The photo above shows the hammer I got for Christmas almost sixty years ago! When I was child my family had very little money to spend on Christmas. My father was a pastor and only got what people gave on the Sunday the offering went to the preacher. In our church there was a couple who had no children. They adopted our family each Christmas and asked each of us children what we wanted for Christmas. When Christmas came they had each of our requested gifts. I will never forget this act of grace and what it meant to me.
“What do you want for Christmas she asked?”
A chemistry set would be a real blast.
When Christmas came, this angel of grace
was at our door with every gift in place.
We were just poor preacher’s kids, our die was cast.
Waiting for Christmas was always a great task.
For we knew our selected gift of choice
would make us shout from the top of our voice.
“What do you want for Christmas this year?”
She would get it no need to fear.
Just a hammer of my very own,
would make my day when you come to my home.
Money was scarce and gifts were few.
But, at our house we always knew
that no matter what the circumstance,
we need not worry about chance
“What do you want for Christmas this time?”
A Louisville slugger would suit me just fine.
Then I could be like Henry and Don.
A bat of my own yes, that’s the one.
Ruth and Edgar were one of a kind,
No children of their own they did not mind,
bringing smiles and joy to their preacher’s kids
and that helmet they brought me surely did.
“What do you want for Christmas,” she asked?
She never let a Christmas pass.
Every year until I left home
my gift of choice became my own
I will never forget that act of grace
and the joy and smiles she brought to my face
I learned of God’s love and his saving grace,
and his only son Jesus who took my place.
And now each Christmas I hear that voice,
“What do you want for Christmas?” “It’s your choice?”
There is nothing I need that will bring me more joy
than that gift of God’s Grace to a little boy.
Written as a tribute to Ruth and Edgar Honsaker
who helped make our Christmases a little brighter.
Photo: Dwight L. Roth