I'm sure everyone has a favorite Christmas memory. I have so many, it would take far more than one blog post to write about them. But, there are some that stand out over the others. I'm sure everyone has those type of Christmas memories. I know one friend of mine told me that he and his two sisters were facing a Christmas without anything. Nothing. Mike (my friend) said they were all between the ages of 7 and 11 years of age. My friend was 9 years of age. Mike's father left them all two years prior. His mother was working 3 jobs during the week to help support them. Come Christmas Eve, there was no Christmas tree, no gifts, no nothing. In fact, they were going to a neighbor's house for Christmas dinner since his mother could not afford the traditional ham, turkey, dressing and so forth. Mike said he remembered his youngest sister asking his mother if Santa knew they had been good boys and girls during the year. His mother was too choked up to respond. They went to the neighbor's house for dinner at about noon on Christmas. All of them were very sad as you can imagine. As Mike and his sisters walked into the living room of their neighbor, there were bicycles, dolls, BB guns, girls play-sets with the names of Mike and his sisters. The neighbor had taken money from her savings to help fund their Christmas. Mike said he never forgot that neighbor and always visited her on Christmas until the day she passed away back in 1997.
My favorite Christmas is similar in many respects. My mother had separated from my father. It was me, a brother and my sister. We weren't quite as bad off as Mike was in the story above. But, each day was a struggle to put food on the table. Mama had already warned us not to expect much from Santa. We were children. None of us could believe that Santa would not bring us gifts on Christmas. During those years, we went to school all the way up to December 23rd. Mama told us to come straight home that we were going to grandma's place for dinner. Mama simply had given out of money to buy food. Things were grim. As I made my way home, I noticed my father's red and white Oldsmobile 88 Cutless in the driveway! At least, my father would be here for Christmas. As I came in past the door, there were wrapped gifts, a Christmas tree, cookies, candy, and more Christmas food than I had ever seen in my life. Just as good was getting a hug from my father. It's the Christmas that I think of today as I see more and more families destitute during these days of the "Obama Economic Recovery." If you are able, please consider giving to the Salvation Army to help families during this Christmas. There are so many little faces that will be sad on Christmas morning if you don't.
***I wish to express my heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. This will be the worst possible Christmas for those families as they must try to carry on this Christmas without 20 little angels and 6 brave adults. God Bless them and aid them during this time.