In October, The Central Minnesota Catholic asked its digital media followers to submit their favorite family Christmas story or tradition. The following are the responses we received.
JESUS IS OUR FAMILY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS GIFT
As my three children were growing up, Christmas was always such a special time of year. I was a single parent and wanted to be sure my children knew the true meaning of Christmas.
On Christmas morning we always had many Santa gifts around the tree, but before we could open them, we always opened the first gift of Christmas, wrapped in an especially beautiful way with a tag addressed to our whole family. Inside the beautiful box was the baby Jesus from our manger, carefully wrapped in tissue.
As we open the gift of Jesus and place the baby in the manger, we always sing Happy Birthday to him and thank God for the special gift of Jesus. I always explained that Santa gives gifts to share the love of God with us, and we give each other gifts on Christmas so that we can share the love of God with each other.
St. Juliana Falconeri Parish, Fullerton, California
Diocese of Orange
LETTER FROM HEAVEN ARRIVES AT CHRISTMAS
My older sister, Joan Dobmeier, died on Dec. 25, 2019. The next day my husband, Herman, went to the mailbox and returned with an envelope. “You got a letter “Sent From Heaven,’” he said.
At first, I thought it was some request from a place where I donate, but Herman encouraged me to open it. Then I thought “Joanie’s only been gone for one day, and already she’s sending me a letter?”
Inside, I was shocked to see my mother’s handwriting — and a letter she’d written especially to me. Mom, Rose Hilda Austing Stoermann, had died nine months earlier at age 97. I had so many emotions — warm, surprised, tearful, delighted, mystified — as I imagined her sitting and writing it at her kitchen table. She also enclosed a poem, “My First Christmas in Heaven.” How amazing that Mom thought to this. Every time I read her letter, I still get that same rush of feelings
All my brothers and sisters received similar letters from heaven, even Joanie whose family read her letter. To this day we don’t know when Mom did this or who she had mail them — I’ll find out when I get up there where she is.
St. Mary Parish, Holdingford