We all know that years ago Christmas was very slim compared to today. So the following story is not surprising, yet it is very touching. I get a tear or two every time I read it:
Something was shining bright in Laura's stocking. She squealed and jumped out of bed. So did Mary, but Laura beat her to the fireplace. And the shining thing was a glittering new cup.
Mary had one exactly like it.
Those new tin cups were their very own. Now they each had a cup to drink out of. Laura jumped up and down and shouted and laughed, but Mary stood still and looked with shining eyes at her own tin cup.
What's the big deal about new cups? Up until this time, Mary and Laura would share a cup of water between them. Now they could EACH have a cup!
There was more in their stockings: a peppermint stick, a heart-shaped cake made by Ma, and a bright, shining new penny!
They had never even though of such a thing as having a penny. Think of having a whole penny for our very own. Think of having a cup and a cake and a stick of candy and a penny.
There had never been such a Christmas.
Taken from Little House on the Prairie in the chapter entitled Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus.
Sounds so simple, doesn't it? I know we live in a different time, and a much different world. But I am determined to simplify Christmas for my kids with every year that goes by. Instead of raising our spending limit, I'm trying to spend little and make it meaningful.
When I was a child, my parents and aunt decided it would be fun to do something similar for myself, my sister, and our cousins. In our stockings that Christmas we received a tin cup, a penny, and a peppermint stick (along with a few modern goodies!). And you know, I still have that tin cup and I will remember that Christmas for the rest of my life.
This Christmas morning, when you and your family are enjoying new gifts, I hope you will pause for a minute and remember a Christmas long ago and two little girls who were happy with new tin cups.