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I saw the post that Scottchelf made about the 2005 Christmas exchange and eventhough I do not know what it is about it reminded me of a story from Last Christmas. I want to share it with you. We are so truly blessed.

A friend of mine has a daughter that every Christmas season she adopts a family and does Christmas for them. The family she chooses is someone who is refered to her by friends and or family. A family who is truly in need and who might otherwise not have Christmas. Well the family that she selected was a mother of three who was in the midst of a divorce. The husabnd had gotten into drugs and mortgaged the house, maxed all the credit cards, etc. When the wife found out what was happening it was too late. Too late to salvage their credit, but not too late to remove her children from the situation. She left her husband and took a tiny little apartment and a retail job at the local mall. She had a son who was a senior in high school. A daughter who was a jr. in high school and an eleven yr. old boy. Cindy approached the lady and explained what her intents were. The lady cried and thanked her because otherwise there would be no Santa this year. No, not even a Christmas dinner. Cindy spoke with the children and asked them if they could have anything they wanted for Christmas (a material thing) what would it be. The oldest boy, the high school senior, said he would like a package of new razors so that he could be clean shaven when he went to school. The girl (high school jr.) said she would like some eye liner and or mascara. She said she would like to look like the other girls her age and not so plain faced. The 11 yr. old said her would like a new jacket because he was cold standing at the school bus stop. When I heard this I cried. I only had $100 in cash in my purse that day but I gave it to Cindy and told her to buy whatever it would buy. I did not want any change. Cindy bought then all some nice things from their lists. We had a really cold snap (cold for us anyway) about a week before Christmas so Cindy called the lady and asked if she could go ahead and give the 11 yr. old his new jacket so he could use it during the cold days. She went over that night and she said he was so excited and that when she left the little boy was asleep on the couch wearing the jacket. The next evening this mother called Cindy to say that the teacher had called her and said that the boy had worn the jacket the entire day. He would not even take it off during class becaue he was afraid that something might happen to it. That someone might take his new jacket. He was so proud and happy to be warm. I prayed for the lady and her situation and I know in my heart that taking her children and leaving the drug situation was the right thing to do. It must have been so hard to look at three children who were used to living the "good life" and seeing them so tattered and torn. But I know in my heart that they will make it. I still cry when I think of the story, but I am happy I had the chance to help that family. I do not know where they are now (my friend has moved to another state and I never see her daughter.) I know that no matter what kind of Christmas they have this year. They will never forget the Christmas of 2004.
 

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That is such a wonderful story, and so true to the meaning of Christmas. Maybe instead of exchanging gifts among SM members, we as a forum could do something similar. We are all so fortunate and there are so many that aren't and will be in need more than probably any of us are. I don't know how we could go about doing this but maybe someone here has an idea or two.
 

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My parents and grandparents used to adopt a family at Christmas every year.
I remember going with them to buy groceries to stock the pantry and fridge. Once year it was THREE baskets full!
My grandparents said the people cried like babies when they saw all the food from the store, PLUS the Christmas dinner my grandmother had made for them. They said it was more food than their house had seen in years. -_-
I will never forget those memories of them helping out others. I hope I am in a position to do as much some day.
 

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We are NOT rich, in fact most of the time I'm afraid that people might mistake me for being the one in need. It seems like I am always telling my friends about one financial catastrophe or another. It is so easy to become self absorbed in our day to day lives.

Still every Christmas since we have been married, my husband and I have done some thing close to what you have said. We find some one, either we know them personally or hear about them from someone else, who is in need. We go to the store and find them just a few things. Dry foods, toys, clothes, etc. We always do it in secret though. We put the gifts on the porch where they will be found but not seen from the street, put a note on the door saying Merry Christmas, and leave.

Now that we have kids, it's a family affair. My kids really enjoy picking out the items for our Santa Box. They come with us to drop them off and we go look at Christmas lights when we're done. It is one of my favorite parts of the Holiday Season.

Somehow, being annonymous makes it even better. One year we got a call from the friend we had Santa'd. He was in tears of joy as he told my husband about the wonderful bike that was on his porch. It was the best feeling in the world to know that we had truly touched him. Had he known it was us, he would have never accepted the gifts. He still to this day doesn't know where it came from, but 9 years later he still talks about it. He has even made Secret Santa'ing a family tradition in his home.

It is one of my family's most treasured holiday traditions.

Susan
 
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