December 13, 2010

The lights


“Wow! I heard rumors about this but I never thought I’d ever see them.”

“Didn’t you have television on the farm Joe?”

“Nah. Ever since Ma died, Pa has lost interest in everything. He said television is a waste of time.”

“So what did you do for fun?”

“Fun? What’s that? All we did was work from sunup to sundown. First there was the chores, then the field work.”

“Joe, Aunt Martha has been gone for almost eight years. Didn’t Uncle Bob try to find someone or something to do to get over her accident?”

Mike, Pa did nothing but work and that’s all he had me do. He even schooled me at home. He said it was better that way.”

“Well, it’s a good thing that salesman went out there last week. You could have starved to death. I’m sorry about Uncle Bob’s passing but you had no way to let anyone know. According to the salesman, you didn’t even have a telephone.”

“Pa wanted nothing to do with nobody.”

“Well the sheriff found one of my letters and contacted me. You’re living with me now, here in the city.”

“I know. Thank you.”

“Monday you’ll be taking some tests to see what grade you have to start. But, at ten years of age, you won’t be back too far. Until then, we need to start getting ready for Christmas.”


“Yes. It’s that time of year where everyone celebrates the birth of Jesus and everyone exchanges gifts. We decorate the house with lights and put up a Christmas tree.”

Mike went on to tell Joe the story of Christmas and also to explain the modern traditions. His nephew Joe had led a very secluded life and it was time to bring him up to date. He had a lot to learn outside of what he would pick up in school. Then came the explanation of Santa Claus. Poor Joe was now really out in the cold.

“We’ll go shopping tomorrow. You need new clothes anyway. Maybe we can find Santa and you can tell him what you want for Christmas.”

“I ain’t got no money to buy nothing. So why would Santa get me something?”

“Well, first off, we need to work on your English. Christmas and Santa isn’t about money or what you can afford. Many people make their gifts for others. But Santa brings toys and clothes to all boys and girls, regardless of income. He doesn’t expect anything back, except cookies and milk.”

“Aw, there ain’t no such thing as Santa.”

“Isn’t there? There may not be a real person that comes down a chimney, but Santa is real. He is the spirit of Christmas. To believe in Santa is to believe in the goodness of man.”

Joe had been living with Mike for a few days so television wasn’t new anymore. Mike thought the best way to explain Christmas was to put in the DVD of Dickens Christmas Carol, original TV version. Christmas made a little more sense after that.

“What do you want for Christmas Joe?”

“Clothes, but I can’t get you nothing.”

“You can’t get me anything, that’s how you say it correctly. Besides, you’ve already given me the best gift possible.”


“You’re here.”

That left Joe a bit speechless. The next day they went shopping. Joe helped his cousin pick out a tree. Mike explained that a fake tree was safer, so they got one with lights. Then they went shopping for clothes and found Santa.

“See how all the people are standing in line to tell Santa what they want for Christmas? Why don’t you do it too?”

“Naw, I don’t really want anything. Besides he can’t afford to get things for everybody.”

“Remember the movies? Santa is magical. Go ahead, at least you get a free candy cane.”

He was bigger than the other kids, but he got in line anyway. Mike heard Joe ask for a bike for Christmas.

“I bet I don’t get it, but I did get my candy cane.”

They went home and put up the decorations. Joe helped Mike wrap presents for his friends and put them under the tree. Mikes girlfriend called and confirmed that she would be at Mike’s house for Christmas dinner. She hadn’t met Joe yet but was looking forward to it. On Christmas eve they put out some milk and cookies for Santa, even though Joe was convinced they would be there the next morning. But, like all children, he was up at the break of dawn (habit from the farm).

“Mike, Mike!!!! The milk and cookies are gone and there is a big red bike here with my name on it! Santa does exist.”

“Yes Joe, there is a Santa.”

Merry Christmas everyone!




  1. Good one, Ron. I was talking to a friend here yesterday about how the giving of your love and creativity is much more valuable than an expensive gift from a store. Merry Christmas!
    Janet Elaine Smith, multi-genre author

    Comment by Janet Elaine Smith — December 13, 2010 @ 8:58 am | Reply

  2. Ron,
    What a wonderful and inspiring story. You made a cold morning feel much warmer and fuzzier. 🙂

    Comment by Ginger — December 13, 2010 @ 9:21 am | Reply

  3. Nice story, well-told.

    Tossing It Out

    Comment by Arlee Bird — December 13, 2010 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  4. Love this – well written and very appropriate! 🙂

    Comment by The Old Silly — December 13, 2010 @ 1:46 pm | Reply

  5. Ron, what a delightful story. I’m glad to see you mentioned the “reason for the season, the birth of Christ.” And I like the way you illustrated Santa Clause. Just perfect. Good for you.

    Pee Wee

    Comment by Pee Wee — December 13, 2010 @ 1:56 pm | Reply

  6. Loved it,Ron!

    Comment by Jay Hudson — December 13, 2010 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

  7. I’ve always believed in Santa Clause and your little story re-enforces that…I have a tendency to make whatever I give – it’s certainly a gift from the heart then – and the reason for the season – is always Jesus…good job – one of your better stories.

    Comment by billiewilliamsmysteryauthor — December 13, 2010 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

  8. Good Story, think it is one of your best in a while.

    Comment by Angie — December 14, 2010 @ 9:44 am | Reply

  9. Hi Ron,
    A beautiful story, brilliantly told. I loved it.



    Comment by margaret tanner — December 14, 2010 @ 9:39 pm | Reply

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    Comment by bet365 — December 15, 2010 @ 2:16 am | Reply

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