KEEL Listener Shares ‘Christmas House’ Memory That Reminds Us to Think of Others This Holiday Season
Long-time KEEL listener Jennifer Bell shared an amazing story with us today, and we'd like to share it with you. It's about the true meaning of Christmas, and touches on a old 'Christmas House' contest we used to sponsor in the 1950s.
In 1955, KEEL sponsored a contest named the 'Christmas House.' It was essentially a treasure of toys and food -- enough for a large family -- that had to be found by clues that were given out daily on KEEL radio.
My Grandfather, T.E. Jordan (a plumbing contractor in Shreveport -- and later, the builder and owner of Shreveport Mini Storage on Greenwood Rd., which was the first self-storage in Shreveport) had been listening and collecting clues...when suddenly one evening, while driving to the store, with my mother (his daughter) who was 10 years old at the time. He heard the clue, which told him exactly where the Christmas House was!
He drove (like a bat outta hell) to the house and knocked on the door just as another man was running up to the house next door -- who must have thought he had it figured out!
A woman came to the door and asked Papaw a question, and I am guessing he didn't answer correctly, because Mama says that he came walking back to the car. Half-way there, he got an interesting look on his face, turned and ran back to the door, knocked again, and this time he evidently answered correctly because he went inside. He came back to the car and told my mother that indeed, he had found the Christmas house!
Mama was elated, but then Papaw did something which was not out of the ordinary for him, because anyone who knew my Grandfather knows that he was a very generous man. He told Mama that they had enough for Christmas, but there were others who did not. He explained that they were going to give the toys and food to someone who needed them much more than they did.
Mama remembers being sad, but didn't say anything to clue her Daddy in on it because she could see that it meant so much to him. He went back into the house, and came out with several armloads of toys and food, crammed it all in the car and they drove away. A little while later, they pulled up to a house (I'm guessing it was someone that Papaw knew -- and knew they needed these things) and they gave everything to the woman and two children who lived there - much to their surprise.
Through tears and hugs, my Mother, who had been raised with Christian principles, really got the message of Christmas that year.
Every year since, she and my Dad do something for a needy family...if not by themselves, then through their Sunday school class. They have been a wonderful example of Christian love and giving, which is what Christmas and being a Christian is about. I hope that you might share this story. Thanks!"
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, Jennifer!
Every holiday season, it's important to remember to "pay it forward." Here are a some helpful links where you can go do that.