A Christmas Story...

By pixsidust Latest Reply 2012-01-04 04:11:17 -0600
Started 2011-12-08 23:43:31 -0600

Walking my dog tonight, I breathed in the night air
moist and crisp with the hint of snow.
We walked past houses of lights
and those that were darkened.
I was taken back to a Christmas over 40 years ago…

It was Christmas eve at my grandma's house
I was raised by my grandparents who loved me as their own
abandoned by parents who did not.
The house was dark, not a decoration in sight.
Yet my aunt and I did not know any better than to be excited.
We were little girls wrapped in robes and ready
for the magic of Christmas.

"You have to hurry up Grandpa and put up the tree
or Santa Claus can not come, I reminded him"
Dinner came and went, still there was no tree.
I wrote my list for Santa
careful to list any presents I might have found
in my searching of closets to make my grandma happy.
A glass of milk was poured and a cookie placed on a plate
and off to bed we went.
I would perch on my bed with my nose to the cold dark window pane
searching the stars for the hint of red that might be Rudolph
until sleep pulled me down to the comfort of my blankets.

Morning came and we could not run fast enough
down the stairs, our feet pounding each step.
The house was filled with magic
a tree covered with tinsel and lights softly glowed
The old manger with chipped figures was placed on the mantle
Our stockings hung by thumbtacks on the fireplace
bulged with the best Naval Orange in the world.
Why I never tasted anything so good!
We loved each other and we were happy

I did not know then, how truly poor my grandfather was.
He waited until the tree lots closed to find one in the trash.
Self Employed, He struggled to provide, food was not plentiful,
money had to be borrowed to keep the lights on
and there too was Diabetes.
I never knew…

Many of you are struggling this Year.
Jobs have been lost, insurance does not exist
and you struggle to come to grips with a disease,
medicine to be bought, test strips to be used sparingly
and it hard sometimes to put one foot ahead of the other.
Its a time of darkness and there is no light in sight.

Still…Take hope this Holiday and always.
Tomorrow promises to be better.
We, the family at Diabetic Connect all love you and care.
The light of that is dazzling…sometimes amazing!

Merry Christmas to you, family and to all a Good Night!…
All My Love, Christy

55 replies

red flower lady
red flower lady 2011-12-28 20:35:57 -0600 Report

This was very heart warming. It is very humbling knowing the sacrifices people in our lives make to show how much we are loved. It is with that we hopefully learn to do the same. This community has truely showed what giving and caring people they are, whether it's a said "way to go" or a "get your act together" it is always done with love and care. We are blessed.

pixsidust 2011-12-28 22:07:56 -0600 Report

My grandpa made Christmas Magic for us. It was his approach and attitude that I strive for…to see the good and make much with what we have…and in everything…Give thanks! Blessings to you!

medic673b 2011-12-17 01:28:10 -0600 Report

Thank you very much. I am privalaged to belong to such a caring family

jayabee52 2011-12-17 01:33:52 -0600 Report

we are likewise priveleged to have you coming to join us and decide to continue to hang out with us!

tissarose 2011-12-13 10:55:14 -0600 Report

I feel so blessed in being able to get to know such wonderful people. I knew you were out there. Nice to find you!!!! Have a wonderfully blessed Christmas and New Year!!!:)

GabbyPA 2011-12-13 09:19:04 -0600 Report

Wonderful. You are our resident story teller and poet, thank you. Thank you for reminding us that the magic of christmas is not the gifts or even the giving...it is the love that makes it warm.

pixsidust 2011-12-13 13:40:10 -0600 Report

I think especially of the ones who can not gift give or who feel like they have no one coupled with the struggles of Diabetes…Its hard. I want them to remember we are here at Diabetic Connect…and our love is constant.

Thanks for the compliment, I am constantly writing in my head…kind of how I think… in word pictures

valentine lady
valentine lady 2011-12-11 16:51:06 -0600 Report

Christy: Happy Hloidays to you and many more of warmth, lights and the magic of Christmas be yours. But, please don't ever forget your wonderful past. For that is the true meaning of Christmas. Valentine Lady

Libby121 2011-12-11 12:48:43 -0600 Report

Hi Christy! What a wonderfully written true story to remind us of how we are Blessed by the Lord! It is just Beautiful!

pixsidust 2011-12-11 19:25:44 -0600 Report

Love will always light the dark corners of our lives. For those who do not have it at home…they have it here! All my best and yes the Lord takes care of us!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-10 18:52:20 -0600 Report

Thanks for sharing pixis. Your grandparents may have been poor but if you think about it, you were very rich. You had their love. There are too many poverty stricken children out there today who have no one to love them. Some parents living on the streets or in homes look at their children as a burden on them and are not loved. Growing up, my parents worked and they gave us what we needed more so than what we wanted. In the end I realized that even though we always didn't get what we wanted, having two parents who worked and provided for us was made up for not always getting what we wanted.

