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The many miracles of the Christmas season

The Examiner

Since there are only two Saturdays left until Christmas Day, I would like to invite you to visit my home for a moment.

As soon, as you step into our home, you will see the living room to your left and a tall stairway to your right. In the comer of the living room, to the right of the fireplace, is an artificial Douglas fir, decorated with white lights.

Diane Mack

This tree is my favorite tree in the house, as it has small nativities, perhaps 60. The tree also has several sets of white lights and a white ribbon with gold edges and words. The words are Holy One, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, etc. This ribbon is arranged on each branch of the tree

Throughout the living room, I have larger nativities. I don’t count them anymore. I simply place the nativities after Thanksgiving.

If you turn to the right of the front door, there is a very tall stairway.

On each step, there are three or four Santa Clauses. Many peek through the wooden spindles, while the rest lean against the wall.

At the top of the stairs, there are two bedrooms, bedrooms empty of children.

The remainder of the Santas dangle their legs between the spindles, across the landing, at the top of the stairs.

You may wonder why we have many Santa Clauses.

My special-needs’ daughter Kelsey has had a lot of surgeries. Over the years, several of her surgeries were scheduled close to Christmas. Most often, the procedures were critical and there was no choice on the date.

Kelsey was born the beginning of December, and as a two-pound baby needed a number of life-saving procedures.

By the time Kelsey was 20, after years of “Christmas” surgeries, I realized that we had lots of Santas. They were gifts given to Kelsey, from family and friends.

Several years ago, I felt it was time to display Kelsey’s Santas during the Christmas season, and the stairway seemed the best location. With 14 stairs and three to four Santas on each step, plus several on the landing at the top, every Claus had a home for the holiday.

The largest Santa (35 inches) arrived shortly after Kelsey’s four eye surgeries. A wonderful neuro-ophthalmologist tried desperately to save Kelsey’s vision in her left eye. But he was unable to do so, and we were unsure if the doctor would be able to save the sight in her right eye, either

When we brought Kelsey home from the hospital on Dec. 22, we carried her up the stairs to the main floor. As we stood her up to her walker, she headed down the hallway to her bedroom.

I was worried she might walk into something, as this was the first time for her to walk without the use of her left eye.

But she was insistent and headed down the hall. As she turned toward her bedroom she started to laugh.

The three-foot Santa was by the door to her room, and she could see him. What a Christmas miracle this was, for all of us. She still had vision in her right eye!

Oh, I could share countless medical procedure stories, from Kelsey’s past 44 years, and the resulting gifts of Santa Claus. Each of those Santas represents a miracle to Kelsey and our family.

The first Santa was given at birth, with prayers that she would live longer than three months, which she has.

Each of those Santas embodies the love and prayers from hundreds of friends and family.

As well, each of those Santa s represents the spirit of Christmas. David O. McKay stated, “In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.”

I testify, the true spirit of Christmas, originated with the Christ Child, the Holy One, the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel. In His Holy Name, Amen.            

Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County's Family Week Foundation. Email her at Director@jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.