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Snowflakes for Christmas

November 29, 2011

Terrie and I got married just after our senior year at BJU.  She was finished, and I had one semester left to go.  We moved into a tiny little house in the Kampus Kourt trailer park back up behind The Gospel Hour ministry building off of Pleasantburg Drive.  Our friends Bill and Carol Ford lived just a short walk away.

Terrie started teaching sixth grade at Southside Christian School that fall, making about $600 a month – before taxes.  I went back to school to finish up my final semester student teaching at a Christian school down in Easley, but I was working part time at a Poole’s Catalog Showroom on Haywood Road.  To say things were financially tight would be like saying the Titanic had a minor leak.  I am blessed with a wife who can find ways to stretch a dollar a long way, and she certainly did her part in keeping us together that first year.

Christmas came along as it does every year, and we had very little with which to decorate.  All of our discretionary money was reserved for buying a few gifts for each other and family members, yet we had no tree under which to place them.  Terrie’s dad invited us to come out to his place near Fountain Inn and find a cedar tree to cut down and take home.  We scrounged a string of lights, few glass balls and a bit of garland from somewhere or another, but the tree was still missing something.

We were at an area mall in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and I noticed the large white snowflakes hanging from the ceiling.  I was thinking about how I had used to fold up paper and cut snowflakes for grade school Christmas projects.  Those pitiful snowflakes never looked as nice as the ones hanging there in the mall, and I was pondering the reason.  Then it hit me: all the ones that I had cut out as a child were four-sided while the beautiful ones I was seeing at the mall were six-sided.  Everyone knows a snowflake has six sides, and I began to wonder how difficult it would be to fold a paper six ways.

We had this little pad of paper – stationery really – that was imprinted with Louise Connell’s name.  I can no longer account for how we came into possession of Miss Connell’s pad of stationery, but it was about four inches wide by six tall with bright white crisp paper – just perfect for folding and cutting snowflakes.

It took a bit of trial and error to get the folds just right, but soon I had a knack for folding a piece of paper six ways.  Terrie had a pair of little embroidery scissors that was just perfect for making tiny little cuts necessary for delicate snowflakes.  Before long Terrie and I had created a small handful of six-sided snowflakes and hung them on our tree.

A few weeks later, we were taking the tree down, and I looked around for a book to keep them pressed flat in until next Christmas.  The 1981-1982 BJU class bulletin caught my eye, and in they went for safekeeping. Throughout the book are photographs of teachers and students that I recognize and a few that I know personally.

This is our thirtieth Christmas together, and every year I pull out that old class bulletin and flip through the pages to find our precious snowflakes.  Over the years we have added a few and lost a few, but most of the originals are still there and grace our tree every December.  Our children have never known a Christmas without them.   Each year as I carefully hang them on the boughs of our tree, I am reminded of those snuggly warm evenings with Terrie in the little house in the trailer court, snipping paper memories that would last a lifetime.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Abbie permalink
    November 30, 2011 11:47 am

    aw how cute

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