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December 29, 2023



Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee team! 

Mike Huckabee


And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 1:14


I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year’s holiday with your family and friends, and don't get stuck at the airport. To allow my staff to spend the holidays with their families, we’ll be taking a break next week from the news which (I hope!) will slow down between Christmas and New Year’s.

But keep checking your email box and the Internet because we’ve prepared plenty of material in advance, including our holiday tradition: sharing some of the amazing, moving, hilarious and inspirational family Christmas stories sent to me by my radio listeners and inspired by my book, “A Simple Christmas.” Rest assured that if anything does happen in the news that cries out for comment and reportage, we’ll put down our candy canes and pumpkin pie and rush to our keyboards to cover it.  

From me, Pat, Laura, David, Chris and everyone at the Huckabee Newsletter, and all my crew from "Huckabee" on TBN, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Never forget what it is like to be a kid at Christmas

Melvin from Oregon wrote to share memories of a couple of Christmases that were made very special, thanks to a grandfather who never forgot what it was like to be a kid at Christmas.

“Christmas 1944: I am four years old and my dad is still overseas, so mom and I are staying with my grandparents. Christmas eve, it's time for me to hang up my sock. I'm just getting ready to hang it on the mantle when grandpa comes in. He has a giant sock and a big metal wash tub. I ask him what he is doing, and this is what he tells me:

‘I'm going to hang this big old sock up.’ He hangs his sock up then he puts the wash tub under the sock. He shows me that there is a hole in the toe of the sock, and it has a tennis ball in the hole. He then tells me that ‘when Santa comes tonight, he will start putting good stuff in his big old sock, and the tennis ball will fall out.’ Santa will keep stuffing his sock and the presents will fall into the wash tub, and he will get way more stuff than I will in my little old sock.

Well, I'm only four years old, but I know this ain't right. I go running to grandma and tell her that grandpa is going to cheat Santa. Grandma says, ‘Don't worry, because I know that Santa is much smarter than your grandpa is.’ So I go off to bed, but I am not happy.

Christmas morning comes. I run downstairs and see that my grandpa has a sour look on his face. I see my sock has all kinds of good stuff in it. I look at grandpa’s sock, and the wash tub is full. It has an old rubber boot with a big hole in it, a big half-rotten squash, some chunks of coal, an old broken shovel etc., etc. I guess grandma was right after all. Santa is smarter than grandpa.”

The next year, Melvin’s grandpa was still putting creativity into Christmas…

“Christmas 1945.  I am five years old, and we are still staying with my grandparents…My father was in Japan in the Second World War, his two brothers were in the European theater.  All three came home OK. I thank God for that and for all of the men that have gone before.

We are trimming the Christmas tree. Grandpa comes in, and he has all of these walnuts that he has painted silver and put a yarn loop on to hang them with. I think they’re neat, but that’s about it.

Christmas morning, I come down and start opening my presents. Grandpa says, ‘Why don't you open one of those walnuts?’ I say ‘Naw, I got to open my presents’… Well grandpa keeps after me. Finally, I say, ‘Okay!’  So I crack a walnut open, and a penny falls out. Well, NOW I'm opening walnuts!  There's dimes, nickels, and pennies.  When I get done, I have about a dollar fifty, and that’s big money in 1945.

…My grandfather thought enough of me to take the time to cut the walnuts open and take out the meat for grandma to cook with. Then he put a coin in and glued each one back together, just to make a little five-year-old boy happy on Christmas morning.

Sixty-five years later, I don't remember anything else I got that Christmas.  But I remember the walnuts and the love that went into making them. That might be something for young parents to think about... It really is the little things that count the most.” 

Thanks, Melvin, for giving us all something important to remember before we go frantically hunting for whatever the latest “hot” gift is. It’s not so much the gift that we remember years later, but the person who loved us enough to give it to us that matters.    

Christmas inspiration

Nobody is more excited about Christmas Day than children, and sometimes, it inspires them to come out with some real gems.  For instance, Mona from Kentucky wrote:

“When I was a child, we had a coal stove. One of those potbellied stoves. Of course, with those stoves, there was a small pipe that went out the ceiling so the smoke would not get in the house. I remember wondering how Santa got down that skinny pipe.  So one day I asked Mom how he got down that pipe.  I guess I really put her on the spot because she replied, “He has a house key!”  And that satisfied me.” 

Thank you, Mona, and Merry Christmas to your mom, who I bet had to answer a lot of tough questions before you grew up! 

Here’s another story of a Christmas miracle that started with the words of a child.  Tom from Louisiana wrote that he used to volunteer for the park district in Calumet City, Illinois, in a low-income area.  One year, the man playing Santa was ill, so Tom filled in.  It was a hard job, listening to the Christmas wishes of hundreds of children, knowing most of their parents were too poor to make them come true. 

