Dear Diary

December 25, 1933

Dear Diary,

It is Christmas today. Pa and Ma gave me this diary. I was surprised. I didn’t think there would be any gifts this year. Pa has little work. Hardly anyone in the city has work. Pa had some socks that Ma couldn’t mend anymore. Martha got a doll made out of one of them. Charlie got a toy dog made out of another. Guess I was too old for a doll or a dog. I can help Martha play with her doll. I like my diary. I think Ma made it from some papers she saved and tied it with a scrap of ribbon.

But I had no gifts to give. I felt bad. I know, children usually can’t buy presents, but I wanted to give some anyway. I tried making a little chair out of sticks and branches for Charlie, but it fell apart. I tried making a little house out of pebbles for Martha, but that fell apart too. Pa and Ma didn’t get any presents at all. They were still very happy, though. Dear Diary, how could they be so happy?

We went to church this morning. I was cold. It snowed. The minister preached about Jesus being born. Jesus was poor. He didn’t have a crib, just a manger. The shepherds were poor. Some kings brought some fine gifts to Jesus later, but the shepherds had nothing to bring to Him. But the angels sang for joy! If the shepherds could hear angels sing, I guess presents didn’t matter very much. The shepherds were so happy to see Jesus!

I hear Ma and Pa downstairs. They’re singing a Psalm: “I love the Lord, the fount of life and grace.” They like to sing together. I like to hear them sing. I know that song. “He hears my voice, my cry and supplication.” God hears us when we pray. He really does. Pa says He gives us all the grace we need, too. Dear Diary, what really is grace?

Well, I may have no gifts to give, but I think I’m happy, too. The sermon made me happy today. The singing makes me happy. Dear Diary, do you think, maybe, that is grace? Then it really doesn’t matter what things we have or don’t have, does it?

Maybe—maybe I’m even rich.