Dear RCC family,
You’re receiving this “Note from the Family” as part of our celebration of the birth of Christ. It’s an opportunity for you to enjoy a Christmas memory with a member of your RCC family. Thanks to David Colvin for sharing his warm memory of a childhood Christmas!
I was six years old that Christmas of 1936--my birthday had been just four weeks earlier on November 22. My name is David. I lived with my Mother and Father, three sisters and one brother--Rebecca, Martha, Ruth and James—in my Grandmother’s house. It was a rambling farm-house, cool in the summer, icy cold in winter. And yes, we all had been given biblical names, a fact in which my mother took great pride!
The Christmas tree had been in place in our living room for a week and, in our eyes, was beautiful. It was a cedar tree, about six feet tall which was decorated with an assortment of ornaments which had been used and added to over the years. The finishing touches were gold and silver colored roping wrapped around the tree and icicles hanging from the individual branches. The tree stand was covered by a white sheet which looked like snow. There were no colorful lights on the tree because electricity had not reached our part of Kentucky yet and would not come for another three years. Illumination was by kerosene lamps.
Christmas Eve was a happy time of anticipation of what would come on Christmas morning. We placed our presents for each other under the tree and laid out our empty stockings for Santa Claus to fill (mine was one of those long, tan, cotton stockings that all children wore at that time). We usually had some chocolate fudge or hot chocolate as a special treat. Of course, out Daddy would usually come in with a story of how Santa Claus was sick or had been hurt in a collision of his sleigh with a truck, and that he might not be able to come that night, but we knew better!! So off to bed we went.
I should explain this ritual. Since the only heat in our house was by open fireplaces, the bedrooms were not heated and were cold—very cold. To remedy this situation we would warm a small blanket in front of the fireplace and then make a dash to our bed where we would wrap our feet in the warm blanket and pull the covers—usually five or six blankets or quilts over our heads. Then, literally, “visions of sugar-plums” would dance in our heads.
On Christmas morning the house was a-buzz with excitement. Each of us tried to be the first one to say “Merry Christmas, Christmas gift”, and we all went into the living room together. It was obvious immediately, Santa Claus HAD been there! There were more beautiful packages under the tree and I could see a slate and a “Big Little” book and a shirt which was for me. My stocking was filled with fruit and candy and nuts. But before we examined our presents my sister, Dorothy Rebecca said she wanted to read us a story, and she did. She opened our family Bible and read us the story of Joseph and Mary and the birth of Jesus, and the star, and the shepherds, and the Kings, and the wise men and the gifts and… And at age six I probably didn’t fully understand the meaning of the story. But now, 80 years later, I understand that God gave us the greatest gift of all—a Savior. Now, when I hear the word “Christmas” warm thoughts of love, family, joy, giving, relationships and God come rushing to my mind.
I have many other Christmas memories, but this one is special.
Rev. Conway is an Ordained Minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He was ordained by the Kentucky Region in May 1986 when he completed his Masters degree in Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary. Rev Conway also holds an Associates in Applied Science and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of KY.