My father was a Presbyterian minister with four children in Norristown, PA in the 1950s. My mother was a homemaker. My parents always did their best to provide us with Christmas presents we asked Santa for, but a lot of the time this was very difficult for them, and some years it was impossible. The understanding that comes with age makes the memory of my best Christmas present all the more poignant for me.
I was around six or seven years old and wanted a bicycle more than anything. The cost of a new bicycle did not fit into the Christmas budget, but my father saw to it that Santa brought me what I wanted. He got an used bike from someone in his church. He put a new chain on it, a new seat, a new wheel, and new tires. He greased and oiled it and painted the frame garnet with white fenders. When I found it beside the tree that Christmas morning, I thought it was the greatest bike I had ever seen.
I rode that bicycle until I outgrew it. Of all the memories I have of Christmas presents, I remember my bicycle most of all. And I thank God for the memory of a loving father who gave us everything he could
~ Bill Everhart
Dear God, You are the One who has promised to make all things new. We thank You for giving us skills to make things new that were shabby … to make things work better when they were in disrepair. We thank You for love that is expressed through working hands. Help us to show our love through our deeds this Christmas. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.