December 22: A Gift from DQ


Order your copy(s) of Christmas Jelly at
Order your copy(s) of Christmas Jelly at

The following story comes from chapter 22 of our short story collection,  Christmas Jelly.

A Gift from DQ



Christmas is a time for gifts, and there are all types of gifts.

The best gifts come from our hands and hearts. They are created through a strong combination of love and skill.

I’m obsessed with a gift I saw last week. I call it a gift from DQ.

DQ. I’m not referring to Dairy Queen.

I’m referring to Dwayne Quebedeaux.

Dwayne is a talented carpenter. His older truck sported a bumper sticker, “My boss is a Jewish carpenter.” I admire Dwayne and his wife Allison for their commitment to helping others in the name of that carpenter, Jesus.

Two weeks before Christmas, a need arose in Dry Creek. Harold Yancey died of cancer. His only survivor, his son David, insisted that his father be buried in a pine casket. “My daddy worked in the woods, and I want him buried in a wooden one.”

That’s fine and good if you’ve got plenty of money. Pine caskets are expensive at funeral homes and David didn’t have the necessary funds.

That’s when DQ stepped in. He volunteered to build a homemade casket for Mr. Yancey. He did a crash course on the size and style needed. A neighbor told me she heard Dwayne’s router and table saw all weekend.

On Monday, Harold Yancey was laid out in the beautiful rough pine casket at our church. I watched his son’s satisfied look as he examined the work of art—and gift of love—built by Dwayne Quebedeaux.

The entire community pitched in to help. Men from the Bible Church dug the grave. Dry Creek families provided food and sat with the body. Mr. Yancey’s final journey to Dry Creek Cemetery was on the back of a log truck, not a hearse.

We’ll see lots of nice Christmas gifts this week.

Some expensive; others simply crafted with love.

But none will match DQ’s gift.

A pine casket built of love and rough pine.

Built from trees felled by Hurricane Rita’s destruction.


* * *


Harold Yancey's coffin built by Dwayne Quebedeaux
Harold Yancey’s coffin built by Dwayne Quebedeaux


It may seem morbid to feature a casket for a Christmas story.

We’re much more comfortable talking about wooden mangers than pine caskets.

But to fully understand the true story of Christmas, we must realize that the real reason for the coming of the Savior was to die.

Jesus came for a purpose, and it was fulfilled with his death.

It’s like the biker tattoo, “Born to Die.” It was his purpose and destiny.

He lived a perfect life and died a sacrificial death.

He wasn’t placed in a pine casket but in a rock-hewn tomb.

The best part of the story is that He didn’t stay there. As proof of the fact that Jesus was God’s Son and had completely retired our sin debt, God raised him from that grave.

He’s not in any grave, nor is He in any manger.

He is now seated at the right hand of His Father.

May you celebrate His birth as never before and serve him wholeheartedly with every fiber of your heart, being, and soul.

Closed casket Yancey381586_295322223839525_100000852495605_800728_1525496571_n

Merry Christmas from the Creekbank … from where good stories flow.


"Christmas Jelly" is a collection of short stories by Louisiana author Curt Iles. Learn more at
“Christmas Jelly” is a collection of short stories by Louisiana author Curt Iles. Learn more at

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