Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Best Christmas Ever

If I had to pick the best Christmas I ever had, I would have to say it was the Christmas of 1981. It hadn't been an easy year for our family. We were living in an old farmhouse in Rimersburg, PA. I will never forget one night during the winter of 1980, some time in November, being wakened in the middle of the night by my parents, and being rushed outside. A log had fallen on a gas pipe leading to a small open flame gas stove, and broke the pipe off. Only God knows how long gas was shooting into our house that night, and most likely, only God woke my dad up that night.

Christmas morning, 1980. As we were opening our presents, someone noticed smoke coming from above the mantle of the fireplace - there was no fire in it, but there was a wood burner stove hooked up to the chimney. A small fire had started there, nothing of any concern, and was put out with a squirt gun. I don't remember much else about that Christmas. I remember getting a Charlie Chaplain ventriloquist dummy that was cool, and new sleds. Unknown to us, we wouldn't get to play with our toys much that we got.

January 21, 1981. A day none of us will ever forget. It was about the middle of the day, and I was pulled out of my class at school by the principal. I thought I was in trouble, until he also pulled Vicki out of her class. As we stood there wondering what on earth was going on, he informed us that our house had burnt to the ground. No one was home, but everything was gone. Mom and Dad had recently dropped their insurance, so we were left with nothing.

The next several months were spent slowly rebuilding our lives. From January until August of 1981, we lived with my Grandma Buzard. My grandpa died January 30, 9 days after the fire. Everything finally came to a head, causing my parents to turn their lives over to God.

In August, we moved into a place of our own in New Bethlehem., PA. That Christmas was special. We had been given tons of things by people during that year, but on this day, we got all new things. Toys, clothing, bicycles. It was also the first Christmas our family spent as Christians. I had wondered if life would ever be normal again, and that Christmas, it seemed that all was well, at least in my world. I think my parents tried all the harder that year to give us a nice Christmas, and they succeeded. Other than a new bike, I can't name anything that I actually received that year, but it is still the best Christmas I ever had.


Cindy said...

That is a beautiful story about how God works redemptively in our lives to bring us to Himself!