Never Too Busy

It was getting close to Christmas, and Jason still didn’t have a present for his twin sister, Becky.

He’d spent all his money at the Christmas fair buying salt and pepper shakers with hand-painted flowers for Mom and Dad. His piggy bank was empty, and he wouldn’t get his allowance again until after New Year’s.

Jason thought and thought but couldn’t figure out what to do. Mr. Green didn’t need his car washed. Miss Powell had a yardman rake all her leaves before he could ask for the job, and Mrs. Crump was already visiting her daughter in Tupelo and wouldn’t need him to walk her dog.

He prayed and asked God to help him, but when it was two days before Christmas, and he still didn’t have a gift for Becky, he figured God must be busy solving bigger problems than his.

He was helping his dad put the finishing touches on the train that ran around the tree when he heard Becky talking to Mom in the kitchen.

“Mom, can you drive me to the library? I need to return these books before they close for Christmas break.”

“Sure. Help me put these cookies out to cool, and we’ll go. I have to get more wrapping paper and we can swing by the library on the way.”

As Becky and Mom headed for the car, Jason suddenly had a great idea and hurried to his room. He opened the backpack he had carried to school and dug inside. At the bottom, he found the new notebook his teacher said he needed for writing. But she had been sick with the flu, and while she was away the substitute teacher didn’t have the class do writing exercises. The notebook was still in perfect condition.

This will be perfect, he thought, remembering the day Becky told the librarian she’d like to write books too.

He laid the notebook on his desk and took his chest of sea treasures from the shelf. One-by-one, he glued shells and pieces of colored sea glass to the cover. When it was just the way he wanted, he wrapped it with brown paper from a lunch bag and tied it with a piece of string.

He wrote on the front of the package, “To Becky, for all your book ideas—From, Jason,” and slipped it under the tree.

On Christmas eve, Jason, his mom, Dad, and Becky went to church. Jason and Becky took their seats and could hardly wait to light the candles they held.

Pastor Tommy read from the Bible that shepherds were the first to know that Jesus had been born. He finished reading and said,  “I know, like Mary and Joseph, some of you will be traveling tonight, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.”

Becky was happy to hear that and whispered, “Thank goodness.” When Jason laughed, Dad gave them both The Look. They sat up straight and listened.

“Shepherds were poor young boys, yet it was to them that God sent His angels to announce the birth of His Son. David was a king, but before he was king, he was a shepherd. And it was during that time that he wrote a Psalm asking God why He would care about us.

That’s a good question. Why would God care about us? I don’t know why—but I know He does. And I know He’s never too busy for us. If it concerns us, it concerns Him, and no problem is too big or too small for Him to care about. As we light our candles and sing Silent Night, let’s remember with thankful hearts that God cares so much about us that He sent His only Son to be with us and one day die for us.”

As Becky touched the flame of her candle to his, Jason was thankful God had not been too busy solving bigger problems to help him with his. He had a gift for Becky after all.

On the ride home Jason hoped his sister would choose his gift as the one present she could pick from under the tree to open on Christmas eve. That would be the best thing ever!

                                                                                           Penny L. Hunt – Christmas 2022

A Family Favorite at Christmas

7 Layer Coconut Squares

Preheat the oven to 350°
13 x 9 inch baking pan

½ cup butter
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter scotch chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut

1. Put butter in the pan and melt it in the oven. Swirl to coat bottom and sides of the pan with the melted butter.
2. Spread graham cracker crumbs evenly over the melted butter.
3. Layer chocolate chips over crumbs followed by:
4. Layer of Butterscotch chips and
5. Layer of Walnuts.
6. Pour condensed milk over everything.
7. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.

Bake in preheated oven until edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Cool, cut into 36 squares and watch them disappear!

Video available on Allrecipes:

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