Christmas of 1971 was probably my favorite Christmas. The reason it is was my favorite was not because I received the most gifts ever.. it was the Christmas that I received the least. It was not good economic times for my father and my mother did not work outside the home. My four siblings and I were given one thing to ask for. Just One! It did not take long for my oldest brother who was in his senior year. Clothes were on the top of his list...especially an English Squire (name brand at the time) jacket with his initials embroidered on it. The others had their one thing and I knew exactly what I wanted - an electric guitar.
My family was very musical and my dad spent several years in Nashville trying to make it big in country music, so it just came natural. I loved to sing and write songs. Well, Christmas morning came and at 5:00am, or maybe earlier, we dashed for the colorful big bulbed tree. My oldest brother Bill opened a box... no English Squire Jacket... socks and undies... everyone got socks and undies. He found no box with the jacket. Dejected and somewhat mad he went back to bed. I saw a guitar in the corner and leaping over another brother I too was disappointed to find my dad’s guitar with an electric pick up... basically what I have today... but it wasn’t the cool guitar I told my friends I was getting... so mad, I too stomped back to bed. My parents were soon up and cooking breakfast and asked us to come eat and open the other little things.. stockings with fruit and candy. I said no! “I asked for an electric guitar and you gave me dad’s piece of junk. My friends are going to laugh at me.” My parents did not scold us, or strike back with discipline to their ungrateful kids.
Finally, all gathered around a quiet table. A few minutes later my mother handed my brother Bill a package. He opened it and there it was - an English Squire Jacket with embroidered initials. It really got quiet after that! My dad then plugged the acoustic guitar he rigged up into an amp... it sounded like an electric guitar. It was only years later that I got the whole story. We were having dinner and I noticed now that I was older and “mature” that my mom did not have a wedding ring. When asked she said, “Oh, I sold it years ago to a friend.” Loving music as I did, I asked my father where his old reel to reel 4 track recorder was. He said, “Oh, I sold it a while back”... 1971 to be exact. The Christmas that I thought I got nothing but realized I got everything. Love from a SACRIFICIAL FATHER AND MOTHER. Giving up what was precious to them to provide for me.
That’s what happened that first Christmas. God giving up what was precious to Him to provide not what I wanted but what I needed.. A Savior... Praise God. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
~ Randy Overstreet