I may have posted this sometime in the past but it's a true Christmas story and worth repeating.
Christmas always has been a very special time for me as I recall a lesson my Dad taught me when I was just a young kid. The Methodist Church in my home town always had a Christmas party for the kids. Even before the Great Depression occurred, money was scarce. It was a farming community so everyone had food but no money. And there were people living in town who did not have a regular job. Some of the men in the church, donated money to pay for the apple, orange and candy that Santa gave to every kid. My Dad was the railroad agent and was one of the men who contributed to the cost of the items. An apple cost a nickel and a bushel of grove-run oranges cost about $2. to $3. Not much money compared to today's prices but a fortune at that time.
I must have been about 5 - 6 years old at the time. Santa had given each one of us a sack with an apple, orange and candy. My Dad motioned for my older brother and I to come over where he was sitting. He suggested we give our goodies to some of the other kids. He told us he would tell us more when we got home. That suggestion didn't sit well with me because that was my orange, apple and candy. I had already learned when my Dad suggested I do something, I didn't have an option. So my brother and I gave our goodies to a couple of the kids he recommended.
I was not a happy camper as we left the church and headed home. When we arrived home, my Dad asked my brother and I to come to the dining room table. In the middle of the table was a large bowl filled with apples and oranges. My Dad told us to look at that bowl filled with fruit. We could get an apple or orange anytime we wanted. The Dads of the kids I suggested you give your apple, orange and candy to, did not have a job. They will not have much for Christmas.
I was not completely sold on the idea of giving my goodies away but was beginning to understand what my Dad was trying to teach my brother and I. From that time on we always asked our Dad to whom should give our goodies.
Thank you Joe for reminding us what we have. I remember my dad talking about the Christmas he received a bottle of Cairo syrup, a few oranges and a shiny dime. He too never went hungry and didn’t realize he was poor until he was older. Everyone in his rural community was struggling. We are blessed with what we have today. Very few of us have actual needs, but we should help out those that do.
when the Christmas parade ended - I remember how much I valued that paper sack. My dad always had a job but times were often tight in the early '50's as the cotton mills didn't pay a lot. I remember asking one grandmother for a colorful feedsack so my other grandmother could make me a shirt out of it. I see you are up late - Merry Christmas Joe.