Christmas remembered with an amazing message

Published 9:53 am Friday, December 16, 2022

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Some growing-up memories can be excellently recalled, while others may slip quietly away.
As children, most days we had money to spend at school for recess, usually a nickel. A Coke was a nickel, also a candy bar, peanuts or chips. If a lucky one had two nickels they could do pretty good at recess choosing two, but a choice had to be made for most children with one nickel to spend.
For some reason, I started saving my nickels. Heaping up that growing pile of coins was much better than buying a Coke or a candy bar. I was so pleased with myself. I saved until I had $7.43 and then I was tired of saving and ready to spend it.
Mother took me shopping with my money in my purse. It was near Christmas time and we were in J.C. Penny’s store in Bogalusa. I was excited to find something I wanted to buy.
I looked up and on a glass-enclosed shelf above me, was the most beautiful doll I had ever seen. She had long blonde hair and wore a beautiful pink dress and white shoes. Just thinking about it brings that wonderful feeling back into my life.
Diane was the name I immediately gave her. A pretty doll with a beautiful name. I was ready to spend my $7.43. She probably was at least $10 or more, which was pretty expensive for a doll at that time, but I had most of it with my savings.
That I now remember $7.43 as the exact amount is beyond me. That was a long time ago! Beyond the price, it was certainly the dream of one little girl to hold that doll in her arms.
Over my growing years, I am sure I had many new dolls at Christmas, but one was never more memorable than Diane. I kept her for a long time but gradually outgrew her as I wanted other things.
Since I was a child in the 1940s, Christmas presents were often limited. At the time of World War II, not only were incomes and money down, but many things could only be bought accompanied with war certificates.
I remember some childhood Christmases more than others. One day it was very cold and right before Christmas, Mother opened the top portion of the chiffarobe and brought out a pretty green wool scarf to tie around my head to keep my head and ears warm as we waited for the school bus.
I probably got something else that year for Christmas, but I only remember that green wool scarf and how warm it felt.
Another year at a nearby store, they had small cedar chests filled with candy for five dollars. We loved them and were delighted when our grandpa bought one for each of us for Christmas. We kept those little boxes for ages until they gradually fell apart. Likely that was not the only thing for Christmas, but certainly very memorable.
Mother always made Christmas extra special whether Santa brought a lot of gifts or just a few and she always had her tree up early. The grandchildren loved her trees. A little one brought joy to Mother one year when he laid on his back under the tree and proclaimed it “the most beautiful Christmas tree” he had ever seen.
Our daughter Robin always came and decorated my tree, and since she is no longer with us, it is just not the same. I have not put up a tree for several years. I have a small manger scene I put out instead, recognizing the birthday of our Savior, Jesus.
Christmas may be celebrated in a small way, just as it was done in Bethlehem in a stable when shepherds were first to hear of His birth. No matter the size of the celebration, the message from Bethlehem will always be amazing.

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at