I remember well I was about 9 years old, my brother Vince was about 7 years old, and my youngest brother Joshua was about 2. We were staying in a temporary hotel as my mom was leaving a bad marriage. She had sold everything she could possibly sell to get enough money to keep us from sleeping another night in the old 57 Chevy pickup truck with the camper shell on the back. At the time I thought we were just camping…
It was Christmas Eve and my mom turned on the small black and white television where Charlie Brown Christmas was playing.
We made garlands of popcorn and cranberries, decorated cookies, cut tin can lids to make ornaments
We laughed and danced and had so much fun. I remember waking up the next morning and some how magically there were a few gifts wrapped up under the tree. I squealed with delight as I tore open the gift to find the beautiful doll I had dreamed about.
I remember looking at my mom and there were tears on her face. I asked her why she was crying, she just smiled and said Merry Christmas.
I never really thought much about how incredibly difficult that Christmas must have been for her. Being a single mom with three young kids and struggling just to put food on the table and a roof over our heads, much less figure out how to pull together gifts for Christmas.
My mom passed away in 2009 but not a Christmas passes that I don’t think about all that she sacrificed and worked for to give me the opportunities and knowledge that I have today.
This year in memory of my mom I have started supporting Acres of Hope an organization that provides a safe family environment and a healthy living program for homeless women with children. For more information you can visit their website at www.AcresofHopeonline.org
As I mentioned in last month’s letter, all our kids and grandkids (including our newest grandson Joey III) will be home for Christmas this year and while it may be easy to buy out the stores and go crazy, what I am most hopeful for this year are the memories that are made for a lifetime. Those memories don’t come from tons of gifts…. But of the greatest gift… TIME!
I would love to hear your favorite Christmas memory… send me an email or even better give me a call at 916-996-3777.
If you do not have a place to go for Christmas, please reach out to me. Don’t be shy or embarrassed. We always have plenty of room at our table. And as long as you can handle our crazy, nutty family… we can handle you. I am serious! This is not an idle or polite invitation. You are welcome to join us!
My grandmother Hazel was a very organized woman. Everything had its p
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