One day, a little 5-year-old girl, as beautiful as a china doll, hopped up in his lap and didn’t say a word.  He asked her if she’d been good and obeyed her parents.  She said yes.  So he asked what she wanted for Christmas.  She replied, “Nothing.” 

Tom was dumbfounded.  He asked if she was sure she didn’t want anything.  She said not for herself.  But could Santa give her daddy a job?  He needed a job.  Well, Tom didn’t know how to answer that.  So he just said he’d try his best, but that was one wish Santa might not be able to fill.

But, Tom wrote:

“God works in great ways.  At the time the young girl was sitting on my lap, (a local reporter) was there taking pictures and…overheard the child’s conversation with Santa. The next day, the paper (ran a photo) of the little girl sitting on Santa’s lap with the caption ‘All she wants for Christmas is a job for her daddy’…The next day, the little girl’s father received a call and was offered a job. A day or so later, the little girl came back to see me with my favorite chocolate chip cookies and a thank you for Santa…

Till this day, and it’s been at least twenty-five years, I still tear up thinking about that little girl and her unselfish wish. Christmas is truly about miracles.” 

Thank you, Tom.  I bet that little girl was the best gift her daddy ever received. 

Deborah from Austin reminds us that Christmas can touch our souls in unexpected and lasting ways:

“It was Christmas Eve, and the man I was dating and I were out all day finishing his shopping. When it got to be evening, I said I was going to Christmas Eve service and invited him to go with me. He said he wasn't ready to go back to church because he hadn't changed his life.

I asked him again and told him, ‘You're not going to change your life until you go back to church.’ I left him and headed off to attend the service by myself. 

As I took my seat, I'd never felt so alone. I was looking down and someone sat beside me. I looked at his shoes and then up. It was him. He told me he just couldn't let me be by myself on Christmas Eve. The next year, on Christmas Eve, we were married…It has always been, and now even more so, my favorite day of the year.”

Dale from Illinois shared a memory of when his family asked for no gifts, but got the best gift ever:

“My most memorable Christmas was the one that I asked for no gifts. We didn't decorate or even put up a tree. Seven weeks earlier, we had a new grandson. He was born with heart problems and was airlifted to a hospital in Peoria, Illinois, where they did heart surgery on newborns. He spent the first five weeks of his life in Intensive Care after two open heart surgeries.

My wife and I were so grateful to God for our grandson that we accepted him as our gift. There was nothing that could compete with God's gift of healing. Our grandson made a wonderful Christmas.”

A happy memory

You’ve heard the term, a “hard candy Christmas”? Well, Kathy from Kentucky recalled a Christmas when hard candy would’ve seemed like a luxury. And “not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” was more than could be hoped for. But somehow, it can end up as a happy memory if you can just keep your sense of humor:

“To start with, it was a Christmas I will never forget. I had married at age fourteen, partly to escape the hand of life I was dealt, with parents neither of (whom) seemed to want me or my siblings. We were shuffled from here to there, staying with family or staying alone many nights by ourselves by the time I was 11 years old.

I had married so young trying to escape and have some kind of normal family. At least that’s what I felt at the time. I was much more mature at age 14 than most 25-year-olds today. It was our second Christmas together and we didn't have very much money, but I was 16 by this time and was expecting our first of four children I would eventually have. I so much wanted to have a Christmas tree and decorate it.

Well, with my meager budget, I felt the old-fashioned way might be my best bet. My tree had a few hand-me-down ornaments that were scratched and tattered. I also managed to buy a pack of the old-fashioned icicles that looked like shredded aluminum foil shavings. In 1973, we didn't have all the new shimmering decorations.

I also took a bag of cranberries and some popcorn and strung it to make a stream of garland. I thought our little hand-cut cedar tree was beautiful. It had taken me all day to string the cranberries and popcorn. I strung them around the tree trying to cut corners so they would cover more area. Finally, the tree was decorated.

That night, I went to bed with a few little presents and a beautiful tree. At the time, we lived in an old house we rented, and there were cracks big enough that you could throw a cat through around the windows. I was used to cold houses and not-so-fine furnishings. At 16, I was doing pretty good, I thought. I just couldn't wait to show my Christmas tree and what a fine job I had done.

I woke up the next morning and walked into our simple little living room to see my tree. My heart sank, I just couldn't believe it. The mice had eaten all my popcorn and several of the cranberries! I was devastated, but after the shock wore off, my husband and I just laughed and laughed.

Even after that, I still put popcorn strings on our tree. Later, my four kids would help. The happiest Christmases I remember were ones when we had very little materially but had generosity in our hearts.

I have since gone to college with those four kids and am now a retired teacher. The one thing I always tried to teach my kids as well as my students is that it's not how much money you spend, it is about how much love and generosity is in your heart. Money does not make you happy, love does.”

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