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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, July 07, 2005


The season was winter and the time was the mid-1940's, my family lived in a small rural house in the northeastern corner of the state of Mississippi. We received a package in the mail from my uncle in the Army that caused great wonderment in my mind and is my first remembrance of Christmas being different from other days of the year.

This package may have contained other items, but I only recall three: A steel cased AM radio, army olive drab in color, an army blanket (which I still have) and a box of candy.

This box was populated by several kinds of confections, but the only one I remember was candy corn - this was the first time I had seen, tasted or even heard of this wonderful, multi-colored tidbit. My relationship with candy corn has dimmed somewhat over the years, due to other candies passing through my life and the calorie concerns of the present, but I still remember the feeling.

The first gift I remember receiving personally was a rubber car with wheels that actually rolled, must have been the Christmas of 1947, and it came to me from my first grade teacher. That car and I traveled many feet of self-made dirt toads together.

The next Christmas we had moved to Cleveland Tennessee and I remember receiving a wind-up toy bulldozer. It didn't last long because I was so fascinated by it's movement that I took it apart to see what made it go, and couldn't get it back together. This much to the frustration of my older brother, since it was his hard earned money that made the purchase.

Memory fails to identify many gifts after that and I just remember the excitement and happiness of the season. Somewhere over the years the concept of giving started overriding the receiving part and the most important part of receiving became the inner joy received when causing someone else happiness.

These joys increased after having children of my own, and seem to be even greater with grandchildren.

Thanks be to God who supplied the greatest gift of all, forgiveness through the birth, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus and the opportunity to be part of His family for eternity.


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