Bring America Home with CSC Talk RadioTHOUGHTS FROM BETH’S DESK

By Beth Ann

Remembering A Christmas Not So Long Ago


December 16th brings back a “special” Christmas from long ago.

My thoughts, like many of you, are cluttered with the busy-ness that Christmas has become.  Just a few moments ago I received one of those e-mail stories that tug at your heart a bit, you know the ones; a heartwarming but sad story with hopefully a happy ending.  As I read about a family who lost their home in a fire close to Christmas, tears began to well up in my eyes.  What was a long time ago suddenly seems like yesterday.  I have been worrying over all the Christmas chores that I have not yet accomplished and now, I find myself reflecting back to a Christmas that is very often too real and close in my memories.

December 16, 1983 as I was returning home from a doctor’s appointment and shopping for a few last gifts, I saw my daddy’s car along the side of the highway.  At first I thought perhaps he had a flat but that didn’t appear to be the case.  My four-year-old son was with me and we pulled over to inquire.  My father approached the car as I rolled down the window and I remember his words to this day,  “Honey, there’s no easy way to say this, your home burned down today.”  I quickly inquired about my older three sons and he assured me they were okay and safe at his house with my mother.  My mother sent my dad to stop me from going home because she feared I would go directly into labor at the sight; I was 8-months into my pregnancy.

The first night was difficult for all of us.  As my husband was completely exhausted from fighting the fire and watching his childhood home go up in flames, I was pacing the floor with a few contractions… but prayer and being physically strong warded off early labor.  It was an extremely humbling experience for us all, waking up the first morning without a toothbrush or even a change of underwear.  The next days, weeks and even months remained difficult as well as challenging.

Farming was my husband’s occupation and as most of you on the farm know, those years, like now, were skimpy.  The Christmas gifts I had purchased were all gone.  There was nothing left of the house or anything within it.  There was no money to replace the Christmas items or anything else.  Family, friends, neighbors, church families and strangers gave to us, some sacrificially.  We received money, clothes, toys children’s books, Bibles, kitchen and household items.  Boxes kept coming in.  The hearts of people in our community and others around us were reaching out to us in our time of need.  Emotions are very strong at Christmas time; people want to give.  One neighboring farmer gave us $200 and said, “Go get those boys Christmas gifts.”  I did!

That was 31 years ago and now here I am back to worrying and fussing over the holidays and things that really aren’t that important.  Christmas is a celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Christmas is a celebration of God’s love reaching down to us, in human form.  He was born in a humble situation, nothing fancy, no riches; yet, we’ve turned this celebration of God’s love into a fanfare that goes beyond all practicality and is many times practiced without love and without God in our hearts.

I’ve learned many things from that tragedy long ago.  Never put “things” away for good – there is nothing better than now.  It is more blessed to give than to receive.  That Christmas we could not give… it hurt, to just sit and receive.  Your home is not your place of dwelling but an understanding and connection of the heart.  People would comment over the fact that we lost all the baby pictures – I told them, “but I have all my babies.”  I told the boys; anywhere we are together we are home.  The gift of LOVE – is what is important, that is the gift given by God at Christmas.

The child I was expecting was a surprise to us on earth but planned in heaven.  In December we lost all that we owned but in January God gave to us a new life, a new son and a new beginning.  Each member of our family has a different memory of that time long ago – I hope that through it all, they each one remember how God was (and is) there with us every step of the way; through every trial and every situation.

All of you have memories of good Christmas times and bad.  If we each take time to reflect and remember what is truly important we should be humbled and realize that the only thing really important is to show God’s love to others while we are here in this lifetime.  In all we do and say we should always “glorify the Father” sharing His love with all those around us.

I’m looking forward to Christmas and spending time with all my loved ones.  Gifts don’t matter… hugs do.  I now have 12 grandchildren who make the house more than come to life!  Each member of this family is a special part of my life – each unique as God has created them… With another new life in our family, Myliah Love (Our 11 months old baby girl/granddaughter) we again see the miracle of God in the eyes of a child!   To look in the eyes of our newest baby child and witness the miracle of life just as Mary and Joseph did that night in Bethlehem a long time ago, is a blessed miracle indeed.

NativityEach December 16, I take time to reflect back… and I am encouraged to know and remember the true reason for the season – How Great Our Joy!

Sit down, pour yourself a cup of tea, coffee, hot cocoa or eggnog and read the Christmas story.  Reflect back on all the great things as well as the tough times in your life and remember what God and has done for you… and humbly – thank Him!

From my heart and soul to yours “Merry Christmas” and May God richly bless you in your continued life here on earth and in heaven.  Go tell it on the Mountain – that Jesus Christ is born.

Luke 2:10-14     Then the angels said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”                                   


Today’s show took us back a few years to a time in the nation when times were tough but families figured out how to survive.  My guest was Judy Norton – also known as Mary Ellen on the Walton’s.   If you weren’t able to listen LIVE here’s a link to my interview

Today’s show took us back a few years to a time in the nation when times were tough but families figured out how to survive.  My guest was Judy Norton – also known as Mary Ellen on the Walton’s.   If you weren’t able to listen LIVE here’s a link to my interview with Judy.   

Judy is a talented woman!  Judy acts, writes, sings and directs.   Also check out 

Our lives become intertwined throughout the years…   Taking time to step back and reflect is always good… making new friends is wonderful – keeping the old is even “more” special!

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