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“The Best Christmas Gift” by Kitty Holt

I grew up with a fake Christmas tree.  Every year my dad would haul it down from the attic, place it in its stand, and we would decorate it.  That all changed when I was 12.

About six weeks before Christmas, my home was leveled by a gas explosion, along with just about everything in it (which we quickly came to realize were mostly unimportant material things).  Saddest, was the loss of life of a young and brave first responder to my home.

Within an hour or so, the Red Cross was in the neighborhood passing out food and drink to emergency personnel.  Within hours, strangers and friends had written down the sizes of each of my 8 family members and purchased us all new clothing and winter coats.  All sorts of donations came pouring in over the ensuing days and weeks… home-cooked meals, dinner out, money, new shoes, even a home to live in until ours was rebuilt.  But one of the most memorable donations was that of a live Christmas tree by a local retailer.  I had never had a real tree in my home and the smell of it is imprinted in my mind.

Decades later, I have never gone back to a fake tree due to those memories of my first real Christmas tree which brings to mind the sacrifices of so many who gave so willingly when my family had nothing.

When I think back on that Christmas, I can’t help but to think back to the first Christmas … when a family who was far from home needed a place to stay.  Their baby boy was born in a humble manger and lived a perfect life, and then, sacrificing all, gave his life so that those of us with truly nothing, destined to destruction, would not be lacking in anything.

If you know Jesus, then truly you have everything you need.  Why not give the best gift of all this Christmas and share Him with someone?