Of Seventeen Children…
Christmas was truly a holy one for us, and every year Dad would paint the inside of the house, adding his artistic creations so that it truly looked like a Hallmark card, what with so many children, bicycles, dolls, and toys around the Christmas tree. The nativity scene was beautifully arranged on the mantel to remind us what the true celebration was about: the birth of Jesus. We were taught to kiss the baby Jesus as soon as the manger was brought out. I will never forget the pine fragrance of the tree and the aroma of Mom’s abundant meals, and the homemade Italian cookies. There would be so many toys scattered everywhere that, at times, there was hardly any room to walk. This was true not because we were given so many gifts, but because there were so many small children. Although we each received only one gift, the room was filled to overflowing with a wondrous array of toys. And the Christmas tree nearly fell from all the children running through the house in their excitement! I have many joyful memories of the smaller children each playing happily with their solitary toy from Santa Claus, truly appreciating that one special gift.
I especially remember one year, when my four younger brothers, each just a year apart, got their first Jungle Jim combat suits. With all four of them dressed exactly alike, they looked like they belonged to a military academy, only instead of following regimented orders, they’d be running and playing and laughing among themselves. Growing up with my family, I was blessed to enjoy a rich and holy Christmas that has served me throughout life, especially the warmth of the love that poured through my parents’ every action.
Excerpt from Imprinted Wisdom~Catherine Nagle www.imprintedwisdom.com
About the Author
Catherine Nagle grew up in Philadelphia with sixteen brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old-school Italian parents. Her artist father’s works graced churches and public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures, works of Marianne Williamson, and conferences, including Theology of the Body Congress.
She is an ambassador of the Society of Emotional Intelligence, Dr. Hank Clemons is its Founder and CEO, and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global. The mother of two children, and a grandmother, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband. She is the author of “Imprinted Wisdom” and “Absence and Presence” and “Amelia” and a contributor to Anne Born’s, “These Winter Months.”