The Dictionary (A Christmas Story)

The year was 1987, long before the start of the
digital age when everything was at our fingertips. My father decided everyone
O in the family needed a dictionary so he went out and bought a nice desk dictionary for everyone for Christmas, including one for himself.  This was a true act of love because my father did not go Christmas shopping ordinarily.

My youngest son, Jeff, was a senior in high school that year and he was pleased to get this big book. He put it in his backpack and carried it everywhere. As time went on, he was even happier with it. He could have chosen a smaller paperback version but he wanted the big heavy dictionary.

When he began college the following year, the dictionary became even more important to him. One day he told me he had to write a paper for his English class about a gift he had received that at the time it didn’t seem like much but that had become very valuable. He decided to write about his dictionary.

Education was very important to my father, he came from a long line of teachers. We told him about Jeff’s paper and he was so happy. My father was quite ill by this time and 1988 was to be his last Christmas. Every visitor who came to the house got to hear him proudly tell his Christmas Story about the dictionary. The story was even part of his eulogy several months later.

Following my father’s death my mother gave his dictionary to the minister who had given the eulogy who was also a personal friend. Several years later that minister was assigned to our congregation and he performed the marriage ceremony for Jeff and Mary, his high school sweetheart.

A few years later that same minister baptized Jeff and Mary’s first child, Collin. Following the service, the minister presented my father’s dictionary to Jeff to be given to Collin when he got older.  The circle of life and love.

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