My Special Christmas Gift


My Special Christmas Gift

It all started when our family stopped for something at Ben Franklin’s in Joplin on our way from Coffeyville, Kansas .

As I viewed and inspected the many wonderful toys, I spotted a little garage complete with cars, gas pumps, grease rack, elevator, ramp from top floor to bottom floor and many other pieces nothing was missing it was complete.

I remember running down the aisle to find mom and dad to tell them what I had found and must have.  I just knew they would buy the garage that night for my Christmas Present.  I had no idea what their financial situation was at this time. After all ,we always had food to eat and clothes on our backs, and for me life was pretty good. Much to my surprise and disappointment, mother told me they did not have the money to buy the garage.

 Christmas Morning, I woke to find a Special Gift, a Garage. No, it wasn’t the one from Ben Franklin’s, it was much better. Dad had built the garage for me with all the bells and whistles.

It was several years later, as I reflected on This Special Gift I found under the tree Christmas Morning, that I realized how my actions, must have brought much hurt and pain to mom and dad. Today I am ashamed of how I acted that night as I cried and begged for them to buy the garage. I was too young to understand what it meant to be broke or realize what they were facing each day. Life was Good!

When I think back to those days, it hurts, realizing how hard things were for my family during this period of time and what they must have been dealing with.

We had just moved from the Joplin to South Coffeyville, Kansas for dad to Pastor a small Church there.   My father was a bi vocational Pastor, meaning, he always worked to provide enough income so he could Preach the Good News and pay the bills.

Continental Can was one, if not the only large employer in Coffeyville at this time and they had a big lay off  that winter which hurt most everyone in the area  including dad being laid off.

The Church could not pay dad because people quit tithing do to hard times, however we had food, shelter and each other.

Someone in the church gave us a steer to butcher and dad hung it in a big tree outside our living room window for several days to cool out. I remember trapping turtles out of the little creek that ran through our place and the creek getting so low that we discovered the backs of fish sticking out of the water , which made it possible for my brother and myself  to catch enough to fill a wash tub.  When that  Summer turned to winter, I remember my brother shooting wild rabbits and our folks trading them to the local store for groceries.

(Funny Event) One day while we were gone, some of our friends came to visit us and since we were gone, got some meat out of the freezer and fixed themselves a meal.  When we arrived back home late that night we found a note, telling us they were sorry they missed us, but the fried chicken was delicious. To this day they have not been told the delicious fried chicken meal was “Turtle”.

My Special Christmas Gift

Quite often I find myself going back through the years to this particular Christmas and how Blessed we were. Those hard times, were the  best days and times I had with my family.  A time , when we had each other and plenty of time to spend together.  A few years later our family went in different directions.   Never to share another Christmas Together!  One regret, is not keeping my special gift! I can only wonder what happened to the “Little Garage ‘’ Daddy built for me.

God Bless and Merry Christmas!   

12-16-2012 by Gary L. Crawford



  1. Ruth Spencer

    Isn’t it wonderful to look back and realize the poorest of times were the best times of your life. Have a very Merry Christmas, dear friends. Love, Ruth Spencer

  2. Gary Crawford

    Thanks! However, I am very limitted when it comes to writing or speaking properly! In spite of my limitations, I plan on sharring all the hard times and Good times God has brought me through, in hope that others might make Jesus their Lord and Master. Happy New Year!

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