Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and everything was going wrong. There was no heat to warm the small trailer where we lived. That was because the butane tank that held the gas was empty. We called the gas company, but they refused to come out on a holiday to fill the tank, even though the temperature was only going to reach 15 degrees. My husband’s job had brought us to the small Georgia town. He was the new pastor of a small missionary church. It was so cold in the trailer that the children had to wear their coats and gloves. Their dad was outside under the church trying to wrap the pipes so they wouldn’t freeze, and I was inside trying to keep the children warm and happy. We had to use the electric skillet to cook with, because the stove and water was heated with gas.

Twas the night before Christmas and everything was going wrong. There was no heat to warm the small trailer where we lived. That was because the butane tank that held the gas was empty. We called the gas company, but they refused to come out on a holiday to fill the tank, even though the temperature was only going to...

I knew it was important for me to keep everyone’s spirits up, but my own were slipping very rapidly. Just about the time I was ready to break down and cry, someone knocked lightly on the door. Our unexpected guest was one of the young people that attended the church. He had a pretty canister filled with homemade candies in his gloved hands and a Christmas greeting on his lips. At first I just wanted to accept the gift and close the door, but instead I invited him in. He immediately started playing with the kids and suddenly our house was filled with laughter.

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When I told him about the heat, he began helping me put blankets on the windows, and then went out to help my husband with the pipes. Later he came back in and sang and played with the children until it was time to go to bed. The young man’s name was Tony and he turned our cold, dismal Christmas Eve night into a warm and wonderful time of sharing. Later we wrapped the children up in our bed and once again read them the Christmas story. We kept the room warm with one electric heater that Tony was able to find for us. We slept on the floor in front of the Christmas tree.

The next morning it seemed that Santa had his Christmas list mixed up and put the wrong toy in the wrong stocking.  Our boys were forgiving and said Santa was probably so cold he couldn’t think. To make matters worse the car window had shattered because of the night’s low temperature, and the pipes had indeed burst. We warmed frozen lasagna for Christmas dinner in the electric skillet. We held tight to each other because we knew that all we had that Christmas was the warmth of our hearts and the kindness of a teenage boy.

Since then we have had many warm, wonderful Christmases. There have been lots of presents and friends to share with our children. But…when you ask either of them what is their most memorable Christmas, they will smile and say, “The year we all had to sleep in the same bed to keep warm.”

Our son and daughter-in-law are sharing this Christmas with us here in the Valley. We have filled our moments doing things we wanted to do together and haven’t yet had time to put up a Christmas tree. I was a little worried about that but my son reminded me that the best part of Christmas for him is being with his family. My Christmas wish to you is that you enjoy every minute of this holiday and remember the joy of Christmas is in the moments you share with others.

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Deana Landers
Author for Morningcoffeebeans.com

Deana Landers has had many roles in life — Pastor’s Wife , Nurse/Health Educator, Writer and Motivational Speaker ... more