I’m so grateful for the internet these days! Not only has it allowed me to find the stories already typed up that I’ve had in my stash, but it has introduced me to many new stories! It’s been a treat to go searching!
Today’s story is a good reminder of how important family is and that we don’t always need what we think we need to get by. I’m not sure I would have handled this situation as well as this family did, but I’m grateful for their example of making the best of a drastic situation. I hope you like it!
My favorite personal Christmas Story is the year we had a dark Christmas. At the time I would have never thought that, that Christmas would become my most cherished holiday experience. It was Friday December 22nd 2000. I had just got up when there was a knock on my door. I have to go back a little bit. My brother had rented the house with us and the electric was in his name. When he moved out a couple weeks before to go back to his wife he had said we could keep the electric in his name until after Christmas and then transfer to our name.
What I did not know is that he had changed his mind and he said nothing to us. So someone was knocking on my door and when I went to the door it was the electric man. He informed me my brother had called and wanted the electric out his name immediately. The man told me if I had $100 I could have it switched to my name and the electric would stay on. I had just spent all of our money the night before on Christmas gifts. He said they had tried to talk my brother into waiting until after Christmas to make sure I had money to switch the electric into my name but my brother had refused to wait. He said I could call my brother and ask him to wait and if he told him he would wait then he would leave it on until January 2nd. I tried to call my brother and got no answer. The electric man informed me even though he hated to do it with the holidays here, but since I had no money he had to shut the electric off.
Here it was just a few days before Christmas and even if I got the money no one would be around to turn my electric back on in time for Christmas. I was devastated. Here I had done everything making sure my kids had a great Christmas and had all the food I needed for a great Christmas dinner. But how were we going to pull off a good Christmas with no lights and no way to cook? I had decorated my house all up on the outside to and felt horrible those lights would not be on for Christmas.
Luckily we heated with a wood stove so we had heat. Our wood stove was in the basement and with no electric to run the fan we would have to sleep in the basement. I cried for at least an hour feeling Christmas was ruined. Luckily we could cook on our wood stove to and we had a Coleman gas camp stove. But how would I fix turkey with that.
Christmas turned out much better than we expected and it is now one that my husband and I as well as my kids cherish the most. I let the kids open their gifts Saturday night. Since we had no TV or anything I figured I might as well let them play with their Christmas gifts. That year we had bought each one of them personal stereos that took electric or batteries and we had bought lots of batteries. I had also bought a treasure trunk and filled it with board games, puzzles and coloring books. Little did I know how much use those games were going to get when I bought them.
We played Monopoly, Candy Land, and Trouble and colored in coloring books all evening with the kids by candle light as we listened to their stereos. We spent lots of quality time together as a family over that weekend and Christmas day. Sunday night I put my turkey in the roasting pan. I put all kinds of butter on it and poured some Pepsi in the pan and covered it tightly with aluminum foil. My husband filled the wood stove with wood and had it burn slowly. The Turkey cooked all night and around 2pm Christmas day the Turkey was ready. I used the camp stove to fix instant potatoes, gravy and corn. My sister had brought us some homemade potato salad the day before. She offered us to come to our house for dinner when she was there but I was determined to make Christmas a good on e at our own home. We sat in the basement at the dining room table that I had my husband bring down stairs. We were nice and warm and the food was delicious. We spent a lot of quality time with our kids.
It was the best Christmas ever. We didn’t need the electric to have a good Christmas after all. We had our own Country Christmas. Now every year on Christmas Eve we turn off the TV’s and the lights and we light the candles and sit around playing games of course now the kids insist on Play Station but we still spend a few hours enjoying just being a family.
I have since forgiven my brother as I told him he did something wrong to us but the year of the dark Christmas turned out to be the best thing for my family. After all Christmas is supposed to be about love and family and that year, my family shared lots of love and great times.