Christmas and My Little Red Wagon
From the earliest I can remember, our home had a revolving door. There was always someone staying in our home: a family member, a neighbor or someone my Dad would run into who needed a little help. My Mom and Dad would welcome each one and they always were welcome for as long as needed.
The bus station in those days had a café where everyone would gather for coffee and catch up with what was going on. And my Dad loved to talk. He was one of those who could talk to a fence post and it might just talk back.
One evening, shortly before Christmas, he came walking in with a man and his little boy. He had met them in the bus station café and they were trying to get to family in Jackson, Miss. His wife had died, he had no money and had lost his job. Mom and Dad encouraged him to stay for Christmas. We always had a big Christmas with lots of family, friends and neighbors dropping in. Being so young, this was very exciting for my little brother and me.
Christmas morning came and my wish that year was for a Little Red Wagon. Well, guess what! Santa gave my wagon to the little boy by mistake. I just knew that was what happened. To this day, I am still reminded about being so upset.
After Christmas we took them to the bus station. I know now my parents paid for their bus ticket and helped to make sure they got to Jackson. I sadly watched as my little red wagon was put on the bus.
I don’t remember how long it was (time doesn’t mean a lot when you are young), but we received a letter from the man telling us he had found a job and was welcomed by his family, who were helping him with his son.
I think the experience that Christmas was the beginning of an awareness of those around me and by example I was taught to love, respect and care for those God puts in my path.
As this Advent Season begins, I think of that Christmas so long ago as Mary and Joseph were told there was no room in the Inn. How must they have felt? What a blessing that the innkeeper gave them a place to stay in a humble stable where Baby Jesus was born. He came to earth and gave us an example of how we should live. As we celebrate the Advent Season, look around. Is there someone hungry, or just waiting for a friendly hello and a hug?
As I look back on that Christmas, I now know how much love and caring there was in our home. From childhood experiences such as that Christmas on into adulthood, I saw my parents go out of their way to help others.
I never got a little red wagon, but my little brother eventually did. We had many happy hours playing together with it.
I often think of the little boy who got the little red wagon and how much he must have enjoyed it. Maybe he even thought of us once in a while when he played with it.
Daily Reading: Romans 13:11-14
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; 13 let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. 14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.