Friday, December 19, 2008

Favorite Book Friday

I thought today I would add some short stories that I have heard once or twice or even more. I don't have the authors names so I apologize. Each time they touch me more and more. I hope you enjoy these stories especially during the holidays.
The sleigh was was all packed, the reindeer were fed,But Santa still knelt by the side of his bed,"Dear Father, " he prayed, "Be with me tonight.There's much work to do and my schedule is tight.My sack will hold toys to grant all kids' wishes.The supply will be endless like the loaves and the fishes.I can do all these things, Lord, only through You.I just need your blessing, then it's easy to do.I do this only to honor the birth of the One,That was sent to redeem us, Your most Holy Son.So to all of my friends, lest Your glory I rob,Please, Lord, remind them who gave me this job."

Daddy Will Be Home For Christmas
John was such a sweet little boy. So it was no surprise to hear that he believed that his Daddy would be home for Christmas. Early in November he was telling his Sunday School Class that Daddy would be home. The Sunday school teacher went to Mary, his mother, and said, "Is Mac coming home for Christmas?" "Oh, no," Mary responded " he is on shipboard through the New Year and is not expecting to be back for several months."Now this was common during World War II and many families were separated for many months at a time not to mention the ones who lost their loved ones entirely. Mary went to John and tried to explain to him that Daddy would be gone much longer than that. But John stood his 3-year old ground and said "I know that Daddy is coming home for Christmas."Mary tried to reason with him but he would not budge. Christmas Eve came and he went to sleep believing that Daddy would be home the next day.The late in the night, the door bell rang. Mary went to the door. As she approached the huge glass door, she could see through the shadows the image of a man. She turned on the lights and there standing before her was Mac. He held a large Teddy bear, and several bags. Somehow his orders had changed only a short period before.John knew something no one else knew. He had the "faith of a child."

A Simple Nail
It's Christmas time at our house and we are putting up the tree.I wish I could find one simple way to remember Christ's gift to me.Some little sign or symbol to show friends stopping by.The little baby was born one day,But He really came to die.Some symbol of His nail pierced hands,the blood He shed for you & me...What if I hung a simple nail upon my Christmas tree?A crimson bow tied 'round the nail as His blood flowed down so free to save each person from their sin and redeem us for all eternity.I know it was His love for us that held Him to that tree,but when I see this simple nail I know He died for me.

A Christmas Miracle in the 51 Chevy-- Author Unknown
In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds.He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana, at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.The kids stayed, crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job.Still no luck.The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids.She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.That night, when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel.When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-fully half of what I averaged every night.As the weeks went by, heating bills added another strain to my meager wage.The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged wagged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat.New tires!There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered. I made a deal with the owner of the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires. I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough.Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair.On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.) It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car-or was that just a trick of the night?Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what. When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, scrambled inside and knee led in the front facing the back seat.Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was a whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There were candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries.There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning.Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop.

A Christmas Orange
--- Author Unknown --- Submitted by Kelly Smith --- California
I'd like to tell you a story my grandmother told me when I was six or seven years old. We had gone to her home for Thanksgiving dinner and the drive was rather a long one. I had filled the time with making a list of all the things that I wanted for Christmas that year.Later that evening after I was ready for bed, I showed the list to my grandmother. After she read it, she said, "My goodness, that really is a long list!" Then she picked me up and set me on her lap in the big rocking chair and told me this story: "Once there was a little girl who came to live in an orphanage in Denmark" (Now my grandmother was from Denmark, so this story might even be true.) "As Christmas time grew near, all of the other children began telling the little girl about the beautiful Christmas tree that would appear in the huge downstairs hall on Christmas morning. After their usual, very plain breakfast, each child would be given their one and only Christmas gift; small, single orange."At this point I looked up at my grandmother in disbelief, but she assured me that was all each child would receive for Christmas. "Now the headmaster of the orphanage was very stern and he thought Christmas to be a bother. So on Christmas Eve, when he caught the little girl creeping down the stairs to catch a peek at the much-heard-of Christmas tree, he sharply declared that the little girl would not receive her Christmas orange because she had been so curious as to disobey the rules. The little girl ran back to her room broken-hearted and crying at her terrible fate." "The next morning as the other children were going down to breakfast, the little girl stayed in her bed. She couldn't stand the thought of seeing the others receive their gift when there would be none for her." "Later, as the children came back upstairs, the little girl was surprised to be handed a napkin. As she carefully opened it, there to her disbelief was an orange all peeled and sectioned." "How could this be?" she asked."It was then that she found how each child had taken one section from their orange and given it to her so that she, too, would have a Christmas orange." How I loved this story! I would ask my grandmother to tell it to me over and over as I grew up. Every Christmas, as I pull a big, juicy orange from my stocking, I think of this story. What an example of the true meaning of Christmas those orphan children displayed that Christmas morning. How I wish the world, as a whole would display that same kind of Christ-like concern for others, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.

Coat of Many Colors-This is not a Christmas song or story, however, it may as well be because I love the message of the lyrics. My mama and my abuelita sewed a many of my clothes and they meant so much to me.

Back through the years I go wonderin' once again Back to the seasons of my youth I recall a box of rags that someone gave us And how my momma put the rags to use There were rags of many colors Every piece was small And I didn't have a coat And it was way down in the fall Momma sewed the rags together Sewin' every piece with love She made my coat of many colors That I was so proud of As she sewed, she told a story From the bible, she had read About a coat of many colors Joseph wore and then she said Perhaps this coat will bring you Good luck and happiness And I just couldn't wait to wear it And momma blessed it with a kiss My coat of many colors That my momma made for me Made only from rags But I wore it so proudly Although we had no money I was rich as I could be In my coat of many colors My momma made for me So with patches on my britches Holes in both my shoes In my coat of many colors I hurried off to school Just to find the others laughing And making fun of me In my coat of many colors My momma made for me And oh I couldn't understand it For I felt I was rich And I told them of the love My momma sewed in every stitch And I told 'em all the story Momma told me while she sewed And how my coat of many colors Was worth more than all their clothes But they didn't understand it And I tried to make them see That one is only poor Only if they choose to be Now I know we had no money But I was rich as I could be In my coat of many colors My momma made for me Made just for me
Click on the Book Cover, to view the song of the Coat of Many Colors.
Ciao for now,

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