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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Valentine

That One Christmas

Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.

Thomas S. Monson

We have had some fun experiences on Christmas. Yesterday’s post was about our Christmases as a child. The most memorable one as an adult, before having children was when my sister and I shared a basement apartment for a few years after college. We had a separate entrance from the home owners and I remember the ceiling being 6 feet high in the living room, but higher in the bedroom and kitchen. I was dating a guy who was 6’ 4” at the time so he always had to watch his head…but I digress.

That first Christmas out of college was a very humble one. We really didn’t have much but my eldest brother found a fresh tree and brought it over. We didn’t have ornaments or a tree stand so really it was a giant air freshener. We took a wire hanger and wrapped it around the middle of the tree and stuck the other half of the wire in a slotted door to keep it upright. Between the two of us we were keeping life and limb together, but not much else. That first year after college, you are making it totally on your own so it was slim pickings.

The joyous thing was that my brother and his family, sister and I would be together for Christmas and that hadn’t happen for quite some time. I am not sure where my younger brother was – living life I’m sure. We were quite emotional as we shared what we loved about being together for Christmas and how we should do it every year. We haven’t been able to get everyone together again physically, but from the heart perspective, we are never far apart.

My sister somehow managed to get me a gift. It was the only gift under this poor undecorated tree. It was the most beautiful white cotton shirt with an elegant collar. It’s funny how you remember certain gifts. I am sure she had to sacrifice to get that gift for me. To this day I remember and appreciate it. This sounds like a sad story, but if you were there you would agree that it was the most wonderful Christmas because of all of the love in the room.

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