My Norfolk Island Pine house plant doesn’t make for a very traditional Christmas tree, but that’s the most effort I’m willing to make anymore. The children are long gone, and with all of the problems and terrors we face most days, a “Merry Christmas” just doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
I share the story of one special Christmas every year now, however, and it never loses its significance. Seems we need to be reminded that the “old days” were never perfect and had their own problems and terror… My Perfect Christmas.
1950 was a hard year. My father died and my mother was left with two small children. She was a “housewife” and had no particular marketable skills. She also didn’t have any family who could help her much. She was a recovering alcoholic and suffered from severe depression. Not a pretty picture.
This, of course, was long before the social workers, welfare, food stamps, WIC, or any of the alphabet soup government offices and “programs.” All she had was her faith in God and her children, the few friends who stood with her, and the understanding that it was her responsibility to raise her children and get on with life the best she could.