My Grandma’s Country Church

This is from a couple of years ago, but I wanted to share it because holidays make me sappy and it is a sweet little story.

1962 my grandmother received a model of the little white country church she was baptised and confirmed in as a Christmas present from her uncle. He had made it from wood, painted it white and added a light inside that illuminated little paper stained glass windows. He had also added a wind up music box that played Silent Night. My grandmother had experienced a lot of loss and homesickness that year and this homemade present became a cherished decoration at Christmas time.

I remember as a child it would be set in a place of honor in the living room.  She would let me wind up the music and we’d turn out the lights and listen to the song to the glow of the little stained glass windows. Every year it was out and she would share the story of the uncle who made it for her.

My grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday this year. She doesn’t decorate much for Christmas these days, but at Thanksgiving she had my mom and aunt pull out the little white church. The white paint was yellowed. The steeple on top was cracked and leaning. The little painstakingly drawn stained glass windows were faded and worst of all, one of them had a large hole. She told us again the story about her uncle bringing it to her at Christmas and seemed content to have this nostalgic decoration, despite its now haggard appearance, sitting at its place of honor in the living room.

My husband stepped in to volunteer us for some refurbishment and so we ended up taking it home with us. Fortunately, I only had to act as project manager and was able to utilize my husband’s carpentry skill, Aubrey’s artistic skill and Jordan’s general interest in anything crafty. At the end of our refurbishment we had this….

My grandmother was thrilled.

Beautiful! And thanks for making me all teary.

What an amazingly thoughtful gift! That’s what the holidays and gift giving should be all about. And the fact that you guys were able to restore it for her is just wonderful. I love this story. Thank you for sharing.


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