ADVENTure Day 11

vintage christmas: 1975

Today’s ADVENTure post comes from Bill Grandi.  Bill is a pastor in the great state of Indiana.  He blogs regularly at CycleGuy’s Spin, and he has become a friend over the past couple of years thanks to the wonders of the blogosphere.  Today, he offers a post to get you thinking about your ADVENTure from a different angle.

(If you’re interesting in guest posting as part of the ADVENTure series or in general, please leave me a comment.  I’d love to connect with you.  Thanks!)

It is said everyone has a story. Here is part of my Christmas one.

I grew up in what was commonly known as the projects in West Mifflin, PA. They were nothing more than glorified low income housing units built for the steel workers during the war. My father grew up in Fort Wayne, IN, was the product of an abusive home, and joined the Navy.  After his discharge he attended Findlay College for a year or two for journalism, but dropped out in order to marry my mother. My mother was raised by godly parents and her desire was to be a missionary. We always joked because her mission field wound up being 4 sons (all of whom are serving the Lord today). They moved back to her hometown and found housing in the projects. We moved to the one I remember most because it was while living there that my father lost his job as a yard clerk on the railroad. Times were lean…no make that very lean. Mom went to work in a mom & pop grocery store. Dad was jobless for several years, until my aunt eventually paid for him to go to computer school to learn the growing field of computers. That was the time computers were as big as a house and took huge rooms kept almost frigid to house them.

Through it all my mom’s faith upheld her. My dad was nominal at best, but my mother’s faith was real and deep. She made sure Christmas was special in more ways than one. While they were both conscious of the “material” aspect of Christmas, mom made sure we knew the deeper story of Christmas. Yes, we had Santa Claus. Yes, we had lights and a tree and trains (those was my father’s responsibilities). But I had a mother (and grandparents) who made sure we knew what Christmas was all about. I learned early on that it did not depend on what you did/did not receive, or what others got that you didn’t. I learned how important it was to be grateful for whatever it was I received, whether I asked for it or not. Even after my father found a computer job, that focus never changed.

I have a lot of good memories from Christmas morning-of games being played; of breakfast being eaten before we could even open a gift; of staring in amazement at the sight that greeted my eyes (when we went to bed there was N-O-T-H-I-N-G); but most importantly of loving parents who sacrificed so their children could have a “nice” Christmas.

ADVENTURE Question:  What do you remember from your early years which shaped your impression of Christmas, and is still affecting you today?

ADVENTure Activity: Do you know a family you can reach out to who may have run into some tough times lately? Do they have children whom you can help them with? Can you help them anonymously? Do something.