Christmas means a whole lot more

December 28, 2017

A few years ago, inspired by my book “A Simple Christmas,” I asked listeners of my radio show to share their favorite family Christmas memories.  Today’s story shows us that Dr. Seuss was right: Christmas is not something that comes from a store.   Christmas means a whole lot more.  

Tina from California wrote to me that she was a struggling single mom for many years.  She managed to keep a roof over her daughter and son's heads.  But there was no money for the Christmas extravagances many families enjoy.  They had to be creative and "make do." 

Instead of buying cards, they'd call relatives and sing carols to them over the phone.  And instead of buying fancy Christmas treats, they'd go into the kitchen and make donuts out of Pillsbury biscuit dough, and sweeten and decorate them with cinnamon and sugar.  Tina said that for years, Christmas wasn't a good memory for her.  All she remembered about those Christmases was being poor. 

Then, Tina wrote, “When my son was 20, he said 'Mom, remember when we used to make donuts and sing to everyone for Christmas?'

Sulking, I replied, ‘Yeah.’ 

He said, 'That is one of my BEST Christmases. We didn't have a lot of money, but we had a lot of love to give.'”

Tina wrote, “I have since changed my opinion...(Now), it is one of my best Christmas memories also.  My heart grew 3 sizes that day!...Ever since, I make it a point to make a homemade gift for the people in my family.  Last year, I made everyone throw quilts. Christmas is more than a day... It is a memory!” 

Thank you again, Tina for that precious memory and a valuable lesson for us all.  It’s not the presents you spend money on that stay with your kids for a lifetime, it’s your presence spent with them that they’ll cherish forever. 

Tomorrow, what happens when playing Santa doesn’t go according to plan.  

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Comments 1-5 of 18

  • Tom Necchi

    01/06/2018 05:45 PM

    My Christmas this year was a special one. Normally my wife & her sister & I just spend the day together. I usually buy my wife & myself whatever I want, but this year I didn't do that. We learned that my wifes other sister & her husband who are farmers & didn't have any food
    prepared or any place to go, were going to spend Christmas all alone. My brother in law was out delivering hay on Christmas morning so
    we didn't know when he would return & I really didn't expect him to accept our invitation, since they don't like going to other peoples houses to eat. I called twice & invited them anyway, so imagine my surprise when they called at 2PM & said they would come. We were just finishing up dessert when they arrived, but we had plenty of food for everyone. We have been praying for my brother in law & his family for
    years to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior & Lord & we figured what better way than to invite them & fellowship with them. We had a wonderful time I will not soon forget. We can't buy these folks anything because they have everything that money can buy, but we gave them the one thing money can't buy, our love & kindness & fellowship. We didn't have most of the usual junk we normally have at Christmas but I wouldn't trade this experience for all the gold in king Solomons mines. Thanks Mike for the venue to tell our stories.

  • Norman R. Able

    12/28/2017 09:55 PM

    Thanks for the inspirational Christmas stories pointing out the true significance of Christmas. You messages are a "breath of fresh air," in the world of negativity. Lord bless your endeavors, Norm Able

  • patricia l clem, rentz

    12/28/2017 08:38 PM

    All my life, i've loved Christmas. With my mom and Dad and brother, especially when i was kid . I remember one year when my brother wanted a B B gun more than anything. And on Christmas morning i got up early and ran to the tree and there it was and i jumped on Mikes bed yelling and screaming at him to get up, get up. I think was more excited about it than he was. He was nine years older than me, and i think i was 4 or 5 at that time. He was a wonderful brother. But now I'm 65 and all my family is gone, including my loving brother and i'm all alone and i wish Christmas wouldn't come at all. I live in Mississippi for the past 3 yrs and its just not as caring around holidays as Arkansas was. Not one person has asked me come to thier house for Christmas dinner or for that fact Thanksgiving either. And that is hard when you are alone and no family. I go to a senior ctr during the week, but everybody is so involved with thier own family, that people don't think about anybody else. I know i'm loved by God but sometimes you need people too. I know this is suppose to be happy memories and i'm sorry.

  • Ben M. Elrod

    12/28/2017 04:04 PM

    Beautiful story,Mike,and so true! In my 87th year I am realizing more the value of relationships and memories. Among my treasured memories are some unforgettable times with you. Have some pictures on my wall in my study which are reminders of the value of times with a good friend worth a lot more than any Christmas gift.

  • Anita Moore

    12/28/2017 03:55 PM

    What a precious story! I almost wish I could "do" my presents all over again, this time making them more personal. So true...it's not what the gift is as much as it is how it is given, with a deep love for the receiver. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story, Mike.