Monday, December 21, 2015
The Christmas Ornament by Patty Smith Hall
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, our family always puts out stacks of storage boxes and decorate our home for Christmas. It’s not much to speak of, certainly nothing compared to some of the beautiful layouts in those home and garden magazines you see at the grocery store.
But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Each ornament no matter how large or small holds a memory, a special place in our family history. The tiny wooden elf with his faded cotton hat, the teardrop glass ornament with the year of our marriage engraved on it and so many others that tell the stories of Danny and my life together. But none tell the story of those early years of our marriage as much as the simple ceramic Nativity we bought our first year together.
I was in my last year of nursing school and Danny had just started his first job out of college. We were as poor as church mice with barely two pennies to rub together but that didn’t dull our Christmas spirit. Somehow, we managed to save a few dollars out of our meager grocery allowance. With few decorations to call our own, we went to the local discount store to see what we could get to fix up our home for the holidays.
And we were terribly disappointed.
Everything pretty and festive was out of our price range. We would only be able to buy a few cheap things. Then we saw it, a small ceramic Nativity set. Having met in Sunday school, it seemed right that the first Christmas decoration we bought for our home would be a representation of Christ’s birth. Though it wasn’t expensive, it was still out of our tiny budget. Reluctantly, we moved on, trying to find something else but our attention always shifted back to that Nativity. In the end, we decided it was worth eating spaghetti for an entire week so we bought it.
Over the last thirty-two years, that ceramic Nativity has traveled thousands of miles, made it through six moves and survived two active toddlers. It will always hold a special place in our home. . .and our hearts.
Home from the war, army nurse Thea Miller is determined to adopt her late sister's baby and begin a new life. But someone else has the same intentions—the town sheriff and Thea's old friend, Mack Worthington. Now, in order to keep her niece in the family, Thea must reach an agreement with him.
Mack isn't sure Thea—whose actions once hurt him badly—is committed to baby Sarah. And a judge may never approve a single-parent adoption for either of them. But what if they got married? It would be a marriage in name only. Yet the more time Mack spends with Thea, the more he begins to believe their pretend family can become the real one they've both been longing for.