My job ended Tuesday, thankfully, I was able to get food stamps. I am not proud of this as I would rather work for my needs. My sister and I have heat and food and cable we have a bundle so we have a phone. We have not put up a tree since the year our mother died. A friend we have helped when we needed it paid to have our furnace fixed.

We won't put up the tree again this year as it is too cumbersome to bring up from the basement. So we will put what little gifts we get each other as the centerpiece on the dinning room table. I know what poor is. It is embarrassing and demeaning and I won't ask anyone for help. I have been hiding in my house. I need new winter shoes which I have money for. I don't have a dress winter coat. I do have the last coat my dad gave mom for Christmas and losing 10 more pounds and I can wear it. I love the coat so I won't get rid of it.

Right now I feel worthless, useless and unnecessary, but reading your post made me feel a little better. I may not be able to Christmas shop and knowing that even though some of us may be struggling we have love, hope and faith.

We should all care for each other and help each other when you can. You never know when you might need help and you never know who will step up the plate and help you.

((((((((((((pixisdust))))))))))) you are blessed and will be blessed for many years to come. Thanks so very much for sharing your post.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2011-12-28 20:48:08 -0600 Report

So sorry to hear about your situation. You are not worthless, it is the economy and the powers that be who controll it who are to blame. Donot let it take away your selfworth, but make you a stronger person. You have friends and family and that shows how rich and loved you are. Hang in there as change is inevitable and we are due for good news.

Young1s 2011-12-11 16:33:13 -0600 Report

I am so sorry you to hear that you're struggling right now. I want you to know that you are not alone in this difficulty. Many of us are walking this same path, just in different shoes. There is no need to feel shame for doing what it takes to provide for your family. Think of the alternative if you don't. This time of year is for what you said yourself; love, hope, and faith. The love of Christ, family and friends. The hope for a better tomorrow. And the faith that prayer changes things. This is the time of year for miracles and that will be my prayer for you and your family. So put that tree up, even if it is just the top portion (been there, done that) and rest assured that you aren't any of those things that you mentioned, you are a child of God and that in itself makes you special.

Libby121 2011-12-11 12:56:11 -0600 Report

Just Joyce, you are not 'just' anything. You are beautifully and wonderfully made Joyce. I too have lost my job and get some food stamps. It is not anything we did wrong but rather it is a sign of the times that we are currently living in. How nice it is that you joined our family here. We appreciate having you as a family member.

Mickey/CCHT 2011-12-11 03:18:49 -0600 Report

Please don't feel ashamed or useless. Times are tough and you are in the same boat as alot of people right now. This does not make you less of a person. I'm sure you didn't want to lose your job. Please stay strong and believe in God. He does provide even when we might not see it right away. Just believe and it will be ok.

You don't need a tree or lots of presents to celebrate the birth of our
Savior Jesus Christ. All you need is love and thankfulness to Him. All else will come together if you have faith and hope.

Know that He is there for you, and so are we. May God Bless you and your sister.
With love, Mickey

pixsidust 2011-12-10 19:35:05 -0600 Report

These are very hard times we are in. People have to gather together to help each other out. The measure of worth is not in your working or your ability to buy the finer things in life. You put into the pot all these years. Now is time for you to take out of it

My son lost his job from Apple in California. He had to move home. I opened my doors to a friend who had no home and was sleeping in his truck. I rent a little one bedroom house that has a partially finished basement for $425. I just lost my job two months ago after 25 years helping people in the finding of employment. We were paid by the companies and if they were not hiring…well I did not get paid. Sales were down and here I am with nothing to show for it. I bought myself some beautiful leather and shearling lined ankle boots…"used" that look new for $20. I could not be any happier. I can not fit into my dress coat but needed a Parka and found that used too…but so very nice on Ebay.

I went to my first food pantry last week. The peanut butter was much needed. I felt a bit tearful going in there. Its like all my vulnerability was there for the world to see. I plan on going to another one next week.

Right now you are wounded. There is not reason to hide because no one knows how bad you feel or how bad it is. Get to Church and maybe dig that tree out. When you have nothing that tree may be just what the doctor ordered. FYI, I should have Microsoft Word next week or so and would love to help you with your resume. I am really good at that…free of course!

pixsidust 2011-12-10 08:08:15 -0600 Report

Poverty is a reality and also a frame of mind. That orange was the only orange we got all year. My grandparents knew how poor they were but we didn't because they did not act poor. I know my grandpa was proud of the tree he gave us, even though it was free. He glowed as he watched us. I remember him sitting in the corner of the room just smiling at us.
We made much of little. I want all of you to feel better, to feel loved and to feel the hope, you deserve to feel and to make much of what you have with Joy!

pixsidust 2011-12-09 23:55:52 -0600 Report

We are important and the love we give each other
to touch anothers life can make a difference
I lost my job a couple of months ago.
I was there for 25 years and two months
Its a struggle and yet I am at peace.

