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Today's Commentary --- Angel on high -- "Huckabee" preview -- A lifelong Christmas memory -- A deeper appreciation of Christmas -- A Baby Boomer's special Christmas memory -- Real gems -- "Feliz Navidad" -- A close encounter with the real Santa Claus --- Evening Edition -- Daily Verse
A few years ago, inspired by my book “A Simple Christmas,” I asked listeners of my radio show to share their own favorite Christmas memories. While my staffers and I are enjoying some time off with our families, I’m digging into the archives to share some of those wonderful stories again. I hope they’ll add some extra joy to your holiday season...
Annette from Texas shared a funny Christmas memory that’s taken on serious meaning over the years.
Around the time she and her twin sister were teenagers in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in the late ‘50s, a tradition started in their small Baptist church to create a living Nativity scene. Members would dress up as all the characters of the Nativity, so that cars could drive by in reverence and awe and see the Christmas story in 3D. It took months of work, part of which was coaching teenagers on how to “be still and know God.”
They never could teach the live animals to be still, so it could be pretty nerve-wracking, trying to stand motionless next to a live camel or goat with ideas of its own.
Annette was given a very special role.
By Pat Reeder
I hope you’ve enjoyed the “Simple Christmas” stories I’ve been sharing from my radio listeners. We’ll be back Monday with a New Year’s Eve wrap-up of news of the past week and some looks back at the past year. I imagine that means we'll be back at work before the government is.
In the meantime, 2018 is almost over, but there’s still time to squeeze in one more brand new episode of “Huckabee” on TBN! Tune in tonight as I welcome Bill O’Reilly and best-selling “American Sniper” author Scott McEwen. Former Dollar General CEO Cal Turner Jr. will talk about his grandfather’s small town values turned a family-run general store into a 14,000-store, $20 billion retail giant. The hilarious Chonda Pierce will check in from the road with another edition of “Chonda’s America” and drop by for an exclusive interview. I’ll have some crazy year-end news “In Case You Missed It,” and some commentary, serious and otherwise. And top it all off with the music from the men who launched the “Urban Cowboy” genre, Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee.
It’s all headed your way tonight at 8 and 11 EST, 7 and 10 CST, only on TBN. To find the channel in your local area and to stream previous episodes of “Huckabee,” visit https://www.tbn.org/programs/huckabee
A lifelong Christmas memory
By Mike Huckabee
Joe from Oklahoma shared a special Christmas memory that sounds like something the dad in “A Christmas Story” might have pulled. Joe still vividly recalled when he was seven, and he and his two siblings rushed downstairs expecting to find stockings and gifts. Instead, they found mayhem. A toppled glass of milk, chairs thrown around, and the tree on its side.
They rushed to wake their parents, who came downstairs with crafty smiles. Joe’s dad was a police officer. He told them Santa had spilled the milk, refused to clean up after himself, and was rude to him. This had sparked a tussle that spilled out into the back yard. Then he pointed out a pile of dirt in the back yard the size of a fresh grave. Joe assured the kids that Santa escaped alive…but he said, “Rudolph will never (relieve himself) on our roof again.”
Well, I must admit, that’s one original way to create a lifelong Christmas memory for your kids! Or maybe just to scar them for life. Either way, it was unforgettable!
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.
A Baby Boomer's special Christmas memory
By Mike Huckabee
Mary B. Walsh of the nostalgic and inspiring “Dear Baby Boomer” blog (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!‘
By Mike Huckabee
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.
By Mike Huckabee
Jim in Alabama shared a story that reminded us of how the Christmas season brings everyone together. During his time in the military back in 1973, Jim was stationed near Nuremberg, Germany. He writes:
“Being born and reared in the South, I had never met people from Puerto Rico. But we had four guys from Puerto Rico and Queens, New York. Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” would play on Armed Forces Radio and these guys made us all start to dance and sing along. They sure knew how to have a good time. They helped us all not be so homesick.”
Thank you for that great memory, Jim. I can’t think of anything more American than guys from Alabama, New York and Puerto Rico all joining the US Army and celebrating Christmas in Germany listening to Jose Feliciano sing “Feliz Navidad!”
A close encounter with the real Santa Claus
By Mike Huckabee
Next, what might be a close encounter with the real Santa Claus. Margaret from Washington wrote that her 60-year-old sister Liz lived in an adult home. She had cerebral palsy and autism, the mental capacity of a six-year-old, constant pain from two broken hips and her spine, and limited speech due to her medication. She didn’t have much joy in her life, but she loved Christmas and still had an unwavering belief in Santa Claus.
Liz had a great caregiver named Crissie who told Margaret that Liz and her deaf housemate Alice saved up $20 from their meager support checks, the price of a photo with Santa at the mall. So Crissie agreed to take them.
After waiting an hour in line, they finally got to the front to discover the photo price was $23. The “elves” wouldn’t budge on the price. Crissie called the home but was told she wasn’t allowed to spend her own money on residents. So Crissie reluctantly signed the news to Alice and began pushing Liz’s wheelchair away. Margaret said her sister began throwing a fit as only she could, and Crissie started pushing as fast as possible, with Alice trotting behind and Liz’s screams echoing through the mall.
As they reached their car, they heard someone shout, “Liz, wait!” They turned around, and there was Santa, out of breath. He’d been running after them. Liz stopped screaming immediately. Santa gave them all candy canes and said he’d love to pose for a photo with them, no charge. Santa hugged Liz and Alice, and said, “HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!” as Crissie took a cell phone photo.
Now, here’s where the story takes a magical turn. The photo turned out great. You could even tell that Santa’s long white beard was real. Margaret was so touched by his kindness that she went to the mall with a thank-you card and the photo, so they could identify the mall Santa who performed that special act of kindness.
She showed the photo to the mall manager’s secretary, who took it back into the office. Margaret wrote:
“The manager came out and told me she thought it was a great photo…but that was NOT their Santa.”
They had no idea who that kind, jolly man in the beard and red suit who magically appeared out of nowhere in their hour of need could have been.
I think I’ll leave it up to you to decide.
Evening Edition - December 21
By Mike Huckabee
A wrap-up of all the news you might have missed yesterday!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." – John 3:16
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