Christmas Greetings from Carrie Wood's Classy Chic Chicks - and from me, too. (Scott Duncan)
The following story is about a true Christmas Miracle and Carrie is guest blogger on this wonderful day of celebration. I'll let her tell it now . . .
This story dates back to 1973:
It was December 17, time to dig myself out of the military wife doldrums and loneliness and create a 'passable' Christmas for my 2 little boys. So, off we went to the Toys Are Us store in search of favorites for the 3-5 year old demographics.
Already, all I'd heard from nearly three year old Sammy was " I want a Big Wheel, gonna do pop-a-wheelies." He could not adequately explain what he meant, so hands-on demonstration was needed.
We held hands through the typical holiday mass of mayhem in the parking lot (demolition derby) and entered the store, browsing isle by exhausting isle. Sammy got excited about everything . . . Michael was unfazed by any of the toys, which was worrisome. Then, we arrived at the section reserved for riding toys and test drives. I was quickly enlightened on the identity of a Big Wheel.
Michael stayed close by my side, surveying the choices - then suddenly he dashed over to a fire engine. He sat down and drove it. All the while, I'd been price checking - it wasn't encouraging. There was a blue car more reasonably priced, almost equal to the cost of the Big Wheel. My car was blue, so I asked Michael if he'd like to try out "a car just like mommy's". The answer was one word, or rather one sober shake of his head.
My husband was an enlisted man, he wasn't paid a lot. I worked part-time, but had child care to pay out of my income. Toys were possible at the risk of healthy food; not a viable choice. The way I looked at it, there was just one choice - talking Michael into wanting the blue car.
If I was careful, I could make it through the month, and I was fairly confident I could convince Michael that the blue car would be far better than the fire engine.
My husband was due home from deployment on January 8th, so our Christmas celebration would be the next day. The only communication choice back then was snail mail, with the faint possibility of a quick call, so I was truly on my own.
We headed for home without buying anything, ate dinner and soon it was bedtime for the boys. Michael said his bed-time prayer:
My confidence level plummeted!
My babysitter had asked me if I minded her including the boys in Bible stories and prayer and sharing her faith. My only objection was that I felt waiting and letting my sons decide without undue influence when they were able to make the decision was a good idea.
But, I knew it would be hard for her if she had to always be worrying about what my boys were absorbing while raising her own three children as she preferred, so I said 'OK'.
Michael, it turned out had a rock solid faith.
He wasn't about to 'settle' for the blue car, no matter how many creative ways I broached the subject. He was going to get the red fire engine, with a bell. He KNEW it was going to happen!
"Well", I thought, "maybe almost five isn't too young to learn that you can't have everything you want."
With a feeling of shame and dread, I stopped by the toy store and put the Big Wheel and blue car on layaway. During the last few days before Christmas I continued trying to persuade Michael to agree that the blue car would be exciting, but failed miserably.
On Christmas day, the boys piled into the car with me and we headed for the babysitters house to celebrate with her family and a few guests from her neighborhood. It passed the time, but I was miserable. Another two weeks to worry and to have our 'real' Christmas. I couldn't help wondering . . . had I made a good decision or one that would destroy any hope that Michael's faith would persevere? There was no way to know.
Then, finally, the days and hours of wait had passed . . . Daddy was coming home, and we were celebrating our family Christmas the very next morning, January 9th!
I dressed the boys up in their little 'leisure suits' for the trip to the base airport. The plane was a bit late, which produced a good deal of anxiety, but eventually it taxied in and soon the crew had reached the waiting family members. All of a sudden the pressure was off; being alone had taken its toll.
We got the boys tucked in as soon as possible, and it was time for Charles to get the riding toys down from the garage attic and assemble them. I still had details to complete, too, so I sat at the dining room table just above the family room, which opened up to the garage. I was intrigued when Charles set one of the boxes down and I heard the faint ringing of a bell.
I got up for a closer look when I saw a shiny red portion of metal. Charles had a perplexed look on his face; after all, the picture on the front of the box showed a blue car!
He hurriedly unpacked the contents and we stared in amazement at a "red fire engine with a ladder - and a bell - ready to be assembled!"