|December 27, 2020|
Blessings on you and your family, and from all the Huckabee staff!
Today's newsletter includes:
- Christmas Isn't About What We Get, But What We Give
- "Huckabee" Preview
- A Time for Prayers and Miracles
- A Deeper Appreciation of Christmas
- Treasured Memories of Christmas
Christmas isn't about what we get, but what we give
By Mike Huckabee
Dorothy from North Carolina wrote:
“It's been a few years ago now that through an unusual set of circumstances I met a dear Christian lady named Hilda N-----. Hilda had endured many hardships in life…Now, in her later years… she lived in abject poverty with…crippling arthritis. It was Christmas and I had a gift for Hilda. Mark and I were dating at the time and I asked him to go with me to Hilda's humble home… But it wasn't my gift that I've remembered all these years...it was HER gift, given liberally out of her poverty, that I will never forget.
She and I had exchanged gifts, her gift to me a small ceramic bell with a cross at the top from the dollar store. And then came the moment I cherish yet today. She looked at Mark apologetically and reached down into the cushion of the chair…fumbling until she finally retrieved a small, zippered change purse. Her gnarled, misshapen fingers (terribly twisted from the arthritis) moving slowly and with painful effort, she managed to open the purse… Finally, she turned to Mark and, pulling out a folded, crumpled $1.00 bill, she held it out to him.
Her soft, quiet voice and loving manner gave eloquence to the gesture. ‘I didn't know YOU were coming so I didn't have a gift for you. Here’, she handed him the dollar bill, ‘Merry Christmas.’
Tears sprang to my eyes as I knew what a sacrifice was represented in the giving of the dollar bill. Her heart of love and her desire to share the little she had gave her gift more meaning than a purse full of gold.”
Thank you, Dorothy, and Hilda, for reminding us that Christmas isn’t about what we get, it’s about what we give.
By Mike Huckabee
You still have one more gift to unwrap: a brand new episode of “Huckabee” tonight on TBN! Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs will talk about election irregularities. World record-setting wrestler and coach Dan Gable will reveal his surprising new career move. Dr. David Aranoff will tell us what we need to know about the new COVID-19 vaccines. We’ll get a sneak peek at a great new documentary about the late Herman Cain from its director and Herman’s daughter. Dan Meyer will amaze you with a talent that you just have to see to believe. And we’ll wrap up the show and the year 2020 in style with a fantastic musical performance by Tre Corley and the Music City Connection.
It all starts tonight at 9 EST/8 CST, on TBN. To find out where you can watch TBN, from local cable and broadcast channels to streaming, visit https://www.huckabee.tv and click on “Channel Finder” on the top menu. You can stream previous episodes, highlights and online-only “Digital Exclusives,” including extended interviews, “In Case You Missed It” and “Facts of the Matter” segments, and extra performances by our great musical and comedy guests, all at https://www.huckabee.tv. You can also find past shows, highlights and digital exclusives on YouTube and my Facebook page.
A time for prayers and miracles
By Mike Huckabee
Christmas is a time for prayers and miracles, and one often follows the other. Rosalin from Virginia shared a story that proves God sometimes shows a very personal interest in us, if we’ll just ask Him into our lives. She wrote:
"Years ago, when our children were younger, we ran into hard times. It was a Wednesday morning, and Christmas was on Saturday. We had no money for Christmas gifts and no savings in the bank. My husband was home without work as a carpenter. He suggested we join hands and pray, which we did.
Three hours later, friends of ours called from New York to tell us that they'd received a large Christmas bonus from work, and God put our family on their hearts. They told us they'd sent us $350 through Western Union...not knowing of our situation. We picked up the check and went Christmas shopping. It was a GREAT lesson my children will NEVER forget!"
Thank you, Rosalin. That's a great story that none of us will ever forget!
A Deeper Appreciation of Christmas
By Mike Huckabee
The story of Christmas is, at its heart, the story of the world’s joy at the birth of a baby. So it’s no wonder many people develop a deeper appreciation of Christmas after having children of their own.
Rod and Amy from North Carolina recalled that over 25 years ago, they were filling out paperwork to adopt a child from Korea. They wrote:
“Our then-3-year-old prayed every night that her baby would be home for Christmas, and she told everyone who asked that she was getting a little sister for Christmas. When Christmas came and went and we still hadn't heard from the adoption agency, we feared our little one's faith in a God who hears our prayers would be weakened.
But then, in February, we got the long-awaited call telling us about a gorgeous little girl named Joo Bin. Imagine our amazement, joy, and awe when we heard her birthday was…December 24. We had NO DOUBT she was ours!”
Thank you, Rod and Amy. And I’m sure you’ve never had a doubt in all the years since. Now, here’s another story about a baby that proves the best Christmas gifts come in small packages.
Mary B. Walsh of the nostalgic and inspiring “Dear Baby Boomer” blog (I highly recommend you check it out at http://dearbabyboomer.blogspot.com) shared this special memory of another child who appeared at Christmas. It was 1956, and Mary was five years old. Six glittering stockings were hung on the mantle. The kids circled the piano and sang as Dad played “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Mary wrote:
“Snow was falling silently, draping our familiar world in soft flannel...It would be a white Christmas for sure! A muffled voice broke through the darkness. The playing stopped as we stood motionless, hoping to hear it once again.
‘It's a BOY! We have a BOY!‘
Dad threw open the window and a gust of chilly winter air swept in the joyous news. Our neighbor leaned out the window, waving her arms ecstatically, heralding the birth of her great grandson. Jimmy John would be a welcome addition to the family of three daughters! Waiting hot chocolate topped off the excitement before heading up to bed.
