The Christmas Cobbler

By: Jewell Burrow My mother, born in 1920, wrote this quaint children’s story. What a gift to find it again. She would love knowing that you read it to your children this year. Once upon a time, there was an old cobbler named Peter. Day by day, he worked away at his bench, a-tap-a-tap,a-tap-a-tap, trying to make each pair of …

A Festive Flashback

Yellowed pages fluttered to the ground as I opened the manila folder. Like the sugarplum fairies of dreams, memories danced into my mind when I recognized the font. A simple Christmas dialog written on a borrowed typewriter in the Texas hill country one December.  As I bent to gather the pages into my hands, recollections of a nineteen-year-old-me arose with …

Elizabeth: Expectant with Hope

By: Melynda Schauer Has hope ever looked to you like a pregnant belly? Or felt like morning sickness? Or arrived as a screaming baby? I can’t stop thinking about Elizabeth and her role in the Christmas story. Her story and her son, John, are linked both relationally and chronologically from the beginning with Mary’s story and Jesus’. Elizabeth and her …

A Carolina Christmas

As I wound down the narrow road, I felt anticipation build. Every bend of the foliage and arc of the bridges increased my expectancy. When the shuttle bus rounded the last corner, I gasped as the 55-foot-tall Norway spruce and encircling evergreens illuminated the front lawn. Over a century ago, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted suggested this spectacular approach to …

Mama’s Doll

My training union teacher had the flu, and Mama was substitute teaching at our small, rural church. Pansy Baptist Church sat between two cotton fields, smelling of old hymnals and potluck dinners, with an attendance board that testified ten present that evening. I was the only child. As Mother and I settled in the classroom, I asked her to tell me a …

A Gift from Father

Oh, My sweet child, Thank you for celebrating My Sent One. I delight in your joy this season. You are falling in line with a great cloud to rejoice more robustly than those who merely witnessed My Son’s birth. Joy is not a religious experience but being with Me in My Presence. Coming before Me is the way to abundant …

Warm Snowballs

Holiday prep on the farm always involved the kitchen. And when you live twenty-one miles from the nearest grocer, you find stockpiling sugar, flour, and spices as traditional as evergreen, tinsel, and holly. Mama had lived through the depression, so our farmhouse had little chance of scarcity, especially during this time of year. Almost 600 square feet of its eighteen-hundred …

Memories and Music

I remember the age when a child could sit in the front seat, and do so without a belt or harness. The December of my first-grade was one such time. On this particular day, the presence of snow clouds threw a steel grey over the late afternoon, and I welcomed staying in the warm car while my mom joined other …