Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas (04/25/05)
TITLE: Hope Faith and Charity
By Debra Bowers
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As I looked at the bald tin foil tree, empty of anything new underneath, my Mother’s voice called out from the kitchen, “Happy Baby Jesus’ Birthday!” Joining my two brothers and sister at the kitchen table and getting a hug from Mamma, I was surprised to see real food on the table. Since Daddy hadn’t been working, our diet mainly consisted of corn meal mush, cereal and oranges off a neighbor’s tree. How happy it made me to see scrambled eggs and hot dogs sitting before me! I remember thinking at that time, “See, there is a Santa Clause”. “He just brought food this year instead of presents”.
A knock at the door and there stood our neighbor Naomi, with a huge tin foiled covered pan. “Thank you so much for letting me use your oven, she said”. “I don’t know what I would have done, with all the people I have coming over today”. My Mother took the heavy pan from her and placed it in our already hot oven. “No problem Hun, we weren’t planning on using ours today anyways”. Daddy-o grumbled something under his breath and Mamma replied, “She has no idea the problems we are having. “Be nice now”, (a favorite saying of hers,), “It’s Christmas”.
After our morning prayer in the living room, it was time to open the two presents each under the tree. I didn’t think anything about them wrapped in funny papers or tied with crochet yarn instead of pretty ribbon. I was just thrilled to find a Sleeping Beauty coloring book and a box with two rows of crayons in mine! The bride doll with a real plastic pearl necklace and bracelet was what I had asked Santa for, but Mamma said these things were from God?
Later in life, I understood what she meant by saying “These things are from God”. “He gives us presents all year long and always hears our prayers and wishes”. Even then, my young heart felt happiness and comfort in her words, but I didn’t know why. “His gifts come in different forms and never get old or broken, she would say”. There is an old Jewish saying: “God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers”. Now I know, one of Gods dearest gifts to me was having her in my life all year long!
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