This is my wife Sharon’s story, about a very special Christmas. Hope you enjoy it.
In the spring of 1946, when I was seven years old, and my sister LaWana eight, our family moved from urban Salt Lake City, to rural Orem, Utah.
My parents, Al and Isabelle Lupus, purchased a run-down 10 acre farm, that included an old house. It wasn’t much of a house, it was a ramshackle place that needed lots of work.
Dad was a carpenter by trade, and immediately set to work to make the place habitable. Before he began, he erected a tent for the family to live in while he gutted the house. So, that summer, our family lived a rather Spartan life. Meals were picnics, and our baths were taken in in an old wash tub in the tent.
It didn’t take long for the campout to lose it’s fun factor. Thankfully, before the first snow fell, Dad moved us into an improvised, combination bedroom and living area in the basement. Thank goodness the furnace was up and running, the bathroom upstairs was finished, and the kitchen was mostly completed too. We almost had a home.
When Thanksgiving rolled around, LaWana and I thought about Christmas. “Where in the world will Mom and Dad put the Christmas tree?” we wondered. We knew there wasn’t room in the basement, and the rest of the house was a construction zone. “Not in the living room, that‘s for sure.” We both agreed, for it was still blocked off, while Dad continued to work on it.
The week before Christmas, Mom and Dad made furtive trips into the blockaded living room. We, pestered them about a Christmas tree, and asked: “How will Santa find us? He doesn’t know we live in the basement.”. We hadn’t seen any mysterious packages enter the house either. “Maybe they’ve forgotten about Christmas.” I whispered to my sister, one wintry night as we snuggled together in our bed.
Christmas Eve arrived, and still no tree, and, apparently no gifts. We went to bed that night, disappointed, not knowing what to expect the next morning. Both of us had asked for dolls and velvet dresses. Gifts we had hoped we’d find under the tree….but, we knew there was no tree, and drifted off to sleep.
Early Christmas morning, Dad and Mom woke us, and Dad gathered us up in his arms, and carried us upstairs, and into the renovated living room. “Surprise!” They exclaimed. There in the middle of the room was the most beautiful Christmas tree we’d ever seen. “Santa did find us! Santa did find us!”, we squealed, and danced around the glowing tree. Displayed underneath were those beautiful dolls and the velvet dresses we’d dreamt about. “It’s a miracle!” we said, hugging each other, “It‘s a Christmas miracle!”.