Friday, December 20, 2019

Emily Vick Shares About Precious Gifts from Her Paw Paw

"And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger."
Luke 2:16 (KJV)

Guest Post #11

"Christmas Snickers Bars" by Emily Vick

"Living in eastern North Carolina, we never knew from year to year if Christmas was going to be cold or warm, but we always knew one thing: Paw Paw would have our Snickers bars waiting.

Grandma and Paw Paw’s house was only a short walk from ours—a beautiful walk
through the woods. On Christmas afternoon, aunts, uncles, and cousins all gathered in
that little house, each distributing something on the counter, until it was filled with a
variety of delicious food. A turkey, ham, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, Aunt Marcia’s
cheese-and-cracker-crumb covered green beans, Mama’s sweet potato casserole, a
chocolate fudge pie, a pecan pie, and of course, Grandma’s fried cornbread. We
always held hands and thanked God for His blessings before enjoying the feast.
But the feast that fed our souls was the feast of laughter and conversation. Hours of
catching up with no schedule to keep, basking in each other’s presence. 

After dark, Paw Paw would take down his worn, well-loved Bible and read the story of the Christ-
child, God become man, and our hearts would fill almost to bursting with the joy of this miracle we celebrated.

Next came Paw Paw’s special gift. Each year, everyone received a Snickers bar with a little cash wrapped carefully around it. Each candy bar had a name on it, and no one was ever forgotten. As a child, I savored that candy bar and planned with excitement how I would spend my cash. But as an adult, looking back to the those days that can never be recaptured, I realize the real gift Paw Paw gave me in those Christmas Snickers bars was far greater than candy or cash. He gave me memories, tradition, something I knew would always be waiting for me at the end of a year. He gave me
love. He always remembered me and had that Snickers prepared for me. 

To this day, the sight, smell, and taste of a Snickers bar transports my mind to Christmastime. I can
smell cranberry sauce and fried cornbread. I can hear my my dad and uncles’ guitar and banjo playing, my mom and aunts’ laughter. I can see the happy tears on Grandma’s face as she talked of how blessed she was to have such a family. We didn’t know what each year would hold, but we knew one thing: At the end of it, Paw Paw would have our Snickers bar ready."

Bio:  I’m Emily, 25-year-old youth pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom of three: Avonlea Joy (3), Levi Tyler (2), and Gideon Marshall (1 month).

When I have time, I read mysteries by candlelight, collect life-giving books, watch black-and-white movies, play the piano in a sunlit room, and write. Most of all, I savor God’s good gifts, which fill my life to the brim every day.

As you can imagine, life with three under 4 can be hectic, but we strive to make our lives as simple and focused as possible, keeping clutter out of our home and hearts and seeking to know and love Christ more intimately every day.

Please visit Emily's new blog, The Tansy Patch, where she shares her journey to a simple, Christ-centered life while learning to savor every moment as holy.
You may also connect with Emily on her Facebook page.


  1. Oh, how my heart filled as I read this post. The small, well-loved traditions are so wonderful. I am the same with a taste of a chocolate covered cherry. Each year we would have one box. Just one. Our family was very poor that my Mom had to pinch pennies to buy that one box. We would each get two cherrie. That's all. Just two. Because that's all that was in the box. Mom and Dad each had one but they gave us kids two each.
    Every year I buy one box of chocolate covered cherries. Just one. And when I bite into one, I'm immediately transported back to my childhood and my parents sacrifice to buy us that one box of cherries.
    Silly, but true.
    Than you for sharing with us Emily.

    1. Oh, Betsy! What an amazing, sweet, precious memory of your dear Mom! I can only imagine how you are transported back in time when you eat a chocolate covered cherry each year. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Much love and many blessings to you, sweet friend.

  2. What a wonderful story and sweet memories of your Paw Paw and family.

    God bless you all always. A blessed Christmas to all.

    1. Thank you for your visit and kind words, Victor. Many blessings to you!

  3. Beautiful memories! I'll never look at a Snickers bar the same way again.
    Sorry, Cheryl, to have been MIA this past week, but we went "dark" during our mountain vacation. It was an amazing time of rest, but we are home now, ready to roll right into Christmas.

    1. Oh, I surely understand, Martha! I am so happy you had a wonderful, amazing time away. You deserve it so much! I am thankful you are back home safe and ready for Christmas. Many blessings to you this glorious time of year, sweet friend!

  4. Wow. This brought back memories of my dad's small black Bible and Christmas. We never had a Christmas that didn't start with the Christmas story from Luke's account.

    Love is more powerful when God is in the center of it. He makes strong families... and memories.

    1. Aw, that is such a precious memory for you, I'm sure. So thankful we all had Christian parents who read God's Word to us and instilled in us a love for Jesus from a young age. We are so very blessed, and even though our dear parents are no longer with us, our love for them goes on. Thank you so much for sharing with us here, brother. God bless you and yours with a blessed Christmas!

  5. Wonderful story of joy in family..celebrating Emmanuel God with us.. and s Grandfathers love for all. Its these memories that are so precious!
    Thanks for sharing, and may God bless you.
    Hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

    1. Yes, indeed! Those memories are so very precious to our hearts and give us hope when times are so dark and discouraging. God bless you this Christmas season, faithful friend. I do trust you are feeling better. Praying for you.

  6. Thank you Emily for sharing sweet memories of Christmas past. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior!

    Thank you Cheryl for sharing!

    1. Thank you for your sweet visit, Pam! May God bless you and your family with a wonderful Christmas Day!