Readers of The Gospel Greats Weekly Newsletter were asked to send in personal stories about favorite Christmas memories.  The original intent was to use some of them on The Gospel Greats broadcast which aired Christmas weekend, 2010.  This was, in fact, done. However, we received so many of them that we wanted to share more of them with you through this special section of our website.  Enjoy perusing these Christmas stories.  And perhaps they will bring to mind some of your own favorite Christmas memories.

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"I remember that Christmas when Dad was on a ship and as a three and one half year old, I missed him. On Christmas I woke up and there was a big ship like the one he was on. He wasn't there, but I could ride on that ship and think of Dad. Grandpa had made it and it was the joy of Christmas to this little tike. And that was 1946." — Ron Cleaver

"The Christmas I most remember was the last one where our whole family was together. My husband and I were home for furlough and my sister was very sick with cancer. As we sang together, tears were shed as we all seemed to understand that this was the last time this would happen this side of eternity. Although we grieved, it was not as they which have no hope! When you face death together, time and each other become more precious!" — Twylene Musser

"My special Christmas Story was Christmas Eve in 1953. I was working as a clerk in the J.J. Newberry Store in Wooster, Ohio. I was a sixteen-year-old young lady when a young farm boy came in and started talking to me. He asked me for a date, and I told him I had a date that evening. He asked me where I lived and I told him I lived "in a house, with a roof on it." He kept hanging around and I told him where I lived. The young man with whom I had a date had to work late, and as a result, the next afternoon when he came around I told him I had met another guy.

"The farm boy had told me he had a car that had those old fins over its headlights and I ended up watching for him. My two younger sisters really tormented him that evening. His name was Gene, and they called him "Gene Autrey" and all sorts of names.

"We were married almost two years later and ended up being married for almost fifty years. He died five years ago of cancer. We were three months and three days short of our fiftieth. God bless you." — Nancy Jackson

"The things that touch my heart the most are two Christmas songs. The first is "Christmas Shoes." This song and movie are so touching, they tug at my heart strings. But the most important song is "Mary Did You Know." Do you wonder, did she know how wonderful He really was? How He would save the world, heal the sick, make a crippled man walk, and the "blind" see? And how He would come into my heart and save me, even though I don't deserve it. And I can feel the power of The Holy Ghost, even as I tell this story. With tears streaming down my face, to think that my Lord Jesus thought of me while He suffered and died, but GLORY to the LORD, HE ROSE! And I am BORN AGAIN! Praise the Lord!" — Katylynn Fleener

"One of the first Christmas visits to spend time with my new wife's grandparents included a Sunday morning service at Sunny Point Baptist Church in western Kentucky, where her family served for many years in many capacities. While I had grown up in a small country church, I was not aware of Sunny Point's method of putting together a Sunday morning choir. When the service started, they announced it was now time for those who would like to, to come up front and sing. Not knowing for sure how it worked, I proceeded up front with my wife's grandfather. It was later that I realized I had joined the choir that Sunday! Of course this made a huge impression on my wife's grandfather, as his new grandson-in-law was so willing to jump in and be a part of his church choir on my first visit! The two songs I cherish the most from the years I was able to worship at Sunny Point were "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" and "Prettiest Flowers." Gifford and Ora Lowe are now buried in the cemetery behind the church, and I long to see them again in that day." — Ryan Brown, Normal, Illinois

"The Christmas that I remember most was 1954. I had major surgery on December 9, 1954. This date was selected so that I would have the holidays to heal. This was when I was in the 8th grade. I cried because I did not get to go to the Christmas party at school. The best part was that I got my gift early. It was a radio so that I could listen to Christmas music. Sometimes, I believe nurses would come into my room just to listen to the music. There certainly was not a television in my room. In fact, we did not even have a TV at home. When my temperature was elevated, I got baths using rubbing alcohol. When I expressed pain, I got morphine injections. When I started eating regular food again, I sometimes switched food with my mother who had food that friends and family brought her to eat. Friends and family sent cards; some were Christmas cards. Others brought boxes of candy. My classmates, with some help from adults, gave me a $14.00 gift certificate from a department store. On Christmas eve, I got dismissed from the hospital. This was not the end of my surgeries. I had another one in July 1955.

"Forty three years later in 1997 at Christmas time, I heard a song on the radio, 'Christmas 1954' by Ray Lewis. The song, really a recitation, tells about a family who would not have had food or gifts in 1954. But some unknown person put them at their doorstep. I don’t know why Mr. Lewis wrote about 1954. It certainly brought back memories to me, not that we didn’t have gifts or food, but I would forever carry scars put on my back in 1954. It brought tears to my eyes because I remember so well, 'Christmas 1954'." — Donna Bacon, Oklahoma City, OK

"Christmas is extra special to me because I was born on Christmas Eve. I have always counted it special that my birthday was next to celebrating Christ. To celebrate now, my family take me out to lunch and in the evening I go to our Christmas Eve service, a tradition I look forward to every year." — Shirley Urbonas, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

"When I was a young girl (five or six) we didn't have a lot. One Christmas we asked for a bicycle. Mom and Dad told us to ask Jesus so we did so. On Christmas morning we didn't get a bike — we received two! We learned later that a neighbor had given them to our parents for us. It was one of many memories I have that proved to me that God loved us and would always take care of us!" — Diana Harlow, Canton, OH

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