Celebrating the birth of Jesus. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish Friends and Happy Holidays to all!
Elizabeth’s Christmas Eve Gift is a vintage Christmas story by Chesna L. Smith.
As if they were playing a game of verbal tag, the members of the Miller family always tried to be the first to shout “Christmas Eve Gift!”
Spend Christmas Eve with young cowgirl, Elizabeth on the Miller ranch in the 1920s to discover how in the midst of everyday chores, good ol’ cowboy humor and the ranch animals remind her of the true meaning of Christmas.
From the wide-eyed wonder of the little believer to the wiry grandmother with a sparkle in her eyes as she muses, “My dad told me that when I was little too,” the heartwarming story has generated responses from young and old alike.
Author Chesna Smith says:
The inspiration came from a story that my husband’s grandmother (Elizabeth Miller Smith) was told when she was a little girl. Another family tradition was woven in when, after marrying my husband, I discovered that both our families grew up playing a peculiar game on Christmas Eve Morning! Every member of the family would try to be the first to shout “Christmas Eve Gift.” In theory if you “got” someone by saying it first, they were supposed to give you a present early. However, no one ever got around to “paying up.” The victory was in the thrill of knowing that they would have to wait a whole year before they had a chance to get you back. Neither family really knows where the tradition came from.
Chesna, who grew up in Oklahoma, says, “For as long as I can remember I wanted to grow up and be a cowgirl, I don’t know if I will ever get there, but it sure has been fun trying.
Illustrators are Shawna Wright, Clayton, NM, and Ben Miller, nephew of the late Elizabeth Miller Smith, who lives on the Miller Ranch where this story took place.
Come along with Elizabeth and see how in the midst of everyday life she discovers the greatest gift of all.
- Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.
- Don’t expect mules and cooks to share your sense of humor.
- Your buckle don’t shine in the dirt. Get up.
- Don’t let your yearnings get ahead of your earnings.
- Don’t wake a sleepin’ rattler.
- Ride it like you stole it.
- Size does matter. The bigger your buckle the better.
- Cattle know why they stampede, but they ain’t a-talkin’.
- The fastest way to move cattle is slowly.
- If you’re gonna drive cattle thru town, do it on Sunday. There’s little traffic and people are less disposed to cuss at ya.
- A hat brim breaks a spider web before your face does.
- When somebody outdraws you, smile and walk away. There’s plenty of time to look tough when you’re out of sight.
- Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction.
- You cannot unsay a cruel word.