A Christmas to Remember

One Christmas a number of years ago, my family had the opportunity to feel the true meaning of Christmas and make a small difference in a family’s life.

My husband was in the military and we were stationed up in cold, snowy Alaska - far from family and friends - but we had managed to make new ones with homeschool families we met in the co-op we joined.

One family we were particularly close to had children the same ages as my seven and we did lots of things together and our children became great friends.

Just before Thanksgiving the father of this family was suddenly laid off. This was a blow to the family and money was tight. My friend confided in me that there was no way she and her husband would be able to purchase any presents for their kids this Christmas and she wasn’t sure how to tell them there would be no Christmas. 

At our next family counsel I told our kids about the situation that our friends faced for Christmas. We talked about ways we could help and finally hit upon a plan. We would take one of our family traditions and do it for our friends instead of ourselves.

The family tradition is for our children to purchase gifts for each other. We put the names in a hat and each child buys a gift for the sibling whose name they drew. We take a Monday in December to go together to the store to purchase the gifts.  We divide into 2 groups, one group with mom and one group with dad and we have fun helping each other choose the gifts. We exchange these on Christmas Eve. 

The kids decided this would be a great way to help our friends, but that we needed to do it in such a way they would never know who helped them.

So for our next Family Home Evening we headed off to the store, this time to work as a team. The kids enjoyed finding just the right gift for each of the kids in the family and the parents too!  We even threw in some must have Christmas goodies. Store bought of course, so they would never know who it came from! 

We then went home and wrapped everything. On Christmas Eve we all piled in our van and drove over to deliver the gifts. Included in the gifts were two sleds. We pondered how to deliver our stash without our friends knowing who left them.

We decided to leave the box of gifts on the porch, but we couldn’t get the sleds up on their porch without being seen so we left a note in the box that told where the sleds were buried in the deep snow. One of the kids rang the doorbell and ran into the woods and met us up on the main road and we hurried home. We enjoyed our warm-hearted feelings for the rest of the evening as we celebrated our Christmas. There was an extra spirit in our home that night. 

The next morning, bright and early our friend’s children called to tell us of the miracle that had happened the night before and how cool all the gifts were. What really touched my heart was not one of my kids, not even the youngest ones told them where those gifts came from, tempting though it must have been. We continued to live in Alaska for 2two more years and though their friends mentioned that Christmas occasionally, our children never once betrayed our family secret.

We remember that Christmas years ago as the Christmas we shared true Christ-like love for another family.  It is one of our most cherished memories.


Oh, the joys of Christmas memories. If you have some Christmas memories to share, send them here.

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