It’s been beautiful watching community come together this Christmas
Published 2:11 pm Thursday, December 19, 2019
As a child, I was not always aware of the effort my parents made to make Christmases merry. I just knew that when I woke up on Christmas morning, Santa had made his delivery.
It wasn’t until I became a parent that I began to comprehend their undertakings.
Several years ago, my mom and I were discussing past experiences, and for the first time, she shared with me this Christmas story about my dad.
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Earlier in life as a young father, dad worked as an internal revenue agent, and his income left us with little wiggle room.
But, of course, as a child, I didn’t know these facts. All I knew was that I had everything I needed.
And when it came to Christmas, Santa also seemed to meet expectations.
The story my mom shared took me back to those early years when my friends and I longed for Barbies and bikes.
I remember waking up one Christmas to find not only new Barbies under the tree but also a big yellow Barbie case.
It was the most beautiful Barbie case I had ever seen.
Well, via mom, that Barbie case had been purchased at a fire sale. It was pretty bad looking since it was covered with black soot, but my dad, who can fix anything, by the way, put hours of sweat equity into cleaning it and returning it to its original state.
So by the time Christmas rolled around, that yellow Barbie case looked like nothing had ever happened to it.
Another year, she recounted that Dad found bikes for my brother and me that were less than pristine, but after working his cleaning magic, he returned them to their shiny new state.
I will treasure these stories my mom shared with me about how hard my dad worked to make Christmas magical for his children.
But these stories of my father’s love for us also reminded me of our community.
For the past few weeks, there have been numerous groups who have made sure that no child will go without Christmas presents.
There were those who donated to Toys for Tots and volunteers who worked to sort and deliver the gifts. The Salvation Army sponsored an Angel Tree as well as the Good Shepherd Community Center.
Jammin’ with the Kids held their annual event, and with the toys they collected, children whose parents are incarcerated will not go without Christmas gifts.
Churches in Vicksburg collected toys for children, and Operation Christmas Child collected 6,000 shoeboxes filled with toys and school supplies and sent them to children in other countries who may otherwise never receive a gift.
Christmas is a magical time for children, and thanks to so many generous people, children in Vicksburg and all over the world will benefit from the love and care of those in our community who, like my dad, give from the heart.
And for anyone who may be wondering about my yellow Barbie case, I hung onto it thinking one day it may be worth something.
I was right; it is priceless.
Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.