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Christmas tree in the Purdue Memorial Union Courtesy of Purdue University
TREE WITH A SECRET: A pink mitten that appeared on the Christmas tree in the Purdue Memorial Union one season inspired a legend.

Christmas is about the best gift imaginable

Hayhurst’s Hayloft: This is the season to give of yourself — whatever you have.

For many Purdue fans, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without making a visit to the Purdue University Memorial Union’s Great Hall to view the 32-foot-tall Christmas tree. According to the union’s history, an Indiana family has graciously donated a tree since the 1930s. Union staff and Purdue students customarily decorate the tree with lights, ball-shaped ornaments and icicles — at least until 1982.

That Christmas, Purdue Union hostess Ruth Krauch was leading a tour of schoolchildren in the Great Hall to see the soaring tree. As they looked out from the second-floor balcony, a young child pointed toward the top half of the tree and asked, “Why is there a baby pink mitten on the tree?” Krauch didn’t know, but she tucked the experience away and later created The Tiny Pink Mitten tale.

Her tale featured Meagan, a young girl perched on her father’s shoulders, overlooking the tree. “Meagan thought how special it would be for the tree to have a special ornament. She wondered what she could give the tree,” Krauch wrote. “Sometime later, after the girl and her father were gone, a small pink mitten was seen in the upper branches of the tree.”

The story was told by Krauch, my mom, every Christmas season to untold numbers of children and families until her retirement in 1990. The mitten still graces the tree annually.

What do we give from our hearts at Christmas? Do we have something precious to share with others? Do we have a pink mitten?

The best gift of all is shared in Luke 2:10-11, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David, a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the lamb.”

Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute, Ind.

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