A Christmas Story

This is the true story of a child’s first Christmas, a four-month-old baby girl who was the first grandchild in the family. Her grandfather wanted to make her Christmas a magical one, so he bought the most beautiful tree he could find, hung it with strings of colored lights and put a gold star on top. He decorated the branches with bright, shiny ornaments, some with reflective moving parts, and draped the tree with silver tinsel from top to bottom. On Christmas Eve he made a small bed of soft blankets under the tree and lit a fire in the fireplace. The baby’s parents drove her to her grandparent’s house and the grandfather was so eager to have her that he met them at the car and took the baby in his arms, carried her into the house, and placed her gently under the tree. She was quiet and still for a long time, watching the marvel of luminous bright colors dancing around her. Then she started squealing and wiggling with delight. The grandparents and parents laughed and hugged each other, and the fire burned brighter, and it started to snow outside.

December 25, 1940, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The baby was Nancy, and her grandfather was William Henry Henderson, a first-generation immigrant from Edinburgh, Scotland.