As a young girl in Hooper, Utah, I rarely missed my Church meetings. I especially enjoyed Primary. During the time that Sister Marge Beus was my Primary teacher, I became quite ill and had to spend a great deal of time in bed. I loved my Primary teacher dearly and missed seeing her each week. It was during my illness that the children in my Primary class made Santa Claus Christmas ornaments.

I remember hearing the door bell ring that afternoon and hearing a conversation between my teacher and my mother. I couldn’t tell exactly what they were saying, but I became aware that Sister Beus was sorry that I was ill. Then I heard my mother come upstairs, and she showed me an adorable Santa Claus Sister Beus had made for me. I could hardly lift my head off the pillow, but I admired the gift. My mother placed it on the chest of drawers where I could look at it. I was happy that Sister Beus really cared.

Each Christmas as years passed, I took out the Santa Claus, patched it up, and hung it on the tree; for a moment each Christmas season I relived the memory of a dear teacher who cared about me.

Recently, I was admiring a Christmas photograph that had been in our family for years. Our family had posed in front of the Christmas tree, all nine of us dressed alike in our homemade red flannel night clothes. Fond Christmas memories flowed through my mind; and then I noticed, hanging right above me in the photograph, my special Santa Claus. I looked at myself in the photo, calculated the years, and realized I was a sophomore in high school when the picture had been taken. I had hung on to that special Santa Claus for many years. I will never forget the feeling I experienced as I thought of a teacher using her leadership abilities and going out of her way to help a child experience the wonderful feeling of being loved.

[illustration] Illustrated by Lori Anderson

Jelean Vaughn Reynolds, a writer, serves as Primary secretary in the Logan Forty-fifth Ward, Mt. Logan Utah stake.