Today I post a story – a story written not by me – but by a friend.
A special friend and a special story for all.
The story takes place years ago –
in the memory of a little girl
Her mother – and siblings
” A CHRISTMAS STORY”
One of my favorite Childhood Memories of Christmas was the year we couldn’t afford a tree. I don’t recall who had the idea, but it was decided that we would put nails in the wall in the shape of a tree & string lights on them and that would be our tree that year.
We lived in an apartment at the time, and our neighbors were very confused about all the banging! To my childhood self, that tree was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I grew up very poor. After my dad moved to another state with his new family, it was just me, Mom & my brothers.
Mom worked hard, often at multiple jobs, and we cleaned offices as a family in the evenings to make ends meet. In spite of this we still sometimes needed housing assistance & church pantry meals to get through.
We lived on generic everything, Dry Milk, Ramen & loads of pasta & potatoes. I am honestly so grateful for all of it. I never look back on my childhood Christmases & think “I wish we had more”.
Because even in the years when there was enough money for gifts, I couldn’t tell you what I received. What I do remember is the look on my mom & my brother’s faces putting up nails for the tree on the wall and the faith that our family would have Christmas no matter what.
We were the freakin’ Who’s down in Whoville. If all we did was play board-games & color & eat spaghetti it would still be Christmas, and it would probably be more memorable.
Maybe that’s why I’m not super traditional about Christmas, making do with what you can find forces a person to be flexible.
🎄I remember the blue stuffed dog I got from Toys 4 Tots he was my favorite for a really long time 🎄I remember the 4 of us lying on our bellies coloring in the living room waiting up to see if Santa would come. 🎄I remember the years we were each allowed to pick out our favorite cereal, even if it had Sugar in the first 5 ingredients 🎄I remember the mornings that we found a box on the porch with a turkey breast & a bag of potatoes so we could have a real dinner. 🎄I remember my brother and I removing the labels from the tuna cans & rolling them across the floor to each other 🎄I remember Mom was not amused the year the “Santa box” had both tuna & cat food cans 🤣
The year we had the wall tree, some friends from our church showed up a few days before Christmas with a real tree & a stand for us. They helped us set it up & decorate & we cried happy grateful tears.
If you ask me though, the real tree was never as beautiful as the lights on our “tree” on that wall.
I guess what I’m trying to say is if you’re struggling financially this year, know that your kids will be ok. Real magic never comes from things. The real magic in life comes from the unlikeliest of places.
The places where we struggle, stumble, fall on our faces, learn which friends will help us to rise, and discover the person we have become as we climb back to our feet.
Happy Holidays my friends, whatever holidays you choose to celebrate may this season fill your heart with real magic