Christmas 02: My Christmas Story

Perhaps this is way to simple to be called a story, it may be an event a happening, a moment in time, something to treasure in my book of memories, but I decided to tell this as a cherished Christmas story because it happened to me. [Delete]

The year had not been a particularly good one and if I mentioned divorce that would fill in all the necessary questions, possibly the answers as well, lets say I found myself single, not of my choice and with the responsibility of the task of finishing the raising the last two of my four daughters. [punctuation; sentence structure]

The Christmas season was approaching and since this was my first without a real strong financial support besides myself things were looking pretty gloomy. Even though I was working two jobs I really did not have the means or the nature to have a lot of Christmas spirit. The girls and I had moved into a very small home in a kinda medium neighborhood, not fancy, but workable. The kids were both in very early teens and did not say to much about how things were, they just knew it was a rough time.

One particular night I had an occasion to go to a church house for Relief Society board meeting. I was picked up by the President and left my daughter Angie at home with her friend Jeff, our Bishop’s son.

Those two had adventure written all over them and mostly during that period of time in their lives it was watching scary movies, making munchies, eating an incredible amount of sunflower seeds and just hanging out. I had left without any particular chores left to be done just that I would be back in an hour or so.

Like all women that I know, I took the opportunity to visit while going to my meeting and as I recall, had even talked about the lack of Christmas Spirit being a part of my home that year. I had always decorated a Christmas tree and we had never went without. However some years were better than others. There was always something under the tree. This was really not a test year to see how we were going to do as a family, just a year when I did not have a lot of hope or warm fuzzies about the meaning of the Christmas Season and what it meant for me. [Show, don’t tell.]

Anyho as my daughter Angie like to say, I was chatting and feeling down as we drove home from the meeting and knowing my house was around the corner I looked ahead as we turned down the street to a sight that to this day brings tears to my eyes when I recall the next precious moments where like I said, time stood still.

Ablaze in all of the possible glory that could be had, one house on our block was newly decorated with multi colored Christmas lites outlining the roof. There was no Santa or dancing reindeer, Angels were not singing in a heavenly choir, just a beautiful simple strand of lights declaring to the world that Christmas was coming.

A hush fell over me as I marveled at the sight. My tears freely flowed trying to exclaim to my driver, joy of joys, wonder of wonders, that it was my house that was decorated. There was more excitement that I could express that night when I realized it was the two kids I had left watching movies who had dug out our Christmas lights, climbed up on the roof and stung them along the edge. How they every did it without ladders and in the dark of night I will never know.

They gave to me that night the knowledge and hope that life goes on even during trials and tribulations. It was a message of the Christmas Spirit. Giving of ones self and time not necessarily material things but something else that can make a huge difference. It brought peace and comfort and assurance that life does go on.

Like the Babe in the Manger whose love brought awareness to the world, this also gave to me the knowledge that I was loved and someone cared enough to do a simple gift for me. I began traditions that I have loved and kept every Christmas since, Some decorations simple as they might be, and putting Christmas lights on the “outside”of my home. Finding homes and places that display the lights all season long. Listening to music that portrays the feelings of our Savior’s great love, and ours for him. Singing along when possible and enjoying the songs which tell of hope and the happiness that can be found.

Christmas had become a joy and not a burden to me.

Technically, you need to be more careful with your spell checking and proofreading, punctuation and grammar. But the heart of the story is touching. Rewrite it with more showing, rather than telling. Instead of telling us what her situation is, show us by her actions, what she sees, smells, hears. Give us some dialog. This could be a real tear-jerker, in a good way, if you tightened up the writing.

What I liked best: The surprise of the teenagers.

Magazine ready? Not yet. Make it more active, occurring in real time.

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