This is a catch up blog entry as my computer has been down since the first of December. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Sometime around 1951, it was Christmas and our family was anticipating the big day. My brother, Jack and I were especially excited to have Santa Clause come visit our home laden with an assortment of toys or other gifts. We had already seen Santa visit our community as he came into town on the back of a pickup truck…..and passed out candy and fruit in small brown paper bags. People from far and wide came to town on that occasion from the farming communities, ranches and farms to celebrate Christmas, Santa Clause and for the adults to do some much needed shopping and socializing. That visit just helped confirm Santa would be visiting our home on the night before Christmas for sure.
We lived in an older farmhouse, having moved to Grenola a couple years before. Dad was busy as a farmer and we had very limited financial resources for things like Christmas, but Jack and I were not affected by that much as we were well provided for by the family. We had made our usual trek into the countryside to select a cedar tree growing wild in a pasture or from along the roadside. It had to be just the right size and the right color….not too brown from the cold weather. The tree was set up in front of the window in the front of the house and decorated with an assortment of used, ornaments, and homemade garlands made of popcorn, paper or cranberries (We had no electricity during that year) For an 8 year old, I was very impressed.
One night as my dad was finishing up the chores, my grandmother and granddad came driving into the driveway. They stayed briefly and told us grandma was going to stay and visit while granddad went to Grenola to attend a Law Enforcement Meeting. Granddad was the Sheriff of Elk County in the years 1951 and 1952. So, the family settled in to visit in the living room where the Christmas tree was located. Grandma always had news about things in her community and life in the Sheriff’s residence and jail in Howard, Kansas. Jack and I went about our play while the adults visited.
All of a sudden there was the sound of bells and a loud banging on the front door accompanied with the loud sound of HO HO HO. It surprised everyone (except grandma) and daddy went to the door to see what was going on. As he opened the door, in stepped Santa Clause sporting a white beard and hair…with a big bag of packages, and dressed in his finest red and white suit. My dad was so surprised he didn’t know what to say. Santa came into the living room and wished everyone a Merry Christmas. He then opened up his big red bag and pulled out a package. Reading from the tag, he announced he had a package for JOE. He asked…..Is there a Joe living here? I was so surprised I was unable to speak and could only point to myself with a few stuttering attempts to respond. Santa then found a package for Jack and packages for mom and dad. He found a couple more packages each for Jack and myself and turned with a HO HO HO and Merry Christmas to leave the house. We were so excited with the gifts Jack and I forgot to see Santa out of our home and by the time we thought of it, he was gone. We wanted to see the reindeer and Rudolph but as we looked on the top of the house there was no sign of them at all. Jack, dad and I stood in amazement at the surprise visit we had gotten from Santa Clause. It was the kind of thing that brings families together with love and special bonding that will last a lifetime.
—–“Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19
—–“Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:36
—–“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.,” Luke 2:10