Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 23, 1994     The Message
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December 23, 1994

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Y little red wagon: A symbol of my life and vocation i My memory centers around the time favorite Christmas received a little red wagon for Christmas. I was around nine Or 10 years old I had wanted a red wagon for quite SOme time. A wagon of my own. A real one, a big one, a red one, a "Radio Flyer." We had had other wagons which I shared with my brothers and sisters, but a wagon to call my own was a real dream of mine As I look back, I am grateful for and 'aPpreciative of many other Christmas gifts I have re- ,hived. But this little red wagon stands out now as one of e most important gifts I have ever received, not for any material value but for what it has come to symbolize in my life. My mother and dad would always ask us what we Wanted for Christmas, and on this particular year, I told rny morn that I wanted this wagon She would nod or nlake SOme comment like, "We'll see." She had asked me SeVeral times and I repe.ated over and over, "I want my Own little red wagon" One da- she told me that I would not be getting a wa on for Christ- as tha " J' - - g me.- t year. There was not enough money to buy one and I would have to wait. I can re- iswOer crying about this for some time. I would still ask for the wagon, and the same an- r Was received, "No wagon this year." Finally, on day I told my room that I would wait another time for my wagon, as she assured me on would be coming as soon as they it. So for that year I gave up the idea of getting a wagon for Christmas. as eve and our family was gathered in the kitchen awaiting the arrival of the presents. I am sure that my brothers and sisters, like myself, had combed nook and cranny in the house to get a peek at the Christmas presents. This year, there to be found in the house. As we were waiting in the kitchen, I can remember not expect. Then the front door opened and we could hear the sound of Santa shuffling of boxes and paper bags. Then the kitchen door opened, and what to my did appear: My mom pulling "my little red wagon" loaded with all the Christ- family. how long the wagon lasted, but it was used by me for everything: rides, to do chores, sometimes I would pull it empty. Sometimes, we would pull heavy would take all of us to push and pull to get the job done. Most of all, I enjoyed pulling the wagon to accomplish just about anything one could do with a little Wagon was repaired and repainted very many times as I would not allow it to be into the trash until it was no longer recognizable as a wagon. this story especially important is that I truly believe now that my parents intend to buy the wagon that particular year, and I truly believe that the there. On many occasions that would use that line as a ploy to keep us off , . my wanting that wagon which caused them to change their minds, rather tact that I was willing to wa't.1 I now beheve" that they had to sacrifice" somethm" g to get the wagon that particular year. What they sacrificed, I do not know. then cost less than $10. But ten dollars for one Christmas gift was out of the in those days. of this event and the wagon have become a symbol of my vocation. This mem- symbols of love, sacrifice, giving, selflessness and surrender. I now also use the i a symbol of my priesthood and celibacy. The wagon, loaded with the gifts, symbol- me. My memory of what the wagon meant to me as a child and how I it is now the way I view how God wants me to live in this world, and how rae to traverse until I one dhy share in everlasting glory in heaven. much more about "my little red wagon" because it is how a very rich and symbol of my life and vocation. Father William Dietsch Pastor, Sts. Peter and Paul Petersburg Christmas 1944: A day of fear to Your request for Christmas memories, I have two that are entirely different OCCurred on Christmas day, 1943. I have very pleasant memories of the day my engaged. We planned to marry after my discharge from the service. I left Camp Breckinridge, and to make a long story short, I wound up in the Infantry. In December 1944, the infantry, without support, arrived Because of the Battle of the Bulge, we were thrown into combat on Christmas force assigned to the 79th Infantry Division for support. of a Christmas, but a day of fear, uncertainly, and the knowledge that you are or the litter, or the grave. Fifty years has not dulled my memory of George Weigele Evansville Home for Christmas Christmas memory takes me back to Christ- Claude, returned from three years of army South Pacific Theatre of World War II. He on Dec. 18, 1942. He was just few days short away for four successive Christmas holi- t.'rhis : lle, o,,- indeed a memorable Christmas, becuse by this raorith Son had reached the age of three years and three wltllout ever seeing his father. Martina Eckert Jasper Does Santa Claus know where we are? My most remarkable Christmas was Dec. 25, 1950. I was in the second grade. My parents had just recently divorced and I, along with three sisters and one brother, had been placed in St. Vincent's Home at Vincennes. Father Sylvester Schroeder was the administrator of the Home and pastor of St. Vincent's Parish. The night before Christmas, I approached Father very upset. I could not see how Santa was going to find me and my brother and sisters. There was no indication of a tree or lights. Nothing. It looked awfully bleak. Father reassured me that Santa knew where we were. So, putting my trust in Father, I said my prayers and fell off to sleep. Christmas morning, we were awakened by ringing bells, Christmas music, and Santa Claus himself. Standing in the middle of our dormitory was an enormous tree, full of lights and ornaments. Christmas presents were all around. One for each child. I received a beautiful doll. I spent a merry Chistmas with Father Schroeder's reas- surance that Santa Claus would find me. Like my doll, I hold him close in my heart. He truly was my earthly father. Joyce Voegerl Ja.per This is Christmas As I trimmed my tree this year, I pondered over the many Christmas trees that I trimmed over the years. I re- member the very first Christmas after we were married. Dad didn't think we needed a tree; after all, there wasn't a tree trimmed in this house, I'm sure, since he was little. We didn't have much money to spare but I did buy a crib set for Baby Jesus. I cut off some branches from one of those big cedar trees we had in our back yard to put behind the crib set. I trimmed it with tinsel. Our gifts were simple, too. When Grandpa, Aunt Rosy, dad, and I all went to Mass on Christmas morning to- gether, we seemed to see the importance of Christ's birth. Our lives were built around Christ, family, and prayer. "This is Christmas." One year I remember, we had several little ones and we still didn't have money to spare for a tree. Dad went up into the woods and found a cedar tree growing along the ditch bank, so he cut it down. It wasn't a very pretty tree but the little ones didn't seem to notice, That Christmas Eve when Santa unlocked the door and the children saw lights on the tree, we knew, This was Christmas." The sparkle in a child's eye comes from the excitement of the unknown. Something hidden from the child's eye brings joy of wonder of its treasure. What beauty it would be if we could all enjoy seeing the Christ child on Christ- mas morning, this way. The excitement of the unknown should bring joy to us all too. Christ is there in the Holy Eucharist, but He is hidden to enhance our joy of the un- known also. What treasure for us all if we could fully tm- derstand the richness of this precious gift God has given us. "Yes, this is Christmas." So it makes little difference what your tree looks like if you don't take time to see what Christ is like. Take time to pray and you will know Christ when He comes Christmas morning. The greatest Christmas gift of all was never placed beneath a tree anyway, but lay within a manger bed, beneath a star for all to see. Fhis, is Christmas." Mary Ellen Ziliak II. -.ulmtadt Continue .ct page