Several weeks ago, we asked Ramona Sentinel readers to share their most memorable Christmas with the community. We received some heartwarming stories. They range from a grandmother of 11 who awaited the birth of her first child 55 years ago to a young girl who recently received “A Sister for Christmas.” One woman tells of the outpouring of gifts she and her son received during a particularly trying period in their lives, another tells of the last words she shared with her father one Christmas morning, and a third recounts the story of a special gift her sister and brother-in-law presented nearly 40 years ago.
We thank them for sharing their Most Memorable Christmas with the community, and we send best wishes to our readers for a most memorable holiday season.
By Claudia Dufresne
Some of our most memorable Christmas mornings are related to the amazing gift we received, like a new car, tied with a large red bow or a dream vacation to Paris. We also remember that mountain cabin, where it snowed on Christmas Eve and the whole family was together drinking hot chocolate.
For my son and me the most memorable Christmas came when we learned about the true spirit of the holiday, The Spirit of Giving.
As a single parent of a chronically ill 5-year-old, my life was difficult. After I injured my back, and was no longer able to work, it became almost impossible. But on one early December day, I was pushed far beyond the limits of my experience. I was unsure how I was going to survive this one.
Due to complications related to my son’s asthma, Kory developed an infection in the fluid of his hip. After seven hours in the emergency room, he was diagnosed and scheduled for surgery at midnight. As they wheeled him into surgery, I was so lost and couldn’t imagine how I would cope with what was to follow. He woke up the following morning, in a full body cast, screaming to get out.
Several days later, I took him home to face the most difficult task, caring for him day and night, by myself. He would require
I.V. antibiotics twice daily and have to be rotated several times during the night. The cast would rub on his slim frame and he would cry out every couple of hours from the pain. Still battling excruciating pain from my injury, I patiently cared for him for three of the longest weeks of my life. The cast was to be removed on Christmas Eve.
A few days before Christmas a group of professional women called and said they would like to come over and sing Christmas carols to my son and me. When they arrived, they were carrying bags of toys and food. Tears streamed down my face as an entire pickup truck full of treasures entered my home. I was amazed at the generosity of these strangers.
The following day, a neighbor told me she was coming by with a few things for Kory and me. When she arrived, I learned that her church had selected our family as the recipients of the Christmas food donation drive. She and her children proceeded to unload box after box of food, depositing them into my tiny kitchen. My refrigerator and freezer were full to capacity and we brought in shelves from the garage to house the overflow of canned goods. I was so overwhelmed, I could hardly speak.
The following day, my sister arrived with a carload of food and toys, donated by her children’s preschool. The children brought in the food and toys and made paper chains and cards for Kory’s room. We decorated a small tree and hung the colorful construction paper cards on the wall. He was overjoyed to have his own tree. On Christmas morning, out of his cast, but still unable to walk, Kory crawled out of bed and dragged himself into the living room.
Beneath the tree were gifts I was unable to buy, and a bounty of food for Christmas dinner. Throughout the day, neighbors I had never spoken to arrived at my door. One by one they presented us with plates of cookies and small wrapped packages filled with toy trucks, coloring books and crayons.
The food sustained us for over six months, but the memory of the season will remain with us for a lifetime. Each year when I decorate my tree, I place two small angels, tied to a package that year, at the top of the tree. And, I remember the Spirit of Christmas is in the giving to benefit others.
A Sister for Christmas
By Paige Ganci
This Christmas will be my most memorable Christmas ever! Even though this is her third Christmas in our home, it’s the first
one as my sister. In 2010 Savannah came to live with us. We thought she’d only be part of our family for a few weeks. When she came into our home she could barely speak and now with lots of help she will talk to anyone and everyone.
I was an only child for almost 10 years. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to be a Big Sister.
On Nov. 2, 2012, our family became complete with the adoption of Savannah. Life is different now, but the best thing is, she thinks we have been sisters all along. My little sister is a caring, cute, sweet girl, and I’m glad she found her forever family.
I got the best Christmas present of all — a sister named Savannah!
Paige is 12 years old.