Letters From Leton: My Best Christmas Was My Family’s Worst

Christmas, in a child’s mind, is a magical and amazing time. 

Santa. Gifts. Candy. Candy Canes. Candy Corn. Syrup.

However, my best Christmas was my family’s worst.

The winter of 1964 was an especially cold, dreary, and snowy one.

My dad had lost his job (coal mining cycle). Mom was pregnant with my youngest sister (who was born early in 1965 a couple of weeks after Christmas). Times were tough. Very tough.

Yet, as a kid, 1964 was my best Christmas. 

Camp Bethel, the local Baptist ministry, dropped off food and used toys (they were new to me).

Then my great aunt Rubel Kilgore brought more toys, including a book that you had to paste pictures of animals (all of the way back to the dinosaurs) onto pages with descriptions. Yes, I was a “Young Sheldon,” and you may have guessed my aunt Rubel was a teacher. By the way, I still have that book.

And on Christmas morning, a couple of packages were under the tree. I am still amazed when I think of how my mom and dad managed that.

Wow – I got presents three times that year when most kids only got them once (back in the day).

As you and I move towards Christmas, please consider doing something for someone outside of your immediate family. I have a special thing I have been doing for the past few years (with the help of Santa and his special elves). It reenergizes my belief in the goodness of people.

Your extra effort will be a reminder to you of the real reason we celebrate Christmas and could turn a family’s worst Christmas into a child’s best.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

– Leton

“Letters From Leton” is a blog series comprised of the weekly updates that Leton Harding – President, Chairman, and CEO of Powell Valley National Bank, shares with the Bank’s team members. These newsletters are full of uplifting anecdotes and intriguing insights that are applicable beyond the Bank, so we want to share them with you.