“Why do you have those red shoes on your tree?” Danhya, my little friend from India, asked me. She pointed to the felt booties that hung at the front of my Christmas tree.
“Ah . . . that is a wonderful story,” I said, “and it began many years ago. Would you like to hear it?”
Her dark brown eyes twinkled as she squealed. “Tell it! Tell it, please!”
So I sat with her as we sipped our hot cocoa. The sweetness of the chocolate merged with the sweet story of the red booties on my tree. “Many years ago, a young lady and a man married. They worked hard and saved their money, then they wanted to start a family. But even though they tried and tried and tried, no baby came to live at their house.
“One year, at Christmas time, the lady thought she was going to have a baby. So she planned how she would tell her parents with a pretty Christmas package and a note inside. She could barely contain her excitement. But then, the doctor said she was not pregnant. So her Christmas that year was very sad.”
“Years and years passed by with no baby and many sad Christmases. But six years later, the lady was finally pregnant. All the friends and family of the couple were excited to celebrate this coming child. But the baby died before it could grow to full size inside the lady. Everybody cried for a long time.
“Two years later, the lady was pregnant again. The same people celebrated with her and her husband. But again, the baby died before it could grow. Again, everybody cried — especially the lady. She decided she would probably never hold her own baby, but she would teach everybody’s else’s children how to play the piano. She would try to be happy for all the people who had the blessing of babies.”
Danhya’s eyes filled with unshed tears. “I hope this story has a happy ending.”
I clasped her hands and continued. “Two years later, a miracle happened. The lady and the man welcomed their baby, a fully developed, beautiful baby boy who was born on the coldest day of that November during a sleet storm. The tiny baby was such a wonderful early Christmas present, the lady bought special red booties for him to wear to church.”
“I like that story,” Danhya said, “and were you the lady in the story?”
“Yes, and the baby is my son, Caleb.”
Danhya finished her cocoa and pondered for a while, then asked, “So you put the little booties on the tree every year, to remind you of that baby and that miracle?”
“Yes, and those booties also remind me of another baby. He probably didn’t have any soft booties to wear, but his mother and father dearly loved him. He arrived as a special miracle, too, and that’s the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Baby Jesus came to remind us that God loves us and wants to be with us always.
“So that’s the story of the red booties, but the real story goes on. For each person who believes in baby Jesus and accepts the love God offers, new stories begin. Stories of love and purpose as people realize Christmas is all about the wonderful gift of life and the miracles God does inside our hearts.”
©2022 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
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