Saturday, December 22, 2007

My best Christmas

The year I was 10 my little brother was born and there were a lot of complications with the birth. Momma spent a lot of time in the hospital that year and they ran up some major medical bills. My mother got a part-time job to help pay off those bills.

Two years later they still hadn't paid off the bills, although they were making a dent in them. Then my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Surgery and major treatments after the surgery. More bills, plus no more part-time job for a while. Daddy was working two jobs but money was tight. That was the year I got my first job, working Sundays in my grandfather's restaurant.

Before Christmas my parents sat down at the kitchen table with my sister and I and explained the financial realities of Christmas to us. There would be no Christmas presents that year, they told us. I knew things were bad financially, although I didn't realize they were that bad. My sister was only 9 and I think the whole thing was probably more of a shock to her.

When we returned from the traditional church service on Christmas Eve there was a clock radio playing in my room, a very unexpected Christmas present (my Dad's brother had brought it in while we were at church). I don't remember what my sister got, but she got something also. That's my most memorable Christmas present.

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