Monday, December 10, 2012

Everyone should have an Uncle Peter

Christmas Blog Hop - December 10, 2012

          Greetings, one and all. My mind hangs out in the 40's a lot because of what I'm writing, so it went there again today.

           Christmas must have taken a back seat in 1941 with Pearl Harbor so fresh, and so many families missing loved ones. Two of my mom’s three brothers joined the infantry to fight in Europe.
            I doubt they had been exposed to George MacDonald’s Uncle Peter, but this enigmatic character captured my imagination the first time I read his story to our children (The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald/David C. Cook, 1981). The author brings to life a man not everyone would find delightful. Born on Christmas Day, Uncle Peter set out to make every Christmas special, regardless of his financial capacity.
            Like Uncle Billy in It’s A Wonderful Life, someone could easily take advantage of him. But Uncle Peter lived above the fray. He paid particular attention to children, especially the disadvantaged who roamed the streets.
            Generous to a fault, this bachelor surprised his kin with trips to toy and candy stores, going overboard in his gift giving. He also made sure no house on his street with little children was forgotten, employing his nephew in delivering munificent Yuletide packages.
            Maybe you recall such a family member who took time to dress in a Santa suit just for the joy of it, or created look-alike cousin outfits. Mom’s brother became Santa for us one Christmas, and on a summer weekend, he brought a box kite for us to fly. With every visit, he made it clear we mattered to him.
            George McDonald thought the world of Uncle Peter, but Peter didn’t necessarily think much of himself. One Christmas day, he wandered about dispensing three-penny pieces to needy London children, feeling of little good to anyone.
            A particularly ragged child caught his eye. He gave her a double portion and discovered her name—Little Christmas. She stole his heart, so he gave her a shilling. Still, he felt he must do more, especially upon discovering her “aunt” sent her out to make money each day but whipped her for meager earnings. Uncle Peter took her in and provided for her from then on.
            The story continues . . . I hope you’re intrigued. Uncle Peter’s connection with Christmas meant everything—it changed his life.
            He even wished to die on Christmas Day. MacDonald leaves that detail to our imaginations, but provides us with one powerful concept: “ . . . Christmas Day makes all the days of the year as sacred as itself.”
            Taking an hour out of our busy schedules to let Uncle Peter ignite the best in us might not be a bad idea. Then I’ll bake a batch of my husband’s favorite treat—Mexican wedding cookies. They put a light in our grandchildren’s eyes, too—isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

            Such an easy recipe--Mix 1 c of each: butter, flour, powdered sugar, chopped pecans
            Add 1teaspoon vanilla and refrigerate for an hour or so. Roll into balls or shape crescents. Bake on ungreased sheet for 15 mins/350 degrees. Remove to newspaper for 5 mins. Roll in powdered sugar--enjoy.  


Be sure to visit these blogs for more inspiration and some Christmas cheer:

Linda Maran – 11th
Karen Wingate-14th –
Patty Wysong -- 18th
Davalynn Spencer – 19th
Tamara Kraft – 20th       


  1. Hi, Gail! I love the reference to A Wonderful Life - puts your Uncle Peter right in my thoughts. Thanks for sharing your memory and the delicious recipe.

  2. I always wanted to know how to make these. Thanks so much, can't wait to try! Of course, I'd love them, there's sugar in them!

    1. Yep - it was hard thinking of a Christmas treat I like, b/c I can't eat any of them...the closest I could come was the apple slices I sprinkle w/cinnamon so the grandkids will at least have one healthy choice!

  3. Great blog, Gail. Thanks for sharing those great memories.

  4. Uncle Peter sure had the right idea about the spirit of giving on Christmas. Maybe we can all do one small "Uncle Peter" kind of thing this season for a needy child or friend. And the recipe sounds yummy. Thanks for a great post. :)

    1. He did - and you know, my own uncle really had a lot in common w/him. I didn't realize how much 'til I wrote this blog.

  5. Gail, You brightened my Christmas spirit with the story of Uncle Pete. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks, June. You've brightened my whole year!

  7. Can you all tell it took me all day to find where the comments are? Thanks for checking in w/me today. Christmas joys to everyone - Gail

  8. Oh, that story sounds so intriguing. And Mexican Wedding Cakes are near the top of our family's favorite Christmas cookies too.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Gail. - Karen

  9. What a fun post, Gail. And another great recipe to add to my list. Merry Christmas to you and your family and prayers for a healthy and happy New Year.

  10. I think I did something wrong, my cookies flattened out like pancakes. Hmmmm....

  11. Great post, Gail, and I'm going to try the cookies. I've never been successful with those yet--maybe it's my time...