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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas (04/25/05)

TITLE: Hope Faith and Charity
By Debra Bowers


The linoleum was colder then usual this morning, as I walked down the hall in my bare feet. Dragging a blanket to big for a six year old, more on the floor then around my shoulders, I finally made it to the living room. Had Santa Clause come? Or was my big sister Cheri right about him not being real. When she told me about a pile of white sparkly stands in our back yard being angel hair that had fallen from heaven, I believed her. Boy was she wrong about that! It took a lot of days to heal from all the itches and scratches a kid gets when jumping into a pile of fiberglass the way we did. Maybe, hopefully, she was wrong this time too?

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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Member Comments
Member Date
donna robinson05/02/05
What a sweet story and it was told with such a heart that you felt you were there with them. I think these humble beginnings so much sweeter when looked at years later. What you captured indeed was hope faith and charity.
Michelle Sabrosky05/02/05
I can relate with your story, to me it is a blessing to have been in a situation where, as a child I could appriciate the small things, like the easle and play oven, and "guitar" my dad made from scrap wood and cheap paint (and fishing line). Christ is Love, and love should be the only focus on Christmas, not quantity.
Shirley Thomas05/07/05
I really enjoyed your story. Hope, faith and charity is seen in your write. And that truly is the message of Christmas.