As I contemplate my 2009 Christmas Letter, my thoughts tend to drift back to my Dad. He’s been gone for several years now, but as the holidays approach, I find myself thinking of him more and more.
As a young boy growing up in Sunland, CA, our family spent many weekends in Santa Barbara. We stayed with my Grandma during summer vacations and visited with our cousins. We spent hours at the beach and Dad never complained about traveling up and down the coast depsite the fact that he drove a truck for a living.
My mother finally convinced Dad to move us to Santa Barbara. He had no job prospects, the economy was not so good but he managed to keep us together with a series of part-time jobs. By the time Christmas rolled around we didn’t have much to look forward to.
I was getting bigger and had out-grown my bicycle. Mom and Dad couldn’t afford a new one but found a used one for sale in the newspaper. Without my knowledge, Dad brought the bike into the house on Christmas Eve. He spent the evening cleaning and tuning the bike, so by Christmas morning, it shone like a new one! It was a beautiful purple bike with three speeds. I rode it all over Santa Barbara and even got a paper route.
Thinking of my Dad and that Christmas day, I’m reminded of the times we live in now. Some of us may not be able to purchase the gifts we’d like to. But being there for your family and friends will be the most remembered gift of all.