It is getting to be the Christmas season. Usually this is the time I am having fun making something for my family. Several years ago it was flannel PJ’s for 39 people. Last year it was towel sets. Before that dresses, vest etc were all part of my Christmas fun.

This year I am laid up with surgery. No sewing. A bit depressed not being able to make candy, bake etc. I am working with one hand not usable at all and one hand only partially there.

Yesterday I began to think  about Christmases past. AND I mean past. Many years ago when I was a kid.

First I need to paint a picture for you.  We were never told that there was a Santa. I always knew that what happened at Christmas was my mom and dad planning a special secret. I knew we were poor and did not have much and what they did was a sacrifice.  But they always made it fun and something to look forward too.  We were not threatened that ‘santa” would not bring something if we were bad etc. Santa was just a joke, funny man in red suit that some kids thought was real. We never told them the truth, but had fun laughing between us about it and how some parents manipulated their kids.

As I said, we were poor. My parents also did missionary printing when I was a little older and turned our living room into a print shop. There were eventually 8 kids in a 3 bedroom home. Us 5 girls in one room and the 3 boys in another. Us girls had a large closet and the wall of the closet backed the shelves in the print shop.  Remember this…I will get back to it.

Before we moved to that home I can remember one Christmas when we lived in Florida. My brother and I each got one of those peddle cars. The (now antique) metal cars you could sit in and drive around. We were pretty hot stuff in those beauties at 3 and 4 yrs old!

Another year I could not sleep. We were in an upstairs bedroom in that house. Shadows on the wall, parents sneaking about all got to me and I wandered down to take a sneak peek.

Mom heard me and as I walked in the room I saw her foot pushing things under the couch and making up some excuse about the shadows I saw!

Then there was the Christmas in the house I described. I have many memories of those years, but will only share two.

We were a bit of brats at times and one year decided to have our fun.  We went inside the closet in us girls room and slowly made a hole through the wall into the print shop. My parents often worked late into the night and the director of a Missionary Organization was often over at the house trying to help get their printing out. This Christmas eve was one of those times. With the noise of the presses going and them talking our noise was not heard. We finally got the hole big enough to shoot paper airplanes out of it. Fooled them as they did not know where they were coming from!

The Director finally left and we were quietly peeking out the hole, waiting to see what was being drug out to put under the tree! Sure enough, things started coming through, but we could see little of it, however it was fun looking and snooping!

Another Christmas that has fond memories was the year my mom was pregnant with my 3rd sister. She was sick that year and dad went and did the shopping. Christmas morning I got up to a doll. I was 12 and did not play with dolls any more. However, it came from dad’s heart and was so precious to me. He loved to hear me play the flute and had found a music book that was all Christmas songs and hymns. That too was a precious item.  I think that was my best Christmas ever though it was not what I would have picked out. Dad did it. Not much money. Not much shopping for kids on his own experience, but all was from his heart and his time.

Christmases past, what memories. Simple. No big ticket items. Little money. Lots of love and joy. We were thankful.

Now, here I am. Older, a grandmother, step grandmother and find myself hoping and praying my kids and grandkids have those simple memories. Gifts from the heart.

Most of all, I hope and pray that the true meaning of Christmas is in everyone reading this.  Don’t let this month keep you from the REAL SPIRIT of the season. Thank God every day for HIS wonderful gift to us.