Christmases, for me, a long line of memories. There are the
long ago shadowy ones so ancient that all I remember is my old doll with new
clothes made out of the stuffing from the living room chair and a small can of talcum
powder that would find its way to every corner of the house. And the Christmas
that Dad’s back and ribs were so broken, he could hardly walk.
“Don’t go to work this Sunday,” my mother had said. “Something
bad will happen on that tractor.” “Nah,” Dad said, “We just had it fixed.”
But that Sunday, at Happy Holme Dairy, a hay bale fell from
the top of a huge stack and hit the tractor and my Dad. Even the steering wheel
Happy Holme Dairy
But there were dolls under the Christmas tree and candy, oranges,
apples and nuts.
With the five thousand dollars, given to compensate for a
broken body we bought the old 80 acre farm in Northern Missouri. Christmases there were unforgettable. Snow,
always snow then. A ride in the wagon across the icy creek to cut a Christmas
tree. Colored construction paper chains and silver shimmering paper to guild the
tree. A sled and a nurse’s kit!
And then a move to the little town of Pattonsburg. I ruined
the Christmas play one year. The measles came to town via me! The chiropractor
who came to our house because I had a fever said it was just my back. (The
doctor was out of town.) But finally, someone decided I had the measles. I just wasn’t breaking out. And I still
remember the ongoing cups of whiskey, honey and tea, to make me break out. My head
still spins when I remember.
God broke through in a lot of those Christmases. Country
school was full of Christmas. Stories, carols and the radio program, Back to
the Bible; we listened as faithfully as we listened to the Long Ranger and Red
Skelton. Sitting watching the snow blow across the road our world opened to the
My Mom, Maxine Attebery Trotter
But it was back to California, watching my Dad’s body grow
worse and my Mom start down a long road that would take her home. God was in
that mix and although the Christmases were hard there was a light for me that
had not been there before. Jesus was entering my world in a real way, not just
as a babe in the manger, but as a Savior who died on the cross.
I worked away from home, some of the time as a live in
housekeeper, but there was the day mom called me home because she thought she
was having a heart attack. She wasn’t, but she gave me my present before
Christmas a beautiful gold bracelet. And because there wasn’t a lot of money I
bought a small Christmas tree and we had Christmas. I was fifteen, and I came
back home and stayed there until the next summer. And that was the year, in the
spring, that Jesus entered my life. Funny how God plans all of those details.
Jesus was always there, He is present, and He is coming again.
He is the great gift of Christmas.