Thursday, December 25, 2008

Guest Blog – A Christmas Dress for Ellen

Along with the Christmas decorations stored in the basement, I have a basket full of favorite Christmas books. One that I recently acquired is A Christmas Dress for Ellen. This is a charming story retold by Thomas S. Monson who is now the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The story is about the Jeppson family living in Southern Alberta in 1927. After two years of failed crops, the family is facing not only a bleak Christmas but a cold hard winter with little fuel or food to feed the family. The miracle occurs when a courageous mail carrier braves a winter storm to travel to the tiny town of Hillspring to deliver presents to the forlorn family.

It is a good Christmas story but a great deal of its appeal for me is that my father, Bob Fisher, was born and raised in Hill Spring, Alberta. In a small self-published book, Reflections at Christmas, my father told a couple of Christmas stories that tell about the perils of winter in Southern Alberta. One of the stories is similar to the one told by President Monson. In the Fisher story a neighbor comes to the rescue and battles his way through the snow to deliver the family’s Christmas package on the eve of that important day. Without his valiant efforts, the stockings of all the children would have been empty when they woke in the morning.

Another winter tale that Bob tells is about his father Peirce Fisher traveling by horse drawn sleigh in a storm that became increasingly severe. On the Blood Reservation he had to cross a gully that had only one bridge spanning it. As weariness settled in, Peirce walked more slowly with every step. Finally he gave in to the bone tiredness that he felt and leaned against his horse and fell asleep. Out of the blizzard a voice spoke to him, “Wake up, Wake up. You die.” This Indian angel who came in answer to Pierce’s prayer led him across the bridge. With his help, the horse and Grandpa Fisher made it home safely. For years afterward, Peirce looked into the face of every Blood tribe member that he saw, but he never recognized his savior from that winter night. However, he always treated each person with kindness and consideration.

I love the tales of Christmas miracles and of people’s kindness towards each other. This season leaves me with the desire to keep a bit of Christmas with me all through the year. And like my grandfather treat each person I meet with dignity and kindness. May this holiday season leave you with a touch of the season’s magic and kindness.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Maybe if I'd read some Christmas stories this year, I would have felt the Christmas spirit more. I love Christmas stories, books, and movies.