Special Holiday Feature: A Texas Christmas by Beverly Stowe McClure
SPECIAL HOLIDAY FEATURE
"A Texas Christmas" by Beverly Stowe McClure, author of Just Breeze
On December 22, 2005, my husband had a heart attack and complications. We celebrated that Christmas in the hospital. He didn’t hear the carolers as they strolled down the hallway singing Christmas songs. He didn’t see the visitors who came to call. He wasn’t even aware it was Christmas.
The next year, we made Christmas special. Except for one daughter-in-law who was ill and was missed very much, our whole family came to share in a Texas Christmas. We had a houseful, including our eldest son, Rex, from South Carolina. (His wife, Kristina, had to stay home.) Our middle son, Scott, and Ann, his stepdaughters Briana and Kylie, live next door which is wonderful. And our youngest son, Kelly, wife Amy, and children Shawn, Scottie, and Katie drove from California. Rex’s daughters, Amanda, Courtney, and Felicity, along with their mother, Anna, were here. Amanda is married, so she brought her hubby, Paul, and children, Riley, Paige, and Henry. And of course, there was Jack and me. As you can see we had a houseful. Best of all, Jack was alive and well.
The younger grandkids decorated the Christmas tree. It was unique, the bottom half overloaded with ceramic mice, icicles, candy canes, keepsake decorations my students gave to me throughout the years I taught, and my own sons’ creations. The top half was sort of bare, except for what the older girls and I added since we were the only ones who could reach that high. The angel on the top added the finishing touch. All of us being together made it perfect, and I have a video for the memories.
Since everyone was together for the first and possibly only time since everyone lived so far apart, we decided to have a family photo taken. Finding a photographer that was working during the holidays was almost impossible. I did finally locate a sweet lady who was intrigued about doing a photo shoot for such a large family, something she’d never done before. Her photographs on the Internet were gorgeous, so we made the appointment. Even with a wiggly baby, a boy who hates having his picture taken, and a sick boy, the photographer did a marvelous job. The photos now hang on my wall as a reminder of that lovely Christmas when we shared the joy of the birth of Christ Jesus and our good health.
To me, family and Jesus are what Christmas is all about.
Beverly S. McClure started her writing career early—though she approached it kicking and screaming—when her eighth-grade teacher sent her poem “Stars” to a high school anthology and it was published in Young America Sings. She graduated from Midwestern State University and became a teacher. As soon as she discovered Dr. Seuss and other great children’s stories, she willingly put pen to paper and had stories and articles published in Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr., U. S. Kids, Jack and Jill and other leading children’s magazines, including an article that was reprinted in a Scott Foresman Pre-K anthology and a breakout article that appeared in the June 2007 issue of Writer magazine.
A multi-published author, Beverly’s Listen to the Ghost, Secrets I Have Kept and Rebel in Blue Jeans are available in trade paperback. Her latest book is Just Breeze, and she has four more books under contract. A member of the National Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and their North Texas Chapter, Beverly is the mother of three grown boys and lives in the country with her husband, Jack, where an occasional deer, skunk, or armadillo come to visit.