by Donna White
On our second Christmas as a married couple, we lived in a small town in southeastern Arizona where my husband was teaching Seminary. Everything was new and different for us at the time. There were so many firsts. This was my husband’s first job after graduating from college; our first home, which left a lot to be desired, having been converted from a TV repair shop to a rental; our first child, David, born just a few months earlier; the first time we had been away from our families for any holiday. In addition, those first few months of teaching were difficult, as any new teacher can attest.
I was having my own challenges, too. After being in the 3-room house for a short time we were able to find a larger home. Even though it hadn’t been lived in for some time, we were glad to get it since there were few vacancies in the small town. What we didn’t know at the time we moved in was that it was overrun with mice. I was terribly afraid of mice. After spending several days standing on a chair in the middle of the large kitchen shrieking while mice ran all around the floor I decided to be courageous and do something about it. Armed with a sack of mousetraps from the store I set out traps everywhere. For the next several weeks we could hear loud pops all day long, sometimes one right after another. I spent my days taking care of a new baby, resetting traps and disposing of mice. It took one month to get rid of the problem, and then everything in the whole house needed to be thoroughly cleaned.
That winter I was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. I was lonely, being far away from family in the Northwest, dear friends from college, and hadn’t had the opportunity to make new friends. Since I didn’t know how to drive yet, I was stuck at home most of the time. It was depressing being in that drafty mice-ridden house day after day.
But, Heavenly Father, who has his eye on the sparrow, also has his eye on each of us, and knows our names and our needs. Something happened one day mid-December that completely changed my attitude and outlook. Early in the morning I opened the front door to take something outside. There, hanging up on the porch, were two complete outfits of brand-new baby clothes with a note attached, “Merry Christmas to David Marcus White, Love, Santa”. Rushing into the house, I called my husband, Marcus, to come and see what was on the porch. We looked at the clothes, then at each other. No words came for awhile. Joy filled our hearts as we basked in that wonderful act of love, given freely and anonymously.
So it is in the eternal scheme of things. Love of a Father and a Son, freely given to us. As we experience, marvel, and are inspired by that love, we want to pass it on to others, just like our benefactors.
That morning, another note appeared. Written on the board in the Seminary room were the words, “Dear Santa Claus, thank you so much for my new clothes. Love, David Marcus White”.
Photo source: public domain