Tomorrow, January 20, marks two significant anniversaries, one in world history and the other in my history.
First, let’s be personal. The event that we’ll celebrate tomorrow in my personal history is the birthday of our third daughter, Tisha. It seems as though it were only yesterday that she was born at Grandview Hospital in Sellersville, Pennsylvania. But it was quite a bit longer ago than that because she now has three children of her own.
We called Tisha our “lovable, huggable kid” because, of all our four children, she was the most willing and eager to snuggle and to want or need to be loved on and to love on us. As she got older, we noticed that she loved being around younger children, helping them and caring for them just as though she were their surrogate mother. As she continued through school, other people began to notice and comment on the same thing: she was “so good with kids,” they said. Pretty soon, people began telling her that she was so good with kids that she should consider going into teaching, especially the lower grades. Well, she did. She majored in early childhood education in college and is now a pre-school/kindergarten teacher in a Christian school–and loves it.
Tisha’s life illustrates how God endows and equips certain people with the very gifts they will need to enter and fulfill His calling for them. Then He confirms their calling through the recognition of their gifts by others. God gave Tisha the gifts necessary for dealing with and teaching little kids. (Those gifts apparently must have included a large measure of patience and an ability to remain “laid back” in chaotic situations, gifts that her father certainly never had!) God further enabled her to develop those gifts more fully through schooling and experience. But He also boosted her confidence in that calling by having it confirmed by others who recognized those gifts and encouraged her acceptance of His calling.
We are proud of Tisha and of her whole family. We have a special place in our hearts for MacKenzie, our first grandchild. Cameron, her second-born, is all boy and as curious as that mischievous little monkey named George. And little Parker, born prematurely this past October, is a special answer to a lot of prayers. We wish Tisha a very happy birthday and hope that Richard, her husband, and all three of the kids will make it a really special day for her.
The second anniversary is not quite so personal, but it’s something that has many times been an important part of my life–and maybe yours too. On January 20, 1932, the Mars Candy Company introduced the Three Musketeers candy bar. It was their third candy bar, but the Three Musketeers bar was different from the others. It had three pieces of candy in each package: one chocolate, one strawberry, and one vanilla. Those three pieces were the origin of the bar’s name. (During World War II, sugar rationing forced the company to phase out two of the bars, and they were left with one sweet chocolate-covered bar filled with whipped nougat.)
Selling at only 5 cents each, the Three Musketeers bar was one of the largest candy bars on the market. They were advertised on television (on the Howdy Doody show), touting their size and value. (Later advertisements would emphasize that the bars not only tasted good and were big for the price but also contained fewer calories–all of the flavor but fewer calories!) I remember that many times when I had a limited amount of money and wanted to get the biggest candy bar possible, I selected a Three Musketeers bar. I also remember that it was so big and so rich that when I had eaten about two-thirds of it, I felt a little sick and often wrapped the rest of the bar up for later. A Three Musketeers bar and an RC Cola were almost as good as a Moonpie and an RC!
Beginning in 2007, the company began introducing the bar in variations in flavors. Those flavors included cappuccino, French vanilla, cherry, raspberry, orange, and coconut, among others. But those new flavors were only for limited durations. For example, a marshmallow version was offered for Easter in 2011 and 2012, and hot chocolate with marshmallow was introduced for Christmas of 2012. I think a mint-flavored bar is still around, but the original bar remains the favorite of consumers.
So there you have it–two anniversaries of earth-shaking proportions! And that’s the way it was on January 20 in 1932 and 1984.