Kerosene Can Christmas Story

by Penny Eggen

This old kerosene can with the corncob pipe in its spout has a heart-warming Christmas story behind it.

A man who owned a ranch in the upper Gem Country of Idaho was a widower with two children to raise. It was during the Great Depression and he was extremely poor. It being close to Christmas, he was worried about Christmas presents for his children.

They said, “If we can't have a Christmas present, could we at least have a piece of Christmas candy?”

One day, needing supplies, he got in his buckboard and traveled to Emmett to the general store; worrying all the way about having enough money left over for presents. He had thrown in this very kerosene can to have filled.

After buying his supplies, there was no money left. He worried all the way back home thinking “What am I going to tell the children?”

When he got home, the children came out to meet him and help put away the supplies. The kerosene can, so it wouldn't spill, had been placed under the wagon seat with the supplies braced against it.

All of a sudden the girls started squealing. The can had a big, red gumdrop stuck in the spout as a stopper. They took the gumdrop inside, cut it in half, and each child had a piece of Christmas candy. 

Note: This story appeared in the Messenger-Index, December 21, 2022.

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