Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Memories (kindness)

Just after I turned 14, my dad had an accident.  He was at work and something very heavy fell on his leg, breaking it in a few places.  He had to wear a cast and was unable to work for several months.  Being self-employed, he didn't have vacation or sick time to spend.  We didn't have very much money coming in at all during those months, and we knew it was going to be a small Christmas.  Being 14 and 16 years old, my sister and I were old enough to be okay with this, and we all decided to just focus on spending time together and not worry too much about gifts.  We went to bed on Christmas Eve expecting nothing to open in the morning. We were so wrong!  Sometime during the night, a church member came to our house.  They brought all the food needed for Christmas dinner.  They also brought gifts.  When we woke up on Christmas morning, there were more beautifully wrapped gifts under our tree than there ever had been!  Beautiful gifts like bracelets and earrings, useful things like clothes, and fun items like albums for popular bands and other entertainment.  And gifts for our parents - some nice things for my mom that she never got to buy like expensive lotions and bubble bath, and some fun things for our dad - I think I remember a fishing rod and reel or something like that, which was very exciting for him!  When I saw that amazing pile of gifts and found out where they came from, it made me realize that there were people who cared about us.  We were never "needy," but they knew we wouldn't have much of a Christmas that year and they wanted to give us something that would make us happy.

I will never forget that as long as I live - not because of the gifts themselves, but because of the feeling we had when we woke up that morning and realized that an entire congregation cared enough to plan this special surprise for us.

Every year since then, I have adopted an "angel" from an angel tree.  Whether it is through work or by myself, I have always done this because I remember what it feels like to be a kid and receive an unexpected surprise on Christmas.  It was a special feeling that I want to make sure others experience too.

No comments:

Post a Comment