A Christmas to Remember
It was a Christmas of many “firsts.” Our first holiday season together as husband and wife with Carl finally home from the Army. My first year of teaching school. And best of all, our first baby was due in three months.
Because of contract & discharge dates, neither the Army nor the school district would provide medical insurance to cover the birth of our baby. Knowing we would be completely responsible for all medical bills, we saved every penny possible from our small salaries, living in a sparsely furnished, one bedroom duplex. The only presents we bought for each other that year were winter coats, which were desperately needed. My coat would not reach around my protruding stomach and Carl still wore his old Army parka.
The only thing I missed was a Christmas tree. We just didn’t have enough money to purchase one. But knowing we would spend Christmas Eve at my parents’ house, who always had a huge, fragrant cedar with lots of decorations, made up for our lack of one. Meanwhile, I decorated the living room with cards from family and friends.
Then a couple of weeks before Christmas, Carl came home from his night class with a surprise. He excitedly pulled a box from a shopping bag—a three-foot silver Christmas tree—along with a package of blue bulbs and tinsel. A department store had put the items on clearance, practically giving them away. Carl snatched them up, knowing how much I missed having a tree.
He quickly put the little tree together. We decorated it and set it on a table in front of the window for all the world to see. I thought it was beautiful. Today, as I look back at old pictures, I see a scrawny, little tree with sparse branches. closeExcept for the precious few ornaments Carl purchased, it was completely bare. But on that Christmas, exactly fifty years ago, it was not really the little tree that I saw. It was my husband’s heart, doing everything he could to give his wife a Christmas to remember.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas!
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