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Christmas Pecans

Title – Christmas Pecans
By – Joyce Harmon

As a first grade teacher for many years, I have always included Christmas traditions families share. I tell the story of how my children and I made dozens of cookies and candies to share with everyone.

Another area we discussed was the cost of traditions. I discussed how I had to buy lots of things to make the cookies and candies. I asked them to guess which ingredient they thought cost the most. We graphed their answers. Pecans was the most costly item but came in last in our graph. Some of the students shared their holiday traditions.

A week later the students started to bring in their gifts for their teacher. I received some very nice ones. However, the most precious gift I received was from “John”. He came from a poor family. There were five children and their mother had died when he was only two. He shyly came up to my desk with his Christmas present. He had a brown lunch sack decorated with crayons. Inside was a hand full of pecans.

He whispered that he didn’t have any money for a present but he asked his neighbor if he could pick up some pecans for his teacher so she could make cookies and candy. Tears still come to my eyes when I think of how thoughtful “John” was that Christmas many years ago. He moved when he was in third grade and I have lost track of him. However, every Christmas his pecans are place in a holiday bowl on our coffee table and I remember “John” and how loving and thoughtful his gift to me was. No gift has ever meant as much to me.

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