks at McElwains’ had called her?) and asked if I’d like to put my bicycle in the trunk and get a ride home.  Absolutely!

There was a little hardship involved in giving.  It was a bit of a struggle, but it was always worth it.  I didn’t grumble and complain about the complications because I wanted to do something special for Mom.  Love works that way.  Now, when I find myself groaning over having to find a gift for someone, I realize that I’ve allowed myself to get away from WHY I’m giving.  We give because God gives.  He delights in it.  Of course, He DOES happen to know what the Most Perfect Gift is for everyone — and that makes it much easier. 😉

So, in preparing for Christmas — both in my heart and in my home — my goal will be to add some of that Most Perfect Gift (JESUS) to every gift we will give.  It’s a lot safer and wiser than risking those Black Friday crowds! 


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