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Coal For Christmas December 15, 2009

Posted by tmorty in Uncategorized.

When I was a young kid, I was just slightly more immature than I am right now. Apart from being childish my reasoning skills hadn’t quite developed yet. One cold winter day near Christmas time I used those limited reasoning skills and walked outside without a coat. I don’t even remember why I went outside, but I did and it was very cold. While on my short outdoor adventure, my sister decided it would be funny to lock the doors on me so that I couldn’t get back inside. To make things even more hilarious, my sister ran around the house and locked all of the doors.

After several attempts with no luck at finding an open door and some repeated knocking, I realized what had occurred. After I ceased to knock on the door, I could see my sister looking at me through one of the bedroom windows. With a smile on her face she proceeded to stick out her tongue and wiggle her hands to taunt me. So, I decided to do what I thought any reasonable human being my age would do and take matters into my own hands.  I was going to be resourceful and use one of my talents. Being a pitcher in baseball, I thought I was really good at throwing baseballs and so I decided to throw a snowball at her to scare her and teach her a lesson. It wasn’t going to hit her, but it would just make her flinch and she would stop sticking her tongue out at me.

Although I was prideful even at that age, I should have had more confidence in my abilities because when I threw the snowball, it shattered the bedroom window when I threw the snowball. Luckily, the window I hit was a double-paned window and the snowball didn’t break through the second pane.  When I saw the window shatter, I knew it would mean trouble for me when Mom and Dad came home and found out. My sister stopped joking around and all of the sudden the situation became serious. My parents arrived home and found out what had happened. They weren’t very happy with me. However, I don’t really remember them doing anything to my sister at all for locking me out of the house.

The year of the snowball incident wasn’t a very good year for our family financially. Times were tough for everyone and my family was no exception. The extra expense of replacing a window was going to stretch the family budget.  My parents seemed upset and hinted that someone with the same name as mine might be on Santa’s naughty list that year.

When Christmas Day finally came, sure enough I was on the naughty list and there was a large lump of coal waiting for me from Santa Claus. It was a really big piece that weighed several pounds. Although at first glance it might  seem a bit harsh, I wasn’t exactly an angel that year. My being on the nice list would have been touch-n-go regardless of breaking that window. Great, just what I deserved I thought. My parents were right.  I was on the naughty list and received coal rather than presents like the nice kids. However, after less than two minutes my mom let me know that Santa was in a good mood that year and was being more lenient than he had been in previous years and she came in with the presents that Santa had instructed should be given to me.

I’d never really even thought about this experience until a few years ago. Since then, I’ve often thought about how much we all deserve to be given coal at certain times in our lives and at other times we deserve better. My parents had taught me through the guise of Santa Clause; that even though some people probably deserve the coal, we should give them something better just like the Master, even Jesus Christ does when he intercedes on our behalf to God and gives us blessings even when we don’t deserve them. This Christmas season, you’re likely to run into both people that deserve coal and people that deserve better. I encourage you to be like Santa and Christ and err on the side of mercy and  treat everyone as though they deserve better.



1. Mandy - December 16, 2009

Are you a columnist? You’re a great writer. I really like your writing style. Writing is definitely one of your talents.

2. Stephanie - December 17, 2009

I love that story and the associated gospel message. I found myself telling some kids the other day that they would get a lump of coal if they weren’t good. That’s when I knew I was old and super uncool.

3. Annie - December 18, 2009

Wow Tom, way to be entertaining AND thought provoking all at the same time. I can’t wait to be a parent and give my kids coal.

4. Michelle Glauser - January 31, 2010

So Tom I just barely discovered your blog and I love it. I’m glad you’re writing. And your facebooks stati always make me laugh though I’m too lazy to take the time to comment. Sorry about that. But keep up the blogging and status-writing.

5. Michelle Glauser - January 31, 2010

Oh, and P.S., I could totally hear your voice and your laugh as I read this.

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