Tis the Season: Secret Walnuts

Follow your dreams

I love Christmas!

As a child, there were presents to open and yummy food to eat. Nat King Cole sang about “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, and the sun shined brightly in San Diego.

I have some great memories of the past…

At home, there was a beautiful tree with bubble lights, colored balls and much tinsel. The table was set for our small family of Daddy, Mama and me. There was a Nativity set up in the living room, but it wasn’t the center of attention.

My daddy made Secret Walnuts that were in the very bottom of my Christmas stocking. He cracked open the walnut, took out the nut, and then put in coins. He glued the halves back together with a little red bow on top. I have taken on that tradition for our son and then to his four children.

My Daddy also made some wonderful little ornaments out of pods from one of our trees. He spray painted them gold and added a red ribbon hanger. They looked great on Dave and my Christmas tree! One evening, I was sitting by the tree and heard strange little whistling noises coming from the tree. Something was shooting out from the tree! The warm house had prompted the seed ornaments to pop to try and make little trees in my front room!

One year, Daddy decided to shove the Christmas tree up the chimney and light it on fire. This resulted in much excitement – and new carpeting.

One last wonderful memory of our son: He was in the Marines at that time and it was his first Christmas home in two years. As I talked to this “man” on the phone, which his deep voice full of “whoo-rah”, I asked what he would like for a present. There was not a second in between my question and a boy’s teenage voice that almost yelled, “a Nintendo!”. He got his wish and in full dress blues, sat in our front room playing his Nintendo on Christmas Day.

Our family now makes Jesus’ birth our main celebration.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

RitaRita Manzella is a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She has attended Grace Chapel for over five years, and is involved with Honored Ladies, Women’s Community Team and First Impressions. Her passion is for reaching those in the margins of society with God’s love and forgiveness.

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