Dixie Darr

My Literary Advent Calendar, Day Nineteen

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Thursday, December 15, 2016

everything-christmas

A Tiny Miracle

“The Year of the Big Nothing” is what Bonnie Compton Hanson called the Christmas she turned thirteen. Things were hard on the farm and while they did have a tree, it was covered with homemade decorations and popcorn garland. The children wrapped their drawings to put underneath for each other. They had no money for anything else. Christmas dinner would be pinto bean soup and cornbread with home-canned pickles. In “The Tiniest Miracle,” Bonnie writes that she prayed for a miracle.

“Please, dear God, I know it’s probably impossible, but could you please bring us some Christmas gifts this year? Or at least something wonderful to eat—You know, like in the old times before we got so poor?”

She was surprised the next morning to find a pile of packages beneath the tree. Her mother had sewn new dresses for the girls, shirts and pajamas for the boys and a cuddly rag doll for little Paula. Her dad made a toy truck out of lumber scraps for the youngest boy. Even the stockings were stuffed full of the nuts and apples the children themselves had collected in the fall.

Later in the day her uncles arrived with a trunk full of food, candy and shiny new toys for the little ones. The older girls received clothes and costume jewelry, hand-me-downs but new to them.

The dinner table boasted fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, home-canned corn and pickles, lemon meringue pie, plus bean soup and cornbread and coleslaw.

No, the presents weren’t the ones they had dreamed of, but they were enough.

Sometimes all it takes to see a miracle is a tiny shift in perspective.

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