It has been one of the greatest years of our business. Maybe not in the total dollars in sales, but in my buying and selling department. We don’t have a lot of product left over and that’s a good thing. Most of the travelling shows were great and and the sales in the shop have been good. So if you’re having a bad year, you don’t want me to go on and on about this wonderful year that I am having.
The truth is: What may seem like a great year at the time, pales in comparison to the lessons we learn during hard times. Sometimes it’s emotional and sometimes it’s financial hard times. Most of the time they go hand in hand. My mind takes me back to the picture you see posted of me and a doll house I had won. In all truthfulness, I don’t think I really won it at all. I think the man just chose our family to win it.
Sometimes in life, you don’t even know it, but maybe you are called a “needy” family. You know the ones that you give turkeys and hams to. The ones that receive your hand me downs and are glad to get them. The ones that people know you’ve fallen on hard times, and you as a child, don’t even know it.
The little girl in the picture is me. I would have been 8 years old. The reason this picture is so special to me is the story behind it.
My mother and father tried so hard to give us a good Christmas. Sometimes, my dad would work 3 different jobs in order to give us a Christmas. (He played a Santa for a department store and he was a really “bad” one I’m sure many people said.”) There were five of us and this Christmas my family had a baby added to the mix. She was a lovely red-headed little baby that had been oh so sick for the first three and half months of her life.–In and out of the hospital for pneumonia and many different sicknesses.
We, meaning my other 4 siblings, had no idea that mom and dad had not been able to buy any Christmas presents for us. They were planning on filling our stockings with apples and oranges and a few candies. That was quite normal for our stockings. It would have been a little out of the norm not to have at least one Christmas gift.
As the days went by in December, my parents were so worried about what they would have for us on Christmas Day. No money for dolls was available to buy us older girls. My grandmother had sent some money and mom and dad were going to use it to buy a turkey.
My baby sister needed so much medicine so mom and dad were in and out of the pharmacy all the time. There was a drawing for a doll house going on at the pharmacy, so every time my parents went to buy medicine, they entered the contest. It was such a beautiful doll house I thought. The big doll was jointed so that you could pose this doll. I had never known something like that was even created. The other dolls adorable little children’s dolls.
I remember on Christmas Eve that year my father and mom didn’t seem their normal self. Mom cried a lot and dad was very quiet. We were oblivious to anything else other than our time outside during this normally cold season. Without knowing why, my father came outside and said, “Debbie, get in the car, we are going somewhere.” It was highly unusual for my father to ever want to take me anywhere. But, I obeyed, hoping that I was not in trouble for something or anything like that.
As we drove into the parking lot of the pharmacy, I’m sure I didn’t anticipate what was about to happen. I’m sure I thought we were going to pick up more medicine. I noticed my father’s mood had changed to an almost giddy behavior. (Which was NEVER my father’s norm.)
As we walked into the store, I saw the pharmacist with the biggest smile on his face that I had ever seen. I truly was in disbelief as he told me that I had won the doll house. There was just one stipulation: The big, jointed doll was mine. The other two dolls went to my other sisters. That was great by me. –Never had a jointed doll before.– But, I was not to tell the girls where the dolls came from.
I don’t remember who it was that told them later down the road where those dolls came from. It was probably that they realized from my parents telling the story of this “Christmas Miracle” that happened to us when we were young children. But, I did see a small tear in my father’s eye every time he told the story.
Most of our Christmases after that, were a lot like that one in that we got one special gift, and the rest were “apples, oranges and chocolate bon bons.” And that was just fine with all of us because we thought that was the way Christmas was supposed to be.
And isn’t that the way Christmas is supposed to be? One special gift to mankind. The Lord Jesus Christ to be accepted by all if you really celebrate Christmas. Without Christ – it’s only a holiday.
As I celebrate Christmas this year, I’m thankful for the true meaning of the season for it is why I can celebrate family and friends–Customers like you. And yes – Small Christmas Miracles.
I love you all and am thankful for the Lord bringing you into my life.