The Christmas Season is my favorite time of year. It has been so since I was a child. I recall Christmases in Chicago where we had a massive Christmas Tree and many presents. Mom and Dad were still together…and all seemed right with the world. There was Laughing Santa!
Then, there was Christmas when it was just Mom and me in Eldorado, Illinois. Money was short and wishes were long. One or two small gifts were all that were available carefully placed under an aluminum christmas tree. Yes, aluminum christmas trees were popular in the 60’s.
Christmas in Elkville, Illinois with my sweet wife Mary Jane and our wonderful sons; Aaron and Jonathon…both small and full of holiday wonder. It was tremendous!
Christmas, now, in Carbondale still presents Aaron and Jonathon full of holiday delight and their Dad full of wonder and Mom full of Holiday surprises. Now I ponder the precious gift of life and love and family and friends.
I visited a friend of mine yesterday…that I have know for over forty-five years. What a delightful person…and I was transported back to our younger days. I remember this great lady’s kindness to me…inviting me to supper with her and her sons…when she really did not have enough for them.
Who do you know who needs a little encouragement? Who do you know who is down their luck…or that is lonely…or is battling illness…or who has lost a loved one?
In the famous short story by O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi, originally published December 10, 1905, we read of Mr. James Gillingham Young and his wife Della.
Jim and Della, ‘have only two possessions between them in which they take pride. Della’s beautiful long, flowing hair, almost touching to her knees, and Jim’s shiny gold watch, which had belonged to his father and grandfather. On Christmas Eve, with only $1.87 in hand, and desperate to find a gift for Jim, Della sells her hair for $20.00 to a nearby hairdresser named Madame Sofronie, and eventually finds a platinum pocket watch fob chain for Jim’s watch for $21.00. Satisfied with the perfect gift for Jim, Della runs home and begins to prepare pork chops for dinner. At 7:00 o’clock, Della sits at a table near the door, waiting for Jim to come home. Jim comes home and immediately stops short at the sight of Della, who had previously prayed that she was still pretty to Jim. Della then admits to Jim that she sold her hair to buy him his present. Jim then gives Della her present — an assortment of expensive hair accessories (referred to as ‘The Combs’), useless now that her hair is short. Della then shows Jim the chain she bought for him, to which Jim says that he sold the watch to buy her combs. Although Jim and Della are now left with gifts that neither one can use, they realize how far they are willing to go to show their love for each other, and how precious their love is,’ according to Wikipedia.