Welcome To Jerry's Haven &Tell Talks. We are so happy you have joined us. We will be sending out a newsletter once a week and touch on different subjects as well as including some links, poetry, and all around Christian Fun. If there is anything that you would like to see please do let us know. We welcome any and all comments. 

 
 
It was almost Christmas again, and I was in my father's home . . . one last time. My dad had died a few months before, and the home that we had grown up in had been sold. My sister and I were cleaning out the attic.

I picked up an old Christmas cookie can that my dad had used to store extra Christmas lightbulbs. As I stood there, holding the can, the memory of a past Christmas swirled through my mind like the snowflakes outside the attic window swirling towards the ground.

I was eleven years old, and with Christmas only a week away, I woke up one morning to a perfect day for sledding.

It had snowed all night, and my friends would be hurtling down the sledding hill at the end of our street. It wasn't what you would call a great challenge, but we all had fun, and I couldn't wait to try out the fresh layer of snow on the runs.

Before I could go anywhere, my mom reminded me that I had to shovel the walkways around the house. It seemed like forever, but after about an hour and a half I was finally finished. I went into the house to get a glass of water and my sled. Just as I got to the front door to leave, the phone rang.

"Joey will be right over," my mom said in reply to someone.

Geez, not now, I thought. The guys are waiting for me. I opened the front door, but there just wasn't enough time to get away.

"Joey, Mrs. Bergensen wants you to shovel her sidewalk," my mother stated.

"Mom," I groaned, "tell her I'll do it this afternoon." I started to walk out the door.

"No, you'll do it now. This afternoon you'll be too tired or too cold. I told her you would be right over, so get going."

My mother sure is free with my time, I thought to myself, as I walked around the corner to the old lady's house. I knocked on her door.

The door opened, and there was Mrs. Bergensen with this bright smile on her old face.

"Joey, thanks for coming over. I was hoping someone would come by, but no one did."

I didn't reply, just shook my head and started shoveling. I was pretty mad and wanted to take it out on Mrs. Bergensen. Sure, you were hoping someone would come by. Why would they? You're just an old lady, I fumed in my mind. At first, my anger helped me work pretty fast, but the snow was heavy.

Then I started thinking about Mrs. Bergensen and how her husband had died years ago. I figured she must feel lonely living all by herself. I wondered how long it had taken her to get that old. Then I started wondering if she was going to pay me anything for my work, and if she did, how much she was going to give me. Let's see, maybe $2.50, with a fifty-cent tip thrown in. She likes me. She could have called Jerry, the kid across the street, but she called me. Yep, I'll be getting some bucks! I started to work hard again.

It took me about another hour to finish. Finally, it was done. Okay, time for some money! I knocked on her door.

"Well, Joey, you did an outstanding job and so fast!" I started to grin. "Could you just shovel a path to my garbage cans?"

"Oh . . . sure," I said. My grin faded. "I'll have it done in a few minutes." Those few minutes lasted another half-hour. This has to be worth another buck at least, I thought. Maybe more. Maybe I'll get five bucks altogether. I knocked on her door again.
"I guess you want to get paid?"

"Yes, ma'am," I replied.

"Well, how much do I owe you?" she asked. Suddenly, I was tongue-tied.

"Well, here. Here's a dollar and a fifty-cent tip. How's that?"

"Oh, that's fine," I replied. I left, dragging my shovel behind me. Yeah, right, that's fine. All that work for a buck fifty. What a lousy cheapskate. My feet were freezing, and my cheeks and ears were stinging from the icy weather.

I went home. The thought of being out in the cold no longer appealed to me.

"Aren't you going sledding?" my mom asked as I dragged in the front door.

"No, I'm too tired." I sat down in front of the TV and spent the rest of the day watching some dumb movie.

Later in the week, Mrs. Bergensen came over and told my mom what a good job I had done for her. She asked
if I would come over to shovel her sidewalks every time it snowed. She brought with her a can loaded with homemade Christmas cookies. They were all for me.

As I sat holding that can in my lap and munching the cookies, I figured that shoveling her sidewalk had been a way for me to give her a Christmas gift, one that she could really use. It couldn't be easy for her being all alone with no one to help her. It was what Christmas was really all about . . . giving what you could. Mrs. Bergensen gave me the cookies she made, and I gave her my time. And hard work! I started to feel better about the whole thing, including Mrs. Bergensen.

That summer, Mrs. Bergensen died, and it ended up that I never had to shovel her sidewalk again.

Now, years later, standing in my family's attic and holding that Christmas can, I could almost see Mrs. Bergensen's face and how she had been so glad to see me. I decided to keep the can to remind myself of what I had figured out so many years ago, about the true meaning of Christmas. I dumped the old lightbulbs that were in it into the trash. As I did so, the piece of paper that had been used as the layer between the cookies and the bottom of the can floated into the trash as well. It was then that I saw something taped to the inside of the can.

It was an envelope that said, "Dear Joe, thank you and have a Merry Christmas!" I opened the yellowed envelope to find a twenty-dollar bill . . . a gift to me, with love, from Mrs. Bergensen . . . the cheapskate
 
 

Ringing The Joy Bells

Facing The Sunrise

50 States

Cards That Give

Autumn

Winter Bliss

Holiday Stress

At Grandma's

Two little boys went to their grandparents' place for Christmas. At bedtime, the youngest one began to pray at the top of his lungs.

"I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE...
I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE...
I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE..."

The older brother exclaimed, "Why are you shouting? Do you thing God is deaf." The little one promptly replied, "Nope! But Grandma certainly is!"

Snow Candy

Ingredients:

1 lb white bark candy
1 lb salted nuts
2 cups crispy rice cereal

Melt candy in a double boiler. Add nuts and cereal. Mix well. Spoon onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm. Break into pieces and store in air tight container.

Each week will offer our Members a custom "Sig Tag, Web Set, Or Special Graphic" free. This is only for our Mailing List Members. This week's offer is cute Christmas tags you can use in your email or in on your website.

Click here to get the rest of the set.

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