Since our first winter here, Lonnie and I have been calling our home the Holiday House because it really looks its best at holiday time (Christmas and Fourth of July, mainly). Our oldest son likes to remind us that all houses look their best decorated for the holidays, but the name has stuck anyway.
So here are a few photos of our house this season, but rather than describing what you’re seeing, I want to share a little Christmas story about my paternal grandparents.
As newlyweds in 1947, Cliff and Evadean Long lived in Ashton, Idaho, far from their families. They didn’t have enough money for a place of their own, so they rented a room in a woman’s house.
Their first Christmas, Evadean was pregnant, and Cliff was working at a nearby service station. “The only money we had was for a little, tiny Christmas tree,” Evadean said. The two of them agreed not to buy each other gifts that year.
But the idea of not exchanging gifts felt worse and worse as Christmas approached, and “we both just felt the same—we just couldn’t do it,” Evadean said.
So they secretly bought one small present for each other. On Christmas Day, Cliff and Evadean pulled their gifts out of hiding, traded packages, and tore them open. Each box held a scarf. They had bought each other 50-cent scarves.
“We were so poor, (but) it was one of our most memorable Christmases,” Evadean said. “We felt such a closeness with each other and with Heavenly Father—we knew He was watching us up there alone and on our new adventure.”
I hope you and yours feel God’s presence this Christmas too, no matter your circumstances. Merry Christmas! •