The holidays are soon approaching, and like every year, I’m getting excited. The holiday season is such a time of joy, celebration and giving. Last week I was reminiscing on the most significant Christmas of my life.
I was seven years old. Like many children, I looked forward to Christmas, although I secretly hoped this would be the year I didn’t receive a doll again. My parents knew that I didn’t care much for dolls, but in their minds a girl had to have a doll. Would this be the year that I received something more exciting? My parents were missionaries in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, so it wasn’t like they had a lot of money for gifts, but I still hoped.
On Christmas morning, my three brothers and I were giddy with anticipation. Finally it was time to open presents. My dad handed me a present. I tore into the box only to see, you guessed it, a doll. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the present – especially since I knew my parents sacrificed a lot to get us Christmas presents – but I wasn’t exactly thrilled. I tried to hide my disappointment and turned to watch my brothers open their presents.
A few minutes later, Dad placed a large box in front of me. I looked up at him surprised. “Open it,” he said. I began pulling away red wrapping paper.
To my joy and surprise, a little, red accordion lay nestled in the box. How thrilling! How did my parents know? I loved watching Mr. Bernard play his red accordion at church! I immediately clipped the straps around my back and used one finger to pick out the melody of a chorus from Sunday school. I couldn’t put it down. It opened the world of music to me. “How did you know what I wanted?” I asked my parents.
“We saw the rapture on your face when Mr. Bernard played the concert on the accordion at church,” responded Mom.
Little did they know how that one gift would impact my life. More than fifty years later, I still play the accordion in church. The one I use now isn’t red, and it’s much larger, but it brings music to villages and churches that otherwise wouldn’t have it. How could they have known? What a Christmas!