Back in 1960 my family was living in Sandy, Utah, on the outskirts of Salt Lake City. The Higgins family next door were good friends, and they had lots of children. One Christmas Eve Mr. Higgins appeared at our door with a big problem. He had purchased a beautiful little pedal car for his youngest, but it required assembly and he just couldn’t understand the instructions provided. He knew my dad was mechanically minded and pleaded for help. In a stroke of genius, my dad graciously accepted the challenge to assemble the toy, but passed the responsibility to me, his self-centered 12 year old.
He told me it would be easy, and I would enjoy it. I was hesitant at first, never having attempted anything so important, but soon threw myself into the project. There I was, alone on Christmas Eve in the workshop basement with my dad’s tools trying to put this toy together. The deadline aspect was terrible – I was on the spot to make someone else happy – I couldn’t fail. So I pressed on, trying to comprehend the bizarre English grammar on the instructions written somewhere on the other side of the world. My dad would come downstairs and check on me from time to time, and my mom checked in too and brought me a cookies. As the evening wore on the pedal car started to come together. In a few hours I had managed to assemble the little car, and it worked!
Something extraordinary happened to me during that evening. At first I didn’t understand, but later I did. I expanded myself by thinking of others. That feeling did not fade away – I still have it to this day. I believe my mom and dad saw the opportunity to give me a great lesson and took a chance that I would learn it. How fortunate for me! Thanks to them, now I have the Christmas Spirit all year long.
After that I wanted to send everyone presents at Christmas, but I never had money to buy anything. So my mom and dad encouraged me to create a little artwork instead and make that the gift. From then on Christmas time finds me working on some little project for friends and family.