As I lay awake, gazing out at the full winter moon. I pondered the words we had sung... ‘Joy to the world...The Lord is come...Let earth receive her King...’ An only son had been born tonight, bringing joy which could not be contained. They wanted to share it with the world...Kind of like the angels so long ago. God's only son, born on a night such as this...Yet more than just a babe He was...
I thought back a year, remembering my oldest brother pointing out the silhouette of Santa's reindeer crossing in front of the moon out my window. I was sure I saw it too! How could I sleep? But this year was different. I closed my eyes and slept so peacefully... I was not looking for reindeer...for I had heard the angels sing!”
Thank you for sharing that beautifully written story, Mary. And I wonder if one more coincidence occurred to you? That the person who gave us this inspiring story of a precious child born on Christmas Day was named “Mary.”
Treasured Memories of Christmas
By Mike Huckabee
This time of year, one of the many great holiday songs we always hear is the late, great Glen Campbell’s “Christmas Is For Children.” That sentiment was also on the minds of many of my radio listeners whose most treasured memories of Christmas were tied to childhood – either their kids’ childhoods or their own
Some were of the “Kids Say The Darnedest Things” variety. For instance, Joe from Georgia recalled when his son was 7, their church had a pancake breakfast with a “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake for the kids, and the Lord’s Supper for adults during the Christmas Eve service. His son tugged his sleeve and asked, “Dad, why am I allowed to eat the Lord’s Breakfast but not His supper?”
An eternal theological question, my son!
There's something about the excitement of Christmas that makes children even more hilariously discombobulated. Cleve from New Mexico wrote, "At our house, we always opened our presents on Christmas morning. I remember the first year my daughters were really, really, really looking forward to Christmas. On Christmas Eve morning, they jumped out of bed, ran into the kitchen, and hollered, 'Today's the night we get up in the morning!!'"
Well, they were right: it was!
Dolores from Texas recalled that during the Depression, her parents gave her and her sister Betsy Wetsy dolls, and made a little suitcase and a whole wardrobe for them. Dolores said it was the “best Christmas ever!” The girls were so excited, they didn’t even realize until years later that those were actually their old dolls, all cleaned up. The moral: To a child, a gift doesn’t have to be new…just new to THEM.
Claudine from North Dakota shared this:
“When my kids were little, the church was getting together some toys, gifts and food items for a poor family who had just moved to our area at Christmas time. While looking in the pantry to see what we might have extras of, I asked my children what they would like to give. My daughter - then six years old - went to her room and brought down her Barbie doll complete with Barbie outfits, that she loved to play with. It was her only one. When I said, ‘Oh, honey, you don't have to give your favorite doll’, she said to me, ‘Mommy, if you just give what you don't want, it's not really giving, is it?’”
When you “give till it hurts,” as some people put it, it can actually feel pretty good. Thank you, Claudine, for reminding us that sometimes, parents can learn from children.
BettyJean from California had a favorite childhood Christmas memory that reminds us not to look a gift horse in the mouth. She wrote:
"I was born in 1928 in a small town in Montana. My mother died in 1929... (and) we were very poor...One Christmas my friend, Rex, whose parents had a restaurant in town, gave me a beautifully wrapped present. I was SOOOO EXCITED! Christmas Eve, my brother and I unwrapped our two presents. My brother watched me unwrap mine: a box of candy. And I can still hear him, 70 years later...yelling out, "DAAAAAD! THERE'S A PIECE GONE!!!!!"
I guess that proves little boys haven't really changed much in all these years!
Of course, Christmas is also a time when many of us former children experience the sadness of memories of parents who are no longer with us. I received many stories from people who were rocked by a flood of emotions at something as simple as coming across an old family decoration that their dad made, or the smell of a favorite family dish that mama used to cook. You never know what unlikely things might trigger overwhelming emotions.
For example, Linda from Texas recalled that her grandfather’s last Christmas gift to her dad just before he died was a shirt. He never wore that shirt. But he kept it hanging in his closet for the rest of his life, carefully preserved as a reminder of his dad.
Ellen from Oregon would understand that feeling. Her mother died of a brain tumor that had scrambled her thinking and sometimes made her a little exasperating. Just before Christmas, she made a big production of being driven to the post office to buy Christmas ornament postage stamps. She debated at great length before settling on the design, which she insisted on calling the “Jingle Bell stamps.” The postal clerk put three sheets of stamps in an onionskin envelope for her. Her mom proudly took them home, wrote “Christmas stamps” on the envelope, and displayed them on the windowsill for all to see. It seemed a little silly to Ellen at the time.
One month later, as she and her sisters were cleaning out their late mother’s house, Ellen came across her mom’s beloved Jingle Bells stamps in the onionskin envelope with her handwriting on it. She wrote, “I took them into the bathroom and cried.” She took the envelope with the remaining stamps home with her. Long afterward, when her husband needed a stamp, she opened the stamp drawer, saw them again, and cried again.
She began calling them the “Jingle Bell stamps,” too. There are only three stamps left, and there always will be. Ellen said she could never use them. She wrote:
“It’s almost as if when those stamps are gone, one more thread will be cut…But somehow I know I will never give up that little onion skin envelope. Whenever I buy stamps, it will always be in sheets, and I will always tuck them into that little onion skin envelope.”
Thank you for sharing that, Ellen. And please know that you are not alone. Many of us treasure things that might seem silly to others, but they hold value beyond gold to us. There’s no reason to be embarrassed about having a reminder of your mom in the stamp drawer. But it’s even better to know that we’ll always have memories of our loved ones who’ve left us tucked safely away in our hearts.
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY