Friday, December 24, 2021

Christmas Perspective

The Adoration of the Shepherds
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

This short story, written by my wife, about one of her ancestors who did not have a lot of money but was rich in love, brings me to tears. The setting is Kaysville, UT in the mid to late 1850s. For me it puts the proper perspective on giving and Christmas. It is not the value or quantity of the gifts we give or receive but the love which fills our hearts that brings joy and happiness.

Homemade Shoes by Suzanne Mann

Come here, my darlings. Let me secure your feet!
School is very far away, and the weather is frightfully cold today

While sitting in his favorite chair, the dear father lovingly lifted his children, one at a time, onto his lap for the daily ritual of feet wrapping.

First, he nestled their little toes into long strips of woolen fabric. Then, around and around the material went, until there was a nice, soft cushion to walk on. Next, to provide some protection from the frozen snow, a sizable piece of thick, stiff leather from a buffalo hide covered the wool. Finally, the whole package was tied up like a present with strong corded rope. A big hug with, “Thank you, Papa!” ceremoniously concluded each set.

The children then playfully stomped around the house wearing their clumsy and boxy homemade ‘shoes’ until it was time to leave for school.

Across the room, still seated in front of the fireplace, this good father watched and wished he could afford real shoes for his young ones. He smiled anyway.

With breakfast and chores finished, the happy children started out into the chilly air, after being covered with woolen hats and coats and mittens, of course. Now, they would be warm- from head to toe!

John Gailey, who moved to Kaysville, UT in 1854 with his wife and young children. No matter the weather, the Gailey family children walked four miles to school each day. Years later, John sold a cow, so he could buy his children their first pair of shoes. His eldest daughter was 14 years old at the time.

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