My Santa Run
So, it had come to my attention lately that someone I didn’t know particularly well was not going to be able to provide much Christmas for the five children, all under ten, in their household, due to reasons of bad luck and bad health.
Four of the children are theirs, one is the daughter of a recently-killed friend, who, along with her father, is also living with them for lack of another option.
I recognize that there are others out there in worse or similar situations, but these came to my attention.
My own father died when I was quite small, and I am very acquainted with being a child who gets few presents for Christmas, and practical ones at that. New pajamas because they were needed, new socks because they were needed.
She had told me that the children were being very good about not expecting much of a Christmas, that they understood.
I, however, was fairly sure it wouldn’t be difficult to remedy the situation.
I spoke on Thursday of the week before last to my Head Elf, jacki, and told her the situation. I said, “I think we can do something about this, don’t you?”
Her response was, “Yes, ma’am, we can.”
By Friday evening she had it in place, the children given out to people who would buy for them.
On Saturday of the next week, she texted me saying there was a problem, not a BAD thing, but something that she needed to talk to me about.
“Ma’am, how big is your car? We have a bicycle for them.” I assured her that my Prius could hold more than she thought and she was glad because her dining room was full of gifts.
I picked them up at the SIG group, along with a couple of other donations, too, and sure enough, they did all fit in my car. With the seats down and not a lot of extra room.
I had a case of canned vegetables I’d been given for Kentucky Harvest, too, that had gotten to me too late for my Thanksgiving run, so I’d checked with the giver who had no objection to passing those along, either.
Tonight, I put on my Santa hat – literally – and drove a half hour to where the family lived.
Nothing about their house made me doubt anything she’d said. The four-year-old boy was out with his father and the other child’s father, who helped me empty my car.
When I got out, the little boy’s eyes got wide and he said, “Are you Mrs. Claus?” I told him I was, and that Santa had sent some presents.
“Do you have a reindeer?,” he asked. I told him that I didn’t have a reindeer, but I did have three Scottish terriers, and it was nearly the same thing.
One of the men said, as he was helping unload the car, “These aren’t all for us, are they?”
I told him they were. He said several times, “You didn’t need to do all this…” I also told him several times that I had actually done little other than put the right bug in the right person’s ear, which was very true.
The little boy was helping carry in presents and he looked down at the ones in his arms and said, wonderingly, “These have my name on them…” He looked up at me and said, “Have you been watching me being good?”
I told him that I had, but he had to keep being good, too, and he nodded vigorously and said, “I’ve been cleaning and helping!”
The comment, “Have you been watching me being good?” was the sweetest one, but the most touching was from the man who must have been the father of the other child.
At one point he looked down at the presents he was carrying and said, “These have my daughter’s name on them…?” It was clear he’d not expected it at all, perhaps hadn’t even known it was happening, and was profoundly moved by it.
Right, because I was going to bring a car full of presents to four children and leave out the one who had recently lost her mother. My elves would never ever have let that happen. Never.
They invited me to come in and watch the children open the gifts, but that was never my intention.
The presents were from Santa and most especially his elves, after all, not me.
Before I left, the father of the other children gave me a Christmas hug, and I wished them all a merry Christmas, then flew away like the down of a thistle.
I do particularly want to thank those very elves. I suspect this will be a Christmas that is remembered by all the people in the household for a long time, and when I say I did nothing, I am not being disingenuous. I did so little in terms of my effort as to be negligible.
I am genuinely so proud and so grateful to have a community who so willingly and generously opened their hearts and wallets to an unknown family because I asked for it.
And I got to play Mrs. Claus, again, I got to see the adorable four-year-old who was so amazed that Santa had been watching, I got to see the father who was so touched that his daughter would have a Christmas, too, I got the Christmas hug of gratitude.
And really, I just wore the hat and drove the sleigh.