Nancy Evins: No bridge today, but recalling Christmas past

Nancy Evins • Updated Dec 24, 2017 at 12:00 PM

With the indulgence of the editor and my instinct people won’t be as much interested in the bridge world as the upcoming day is more on their mind, I am skipping my usual subject.

The thrilling announcement of the day was when a Knoxville newspaper, The Sentinel, began a comic strip two weeks before. As a 4 year old, I could hardly wait to check the paper and feel the excitement building. 

My other clue, as though I needed one, was the beginning of the practice for our church to put on their Christmas program. Since my mother was the pianist and took me to the practice, I could watch some of the somewhat older girls dressed in robes made of sheets and with angel wings! That they were coal hangers covered with the same sheeting material and gold tinsel did not lessen my desire that one day I would earn my own wings.

Until then, it was suggested that I say a short poem.

On the night of the program, the audience was packed, probably for a number of reasons. Adults might have their own children in the program or people just came because it was an evening out and there was not much entertainment, even of this sort, in those days. But one reason might have been that at the end of the event every year Santa arrived with a brown paper bag for everyone to take home. That bag consistently contained one apple, one orange, a few nuts and a candy cane.

Adults, as well as children, seemed pleased and excited to get that little bag and that may be because The Great Depression had just ended but the economy was not yet as it had been.

It was finally my turn to do my little poem and my mother had told me over and over that the people in the back might not be able to hear me so to speak as loud as I could.

I trotted out to face a packed audience and began:

“Trist’mas Day, Trist’mas Day

Little hearts are glad and gay.

 ‘Tis the time we love to bring

Some sweet gift for our dear King.

Then, I am told, I found a hole in the rug on which I was standing so I stood there and tried to get the toe of my shoe in it. Someone had to come and get me off the stage, but I suppose it was the beginning of my time as a part-time professional speaker.

Later in life, as this story was told to me so often, I got to wondering what sweet gift can we give to our King.

Since we have no gold, frankincense or myrrh, what might it be? Perhaps giving to a charity, working at a homeless shelter, sponsoring a child in need or giving a cow, a goat, a pig or even a hen to those in a foreign country through an organization to help people have a chance to begin to work with the animals for their own food as well as breed others for sale.

Would those count as gifts to our King?


Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]

Nancy Evins, of Lebanon, is a certified bridge instructor. Email her at [email protected]

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