A true Christmas tale.


It’s a long story how we came to be in the old farmhouse in Ireland realizing our dream. We, little nobodies, had helped stage a Christian camp for youngsters. They’d come, some eager, some confused. and some rebellious. We loved them, pulled our hair out at their antics and prayed (oh how we prayed!) Now it was over. They’d returned, tiny flames of love kindling in their hearts, to their domains, leaving a great joy of satisfaction in their wake.
There was just one problem. It was almost Christmas and while we had food aplenty and a roof over our heads, we had no money left, zilch, nothing, and there were children there, mine included. We explained there’d be no presents that year, no tree or decorations. They were such troopers, not a single complaint.
We made our own décor, holly and fir branches from the forest. Silvery yogurt tops, kept from the camp, were cut into snow flakes and suspended from fallen branches dabbed white with left over emulsion. It looked wonderful!
Christmas Eve was still special. We read old Christmas stories by candle light, and I sang my guys to sleep with childhood carols.
I came down to see the two teenage boys who’d helped with the renovations were gone.
“They went to look for a tree.” My eldest whispered. Due to a lot of boggy ground fallen trees were common in the surrounding forest.
Our Texan builder/handyman was heading out too. It was he who first dreamt up the project. His tiny 5ft 6 frame harboring a personality that somehow gave the impression of a 6 footer.
I joined my daughter and the other teenage girl who’d stayed to help clear up the aftermath of the camp etc. We’d almost done when the boys dragged in an enormous tree. I restrained myself from checking for axe marks (their hearts were surely right and the forest was common ground I reasoned.)
They set it up in a bucket which the girls artfully draped and we went about gleaning all the décor we could find, painted fir cones, odd bits of tinsel yogurt top snowflakes. It looked beautiful even without lights.

I was just drifting off to sleep when I was roughly wakened.
“Come on mum. We need you to help wrap.”
Our Texan angel had been to see a friend who owned a small toy factory. He’d been hoping there might be a few “old line” bits and pieces for the kids. But the Irish heart never gives by half and the little van was crammed with toys, enough for several presents for each child and lots left over to pass on to others, there were even fairy lights for the tree.
Imagine the wonder next morning when the children were awoken by Christmas angels (my daughter and friend had raided the prop box) and brought down to the old living room. There they saw a huge tree blazing with lights and an immense pile of presents.
They didn’t think it was Santa. They knew who to thank, and their happy praises sounded all day long. The presents were special because they knew Jesus had sent them and that made His birthday “magic”.
We adults of course didn’t get presents, or did we? The gifts of joy, love, peace and intense gratitude filled our hearts in a way presents never could. Jesus’ love for these precious children and the hearts that had given so freely of time, goods and sleep were more than enough!

10 thoughts on “A true Christmas tale.

  1. Yours is the most wonderful Christmas story that I I’ve ever read and definitely have ever read this year and was my present to read tonight. You’re very good writer and you really should write a novel or collection of these in a book because people would buy it. I am sharing your story, which I think captures the true essence of what Christmas is all about, which has to do with the 1st part of the word Christ and your wonderful spirit and ♥.

    Paulette Le Pore Motzko in Las Vegas, Nevada.


  2. Also, if you have a photo you’d like me to add to the reblog of your story I’d be more than happy to add it.

    You can send it to my 📧 at TotallyInspiredPC@gmail.com.

    Stay always blessed.

    Paulette Motzko
    Your story is now on


    After 7 years, the readership of the site this month comes from close to 3000 followers from 100 countries. I am grateful the world 💘 my creation.
    It’s made great thanks to people like you.

    • This happenned some 25 years ago so I’m afraid the only photos I have are not digital (and now being old I’m not the best with technology lol) plus modern UK law being as it is I’d need to ask permition of those in the photos before it could be shared. However the picture along with the story is a much later version of the decor we made, not as nice as the photos (there’s a great one of the “Christmas angels” by the tree) but it’s at least something.

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