MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, December 24th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Over the last few weeks we’ve asked you to send in your favorite Christmas memories or a reflection on what the season means to you.
And as always, you delivered!
This week we’ll end each program with listener reflections. Today’s is courtesy of Dan Truitt, from the Dallas suburb of Wiley, Texas.
DAN TRUITT: A memorable Christmas season for us was in 1996. My mother had died earlier that year and that kind of threw our family holiday traditions up in the air.
She had left us a little money so our family decided to go to Moscow, Russia, to take the opportunity to fill in for some missionaries at an orphanage, so that they could have some time away during the holidays. So we took our two kids, 5 years old and 15 years old, and went to Moscow, arriving about two weeks before Christmas.
We had the joy of caring for the little Russian children and we ate Russian food morning, noon, and night—which was really good, and we were grateful for it, but it was quite different from what we were used to, particularly at the holidays. But on Christmas Eve, the director of the orphanage gave us the night off and took us to Red Square.
It was really cold, I think single digits, and we saw the beautiful St. Basil’s Cathedral lit up for Christmas. But the thing that made that evening so memorable for us was the McDonald’s at Red Square, which I think at that time was the largest McDonald’s in the world. I have to admit, I never had been so happy to see the golden arches is I was that night and probably haven’t been so happy since then.
But that night McDonald’s literally gave us a little taste of home from which we were so far away. And that’s why Christmas Eve, 1996, was such a memorable event for our family.