"Why, yes. Why?"
The clerk said, "I can't believe that anyone so sweet and
polite as you could be a Christian. But then, all the Christians I have known were Christmas shoppers."
The paper always says (blank filled in) shopping days until Christmas. One newspaper article said that the average shopper trudges eleven miles a day during Christmas shopping.
Dave Garroway once wrote in Faith Today: "When you ask people what they want for Christmas, nine out of ten name something material." Isn' that sad? Dave Garroway wrote that this used to amuse him, but that now it irritated him because he realized that material things are not
Tom May was a cartoonist for the daily newspaper in Detroit. He became famous because of a picture he drew called "Forgotten." At first the editor did not want to publish it, but after the first time, it ran many times on Christmas mornings and "opened a million
hearts" and here is the story behind the picture.
Hilda was a middle-aged washerwoman who lived in Detroit many years ago. One Christmas morning Hilda parted her curtains and saw a thin girl's face looking out a window in the shack across the alley. All day long the thin faced girl looked out the window.
Finally Hilda put her shawl on and went across the alley with one of her few oranges. Hilda found things just as she feared. The mother had a night job and the father was dead. The thin faced girl was crying at a rickety table and there was an empty stocking hanging in the room.
Hilda lied. She said Santa was too busy to visit everyone in one day, but that he would be there tomorrow. The child went to bed full of hope but Hilda had a restless night.
Hilda decided to ask the family she worked for to help. Hilda told the family about the girl. The children of the family brought toys and the mother got food and clothing ready and then the father, Tom May, and his family went with Hilda to where the child lived. Tom never forgot the bleak bare room, the pathetic little stocking, nor the child's transfigured face when the family went in with their overflowing baskets.
On many Christmas mornings the Detroit paper carried a picture of that room and child. Below the picture Tom put one word:
The Christmas Spirit is very real and can accomplish a great deal. The Spirit of Christmas is found in happy voices, delicious food smells, odors of evergreen and stars and candlelight. Yes, there are people like Ebenezer Scrooge, throughly selfish, but there are also those with joy, love and warm hearts.
May each of you feel the joy and participate in that joy this Christmas. Always remember the words of Whittier in his "The Joy of Giving."
The Joy of Giving For somehow, not only at Christmas
But all the long year through, The joy that you give to others Is the joy that comes back to you.
My name is Hazel Stone. I am a 67 year old retired school teacher who taught for 32 years. I live in Odessa, Texas and was reared in Eastland, Texas. I write a volunteer monthly column for the Eastland Telegram and have since 1998. I wrote this column.