Front Porch Stories: Remembering A Giving Christmas
By KATHY BOHANNON, Front Porch Stories
My dad was generous to a fault. He would give to total strangers, helping when they needed it most.
One of my favorite Christmas memories is when dad and I delivered food to families who were less fortunate.
I don’t know how I was the one (out of four kids) who went with him, but I’m thankful I did. The memories of those days are forever with me.
I remember the first time, it was very cold on that December morning in College Park, Georgia. Dad wore his black London Fog trench coat, its heavy underlay keeping the wind away, his black fedora placed on silver hair. Black leather gloves, grey pants and, yes, black shoes. Dad was stunning and always dressed impeccably. My son takes after him in this way, looking handsome however he dresses, but when he is “dressed up.” he is stunning, just like my dad.
Dad drove to the local grocery stores, asking store managers to donate boxes of food. I followed him inside, watching each box fill to the brim. I had no way of knowing how important this little trip would mean to his great grandchildren one day.
With the trunk and back seat filled, dad and I ventured to an area of town where it was clear someone may be in need. We just drove from house to house, delivering boxes of food. I stayed in the car as he knocked on doors, box in his arms. The expressions on the faces of recipients were of surprise and gratefulness.
Years later, my husband and I took our children to shop for kids at Christmas. It was a church ministry, and we knew the ages and sizes, favorite colors and wishes of the children we were shopping for. Our church hosted this for several years, and we were thankful to participate.
My son called recently to chat, and during the conversation he said he and his wife and children had adopted another family to give to at Christmas.
“Mom,” he said, “Remember how we used to shop for kids at Christmas?” I said I did.
He added, “Those are some of my favorite memories.”
It was the sweetest thing to hear, and I immediately thought back to my trips with dad at Christmas. I’m thankful I witnessed the giving to others.
Though the opportunities to participate in giving would most certainly be there, I’d like to think that dad planted the seed. From seeing my tall, handsome dad in that trench coat and fedora, overflowing boxes in his arms, giving to others, to knowing that my son will be doing a similar deed, my Christmas is already full and blessed.
I’m excited to know that my grandLittles will be shopping for others this year. They are sure to realize the blessings of giving to the less fortunate, but I’m thinking that far into the years, when they have families of their own, their children might just have the opportunity to see a box of food or gifts delivered to an unsuspecting family.
The seed was planted. It’s a blessing indeed.
Kathy Bohannon is a freelance writer and Christian humorist. She can be reached at [email protected]