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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Friday, December 23, 2005


The season was winter, nearing Christmas and the year was the mid-1940's, my family lived in a small rural house in the northeastern corner of the state of Mississippi – county of Itawamba. 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 Christmases and 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 seems 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 because of this we have the opportunity to be part of His family for eternity. ec


Blogger Bonita said...

You are fortunate to have remembered this (I cannot recall gifts), and if I were your Mom at the time you were taking that toy apart, I would have sat there spell-bound, so grateful my son wanted to know how things worked, and was willing to deconstruct a toy to find out. It is this trait that bodes well for the future, and you had it then. Making sense of the world, and coming to appreciate it. Nice post, beautifully written. (And, I hope you have a very memorable Christmas and New Year.)

12/23/2005 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger thebeloved said...

It reminds me of the first Christmas after me and my siblings got a paper route. I was about 13 and we had never really bought Christmas presents for each other or for our parents apart from helping our parents. Without our parents knowledge, we save our whole paycheck for months. We had no idea what we could get with how much money and wanted to make sure that we could get something nice. The most exciting part of all of this was that my parents had no idea what we were doing. When we finally went to the store, we knew what we wanted, if we could get it. We had been making lists of things my parents had mentioned maybe liking or wanting or things they thought were neat. We ended up getting so much stuff. We spent probably almost 500 dollars. That was an unheard of amount of money to us. We got my mom her favorite perfume and my dad a cordless power drill he had wanted for ages. On top of these we got a random assortment of other things. We put them under the tree Christmas morning after hiding them in my bedroom for weeks. That still remains my favorite Christmas. I loved seeing the surprise on my parents' faces and their joy that we had picked perfect things. They were overwhelmed and it was so exciting.

12/23/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bonita - That curiosity is still there, though directed in better ways - most of the time. At least I can usually get things put back together.

thebeloved - Now that was finding out about the real joy of Christmas, the giving part. I had a paper route from age 12 until high school graduation. It taught me a lot of things about human nature - and a few of them were actually good. :) ec

12/23/2005 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Eddie, good post, the new photo on my site is of me aged three & a half
the trike and "Jesty doll" were Christmas gifts that year, I don't recall any other dolls (fortuneately) but I've been assured that Jesty was a favourite!!!

12/24/2005 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger Jayleigh said...

I love Christmas stories of "yesteryear." Back before Wal-Mart and Target and Sears seem to dictate what Christmas is- or isn't.

I remember the year that my twin sis and I saved up all our money to buy our brother an "Incredible Hulk" green plastic piggy bank. He loved it and had it until a few years ago. ;-)

12/24/2005 12:09:00 PM  

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