Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Best Christmas Ever

I grew up in a very poor family. We had a lot of love, but not much money. Because of that, our Christmas celebration revolved more around family gatherings and large meals than it did the giving and receiving of gifts. As children we tried our best to accept what we did receive with joy, but it was not always easy, especially when our friends got all the latest, coolest, new gadgets and toys.

I remember one Christmas when I was in elementary school in which my mother set out to make all our presents. She would lock herself in her room and sew away. We did not know what was going on back there, but we knew enough to suspect it had to do with Christmas. We would try to sneak a peek when we could, but my mother was a force to be reckoned with when she wanted to be.

When Christmas morning came the tree was overflowing with more presents than we had ever seen in our lives. My mother, who has a number of physical difficulties, including epilepsy, had somehow managed to create every conceivable type of toy, blanket, scarf, ball and game that could possibly be made for a child. My mother's health issues would never again allow her to put so much energy into making our Christmas special. But that one year, somehow she made it happen. What she gave us did not cost a lot of money, but it did take an incredible amount of time and energy on her part. It still goes down in our family history as our best Christmas ever.

I am reminded of Luke 2:17-19 “And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” Mary, the mother of Jesus, pondered what she could do to make the best situation possible for her family. Moms have a way of making Christmas special. That's just what they do. Thank God for moms.

Creator God, thank you for our mothers who love us. Help us to be good parents to our own children. Help us show our children that there is more to Christmas than just presents and gifts. May we show them the depth of Your love. Amen.

Dr. Terry W. Dorsett wrote this for the 2010 Central Vermont Advent Celebration booklet published by the United Church of Randolph and edited by Martha Hafner.


  1. What a wonderful memory you have and through the years you always referred to Our Best Christmas ever and I remembered one time when you ask me how did people with even less money was able to buy all those cool neat toys. I could only say, I do not know nor understand either. I am so thankful that you did realize the love that we had and those other families did not have so much love as ours did. Sometimes to make something the best, you just havae to put a lot of love into it. You are good son and make your mother very happy.

  2. Reading about the love your mom showed your family that special Christmas brought tears to my eyes. You are a blessed man.

    Kyle McClure

  3. I remember a couple of Christmas gifts Mom made. Most of them were my favorite toys of all time!


  4. Wil,
    They were the best, weren't they!

  5. Before I even read the article I KNEW it would be the Christmas mom made everything. I still have the blanket and afaghan that she made and use them to this day. My children know "don't mess with my blankets that my mamma made". Every stitch and crocheted stitch was done between seizures and pain. Terry you are so right, we didn't have much money but oh we knew we were loved and were taught the love of Jesus and how to rely on God.

    I think we have been blessed with the GREATEST parents that God ever gave anyone.

  6. Your folks didn't have much money, but they gladly shared what little they had ... even with outsiders like me!

  7. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories, Terry.

    My father died when I was 12 and I also grew up in a very poor family. Although my Mom went home to be with the Lord almost 53 years ago, I still thank Him often for choosing her to be my Mom, because she loved her kids so very much.

  8. oh you guys still just bring tears to my eyes. I always felt so bad I could not go and buy and give the nice gifts and God just said make this and this and I used every uniform dad had left and all the yard given to me and old clothes given me and cut things up and it just kept going, right down to balls and stick horses and etc. Thanks to all you wonderful children and my children like Rick.

  9. Beautiful.