A Christmas Story

On the weekends, I usually pass on something that has been passed to me by a Fresh Manna reader. The following was recently sent to me. I hope it will bless you!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim

Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
http://www.freshmanna.org http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Prov 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in the power of your hand to do so”

A Christmas Story

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.

I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big
sister dropped the bomb: “There is no Santa Claus,” she jeered. “Even
dummies know that!”

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that
day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always
told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot
easier when swallowed with one of her “world-famous” cinnamon buns. I
knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told
her everything. She was ready for me. “No Santa Claus?” she snorted.
“Ridiculous! Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for
years, and it makes me mad, plain mad. Now, put on your coat, and let’s

“Go? Go where, Grandma?” I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second
world-famous cinnamon bun.

“Where” turned out to be Kerby’s General Store, the one store in town
that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through
it’s doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those
days. “Take this money,” she said, “and buy something for someone who
needs it. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Then she turned and walked out
of Kerby’s.

I was only eight years old. I’d often gone shopping with my mother, but
never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and
crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.
For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that
ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the
kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about
thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with
bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s
grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he
never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a
note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that
Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he had no coat. I fingered the
ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a

I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real
warm, and he would like that. “Is this a Christmas present for someone?”
the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

“Yes, ma’am,” I replied shyly. “It’s for Bobby.” The nice lady smiled at
I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag and wished me a
Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper and
ribbons (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her
Bible) and write, “To Bobby, From Santa Claus” on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me
over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and
forever officially one of Santa’s helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I crept
noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave
me a nudge. “All right, Santa Claus,” she whispered, “get going.” I took
a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his
step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to
open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven’t dimmed
the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby
Decker’s bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about
Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was
alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the tag tucked inside: $19.95.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2006 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.


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