I’m having mixed emotions right now and I’m not really sure how to feel. Let me explain. Earlier this evening when we all arrived home from running the last of our Christmas errands, at our door we found one of those extra large, plastic Christmas gift bags filled with christmas gifts. Attached to it was a note that said:
“Dear Sneddon Family,
Our elven spies told us that you all may need a little help getting some Christmas cheer this year. Mrs. Claus and I hope that you all have a very blessed Christmas.
My husband and I have no idea who has done this. I immediately felt guilty. Yes, we are having some financial difficulties which are making things extremely tight. Yes, I have cut back on all extras, dinners out, etc. except for the occasional trip to McDonalds. Yes, my kids get hand-me-down clothes, but they’re boys and we know how boys are with their clothes. Who doesn’t sometimes put hand-me-downs on their kids?? Yes, Christmas this year is not as elaborate as past Christmases. The kids are each getting two presents this year instead of 5 or 6 or 7, but they are getting Christmas gifts.
I’m a very private person and don’t really tell anyone our troubles or woes, simply because I know there are a lot more people out there worse off than we are and I know things will eventually get better. I absolutely have not said a word to anyone about anything and have no idea who could have done this. I have a roof over my head and food on my table. I can’t really ask for much more than that. So to come home and find these gifts was a shock. The boys were ecstatic at the sight of these early gifts from Santa. What you see under my tree in the picture are the gifts that were left tonight. I came in the house and sat down, not sure what to feel. Part of me felt guilty, part of me felt a little pang of relief, part of me felt embarassed that someone would think we needed a hand out (though I know that’s not what it is, trust me). Yes, the fact that this Christmas is not going to be like all our others is one of the reasons I have not been feeling very Christmasy this year, as you have seen from previous posts. I have no right to feel that way and I’m certainly not going to whine about it. We’re in a rough spot, but we’re going to make it.
My husband sat down beside me on the couch as I watched the boys dancing around in glee. He was just as shocked at this as I was, but he was touched by it all.
“If you had an extra $100 and could be a Secret Santa to someone, knowing they could do some for their own family, but not as much as they would like, would you?”, he asked.
“In a heartbeat”, I replied.
“How would it make you feel to do that for someone?”, he asked. Duh. That’s a no brainer.
“It would make me feel great to do that for someone”, I stated.
“So knowing that, how do you think the person or persons who did this for us felt?”, he asked. That put it all into a little better perspective for me. I’m sure they were very happy to do it. Austin and I had left a Secret Santa gift for Dennis, the elderly man we had helped last week who had fallen, and his wife Wynonna. Nothing elaborate, but a gift nonetheless. We had left a package at their door late last night when I knew they would be asleep. We were so excited and happy to have done that. Yes, I’m sure those that did this for us tonight must be feeling that way as well. I’m still reeling from it all. I guess I never thought I would be in a position where someone would do this for us and I never wanted anyone to think we would need something like this. I never thought my family would ever be a recipient of anything like this. Ever. I may not have been feeling very Christmasy lately, but instead now feel very humbled by all of this. Christmas has taken on a much deeper meaning for me this year and I will remember this forever…so on that note, I hope you all have a Christmas as blessed as mine.
(Update: see first comment!)
The Unexpected Gift