Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas

I was reading an article in the December Ensign about how a pair of sisters plotted together and a family of 13 to their Christmas Dinner and then surprising the children with a box of hand-me-down clothes and shoes. As this was Canada and the winter months, and those kids hand only straw and sackcloth for their feet, these girls were an answer to prayers.

Now trying to reach back into the depths of my mind for Christmas memories, I can really only recall 3 Christmas's from before I was married. I found this saddening. Only three.

My first, I believe I was turning 12, was in 6th grade, and my parents were going through a divorce. Mom came home one morning from working a night shift and found a HUGE Christmas decorated plastic bag in the car port. Not a nice looking garbage bag but the "only available during the holidays because they are HUGE" bags. I was awake and greeted mom as she came through the door. "I think you father left this morning forgetting to bring something in." She rolled her eye as my dad tended to do this from time to time. She drug it inside and we opened it. It was filled with wrapped Christmas boxes! Each had a name on it or who the gift was intended and nothing else. Sad as may be we knew they were not from dad because there were gifts for my mom and not him. We cried. It was not long before this happened that mom told us Christmas was going to be very lean this year. And now Our Christmas tree was overflowing with gifts from an anonymous Santa. (Thank you Joyce and Diane, as we know it was you two who gave THREE families a Christmas that year.)

The one after that was when all I asked for Christmas was a stereo and when we all went to go open boxes there was only a small hand held box for me. But great was my surprise when it held a note and a car key for me to go retrieve my gift from the car trunk.

And lastly, my first semester of college. I was attending BYU-Idaho and was in Brother Grants English 111 class. We were a class of about 18 and worked together really well. As a project we were to break up into groups of about 6 and perform a Christmas service project. We decided to get the name and ages of a family from a local ward who was in need for the holidays. We raised money by going door to door and contributing our own funds. The family consisted of a mom and dad, and 5 kids. We divided the money and went shopping for them. We got a grocery store gift card for the parents plus a small side gift and toys for the kids. We drove to their trailer home to drop everything off. As we took armfuls of things in we looked at a family picture and realized there was one more kid in the picture then what we shopped for! one of the boys had a TWIN BROTHER we didn't know about. We took what was left of the money ran back to Walmart and bough toys for him, taking them back to the house with the excuse "we forgot a box."

Then we had another family who we were to drop a box of food of to and run for it. We drove to the trailer park, park a few houses down from the intended target and grouped a few yards from the house. As two people took the box to the door step , rang the door bell and RAN for it. Now mind you Rexburg, Idaho, winter, ice, oh it was funny. We all hid, and as a little boy answered the door, looked around and spotting the box of food, looked at it ran to the door and shouted inside, "Mommy we have food!" How that tug at our hearts. We had so much fun and were happy beyond anything we knew that we helped these families.

I want to start a family tradition of sorts that will help our family every year the true meaning for Christmas. Anyone have any ideas?

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....