Rodney Mullins Online
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A Family Christmas

A Family Christmas –  When I was a child I lived in a struggling City with a continual economic downturn. Christmas to us was more about family and fellowship than it was about gifts or parties. We were a simple family with lots of love and spirituality.

 I remember the huge bulbs of color on the tree and my sister and I would sit for hours singing “Oh Christmas tree” and other favorites. We loved to string tinsel across the branches of the biggest tree that dad could find. One year we even had one that was silver and had a light that made it change colors. No matter what the tree looked like it always gave us such cheer. We would draw names and dad would give us money to go shopping at the five and dime on our way to see Santa. All the lights and fanfare of downtown Toledo fascinated us as we stood in line to sit on Ole Saint Nicks lap and tell him what we wanted that year.

One year was more special than any other in my lifetime. That was the year that changed my dad’s life forever. That was the year he discovered the true meaning of Christmas. Dad spent a lot of time in the local taverns in those days’s he would get drunk and play pool and fight. As a child I would remember crying because he scared me when he was drinking. He was our hero when sober and our villain when drunk.

One night just a few weeks before Christmas we got a knock on the door and when mom opened it she begin to cry. It was two police officers telling her that dad had been in a fight in the bar and was cut with a knife from one side of his neck to the other. At that moment we thought we would never see him alive again. Christmas suddenly had lost its cheer.

After arriving at the hospital mom found out that they had to use sheets from the bed to try to stop the bleeding. Dad was severe and in life threatening condition. The days that followed were very fearful for us all. We had prayed and ask God to touch dad and allow him to be home for Christmas.

 Just a few days before Christmas we got the news that dad would be home the next day and he would indeed be home for the big day. The joy that filled our hearts was overwhelming. It did not matter what was under the tree because dad would be home. He was alive, safe and was coming home.

The next day we waited for what seemed like ever to greet him at the door. Then he was home… he was not the same. He was frail and had a bandage around his neck to protect the many stitches. We were very careful not to hurt him as we greeted him and welcomed him home for the Holidays.

Sitting on one leg and my sister sitting on the other we told dad what we wanted for Christmas. With hope in our hearts we asked him to never drink again. We also ask him to allow Jesus to come into his heart. Tears filled his eyes as he told us he could not take us to see Santa that year but we assured him that our wish was more important than anything else. One moment we were asking for cars and trucks, dolls and doll houses and to see Santa. The next moment we were just thankful to have dad home safe.

What a joyful Christmas it was. You cannot imagine the joy to see him alive and home. Nothing else mattered but the fact that our family was all together for Christmas. The years have added some loss and deep sorrow to our family. Mom and Dad are much older and moving slower now and we have lost our baby sister to cancer. It is difficult with us living all over the Country and having our own kids and grandkids to get together at Christmas time. The memories of many wonderful seasons will have to fill our minds each year because we can never have those days back again. I often share this story around the Holidays to reflect on God’s grace in the lives of a simple family growing up in South Toledo. I hope it brings you some joy…

 By the way we did get our Christmas wish that year. Dad never drank again and he has served the Lord for over 40 years and still going strong today. Although we will all miss our little sister this year we know that we have the promise of a coming Christmas where one day all our wishes will come true. We will be together again as that simple little family from South Toledo.

 Merry Christmas


2 Responses to “A Family Christmas”

  1. i need forgiveness; and i want to forgive. i am so angry and hurt by someone who says she is my best friend and yet continues to ignore that she hurt me with her words. i don’t want to live this way anymore when i bring it up she ignores me yet she want’s me to be a part of her upcoming wedding how can i forgive her?

  2. please God help me to forgive

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