Christmas Lost, Christmas Found

At the age of 8 is when I started disliking Christmas. Mom and Dad were newly divorced but I was too young to understand it. Dad just kind of wasn't there any more and mom was working 2 1/2 jobs keeping us together. One was working for CE Anderson on a metal press and loading boxcars, then she would head to Younkers working retail, on the weekends she waitressed for my Uncle Ray. My brother Phil was serving in the Army and my brother Joe eased the load by living with our Great Aunt Helen. Mom kept me and my little brother Dave, possibly the worst of the bunch. It was a Christmas of clothes pin decorations an popcorn strings to decorate the little tree in our apartment. I was torn between the day time laughter and excitement of my 5 year old brother and tear filled nights of mom tryin to make Christmas and our lives better. Not getting an allowance meant not being able to get mom a present so I asked my teacher what I could do. She kept me after school, brought over some wall paper with pictures of antique cars and had me cut out 2 of my favorites. Next she handed me 2 Ball Dome canning lids and had me paste the pictures in them she then joined them together with a bright shiny red ribbon and helped me wrap them. Christmas morning mom started crying the moment she unwrapped them and immediately hung them on the wall. They hung on the wall somewhere in her home until she died. I now possess them and will pass them down when I go, they are the most priceless item I will leave behind. It took a lot of years to regain the Christmas spirit, marriage and children helped with that and now, as Chris has reminded me, the future may hold grandchildren to spoil ( I'm much too young for that😉) I share this story with you my friends and family as this episode in my life serves as a reminder that the greatest gifts of Christmas will never be under the tree but from all the love that surrounds it. Bless you all, thanks and hope you had a Merry Christmas, I know we did.

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