I have read of so many having a hard time
when it comes down to it
the one thing I want it felt and known
they can be rich in love…and we are there

Mickey/CCHT 2011-12-09 21:32:52 -0600 Report

That was very beautiful and heartfelt. It should remind us all that Christmas is not about buying and all the commerialism. It is about family and love and celebrating eachother and the gifts that God has given us, not Wal-mart!
It is obvious the love your grandparents have for you. It is so beautiful and I'm very blessed that you shared this with me and the rest of our DC family.

With all that is going on in all of our lives, we need to take this time of year, the year of celebrating the birth of our Savior(even though it is not really the true date of his birth), and remember what is important. Our families and our friends, whether they be in your life physically or in cyber space! I think we sometimes get so wrapped up in our noisy lives, we forget to be still and listen. Or maybe that is just me.
I will get off my soap box now! Sorry!

Christy, thank you again for sharing something so personal and beautiful with us. Once again your words paint a picture and brings tears to my eyes. What a blessed gift you have!
God Bless you my friend, Michelle

Young1s 2011-12-09 21:40:42 -0600 Report

You can get up there, Mickey. Because what you say is meaningful and always said with love. God bless you both.

Young1s 2011-12-09 10:59:56 -0600 Report

Pixsi, that's a really touching story. It brings to mind the fact that this time of year, while it's hard sometimes to deal with, it's also one of the most magical times of the year. The littlest things or acts of kindness can mean the world. I agree with the line, "Tormorrow promises to be better". As bad as things may seem right now, there's always the potential for a "miracle" in the days to come. Your grandparents must have really made that Christmas special for you to be able to remember it so fondly and with such insight. Be blessed.

pixsidust 2011-12-09 17:36:15 -0600 Report

That was the common theme until I could drive and then I got the tree.
My grandparents enjoyed waking up to the tree and decorations I put up for them as a young teen and later as an adult

dietcherry 2011-12-09 09:22:38 -0600 Report

Thanks for such a wonderful and touching holiday story Christie—I want to hug your grandparents for raising such a lovely person! We are blessed for the beauty you bring to all of our lives! Lots of Love to you and Merry Christmas!!

Caroltoo 2011-12-09 01:08:44 -0600 Report

Beautiful story of your grandparents love turning what could have been a barren and abandoned childhood into a fulfilled promise of caring. No wonder you are such a lovely and sensitive woman. Thank you for sharing this.

pixsidust 2011-12-09 12:03:01 -0600 Report

I think that is the beginning of me rescuing animals. My sisters are 9 and 7 years younger than I am. We were raised separately. At age 11, I announced to my mother I would take my sisters away from her. She was so mean to my sister Carrie as a baby. She hit her and jerked her around and then spanked her for crying.(18 mos) I never understood spanking a kid for responding to being hit. She favored My sister Julie and treated her as a girlfriend…never a Mother.

She slapped me hard in the face when I said this and then took my picture under the tree. I am staring her down as I look up from my etcher sketch. I shed not a tear. My sisters came into the joint custody of both myself and my grandparents at my age of 17 1/2. My grandparents were too old on their own and the child agency put me on the custody as well. I raised them, went to all school meetings and the tradition of the tree continued…

Jeanae 2011-12-10 19:09:06 -0600 Report

you are one very special, strong, and loving woman. Your story about Christmas was beautiful. It reminded me of growing up poor in Michigan but we were so happy. Your story about your mom reminds me why I foster. So glad your sisters had you and your Grandparents.

pixsidust 2011-12-10 20:53:56 -0600 Report

Being a Foster parent is no easy job. I became one to get my youngest sister 21 years younger who I do not consider a sister but more my kid. I never met her until a couple of years before becoming her foster Mom. She was taken by family services and adopted by my Mother's friend. She was raped by her adopted brother and adoptive Mom's boyfriend. I was no longer considered family so I had to become a foster parent and wait years for them to send her to me from New Mexico to Missouri. She was 15 by then and spent several years in the group home system. Jeanae, Thank You for being a foster parent, for giving in that way!

Caroltoo 2011-12-10 21:35:20 -0600 Report

Fostering is so important. My first three were sisters who had been sexually assaulted by their father.

Caroltoo 2011-12-09 12:09:30 -0600 Report

I think you right about that. You and I share the spacing of sisters…mine is 14 years older than I am. Made for quite a distance between us until I grew up and became something less than "the young pest" who used to tickle her toes in the morning on my way to get my bathrobe from the wardrobe.

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