My Best Christmas Ever...
About 6 or 7 years ago I had an idea and I decided that I wanted to help out a couple of families by doing a Sub 4 Santa. The economy was tough and there were a lot of people in need. The biggest reason I wanted to do this was so that I could lose myself in the holiday and not focus on myself. I come from a family of 7 kids and they were all married but me. At times it could be tough around the holidays not to feel a little sorry for yourself. I knew that by serving others I wouldn’t worry about myself and I would really enjoy the season.
I decided to make it a fun experience and so I rounded up all of my friends and we decided to throw a Sub 4 Santa date auction! I was going to literally auction off dates with my friends and the money raised would be used to give Christmas to children. I thought about it and decided that $1,500 would be a great goal cause then we could give Christmas to at least 3 families.
The event came and I couldn’t believe how much of a success it was. We auctioned off about 25 of my friends and in all we ended up raising over $32,000! All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with finding families in need, buying presents, wrapping presents, and making sure they were all delivered on time. In all we decided we could give a great Christmas to about 210 kids. We were so excited! I felt a huge responsibility in all of this to make sure not one kid was skipped or missed because that would literally be a kid at Christmas expecting presents that otherwise wouldn’t have any. I was meticulous with the details and with the help of about 60 of my friends we went to work.
On December 23, we had finally delivered the last of the gifts and there was such a sense of relief knowing that we had pulled it off! It really was so much fun, but I never imagined all the hours it would take to spend over $30,000 on gifts for children. I woke up on Christmas Eve ready for a day with my family and relaxing. It had worked, I had such a beautiful holiday season and was full of love for all the great people in my life that had helped out and for all the good we were all able to do.
About 10:00 that morning I checked my email and there was a message from a lady asking about a family in Herriman she had referred to us for the Sub 4 Santa. It wasn’t familiar to me at all and I was sure that we hadn’t missed this family. At first, I was bothered that she was reaching out on Christmas Eve with this news. I was exhausted and I had that accomplishment feeling of knowing we were done and had finished a great thing. But then I quickly woke up to the reality that our work wasn’t done. There was one more family and if I didn’t do something there was a good chance, they weren’t going to have a Christmas. I emailed the lady back and told her they were going to be delivered later that night after my family was done with our tradition of watching a movie.
I ran to Wal-Mart and since we were out of the donation money, I decided it would be ok for me to pay for this one on my own. I knew I wouldn’t have time to wrap presents for 5 kids, so I shopped quickly for the gifts and made sure to buy plenty of scissors, tape, and wrapping paper to throw in the bag with it. I figured if I can at least get the gifts to them, the parents could take care of the rest.
That night we finished the movie and I drove from Murray down to Herriman around 9:30 pm. A snow storm had started and it took me about 35-40 minutes to get to the location. I got to the address where the house was supposed to be and I couldn’t see a thing. I rechecked my GPS, I rechecked the address of the property and it all said the house was supposed to be right there. After a minute or two of frustration I realized there was a small little shack about 75 yards out in this field with a few lights on. That had to be the house.
I started to trudge through the snow with these 3 huge garbage sacks full of toys, clothes and wrapping materials and when I got to the door I knocked and was welcomed to a huge smile from a Mexican man and his wife. They didn’t speak any English but thankfully I spoke Spanish from my time living in Mexico, so I was able to communicate with them. The entire shack couldn’t have been more than 500 sq. ft and the parents told me to speak softly as all 5 of the kids were asleep in the bedroom.
With tears in the dad’s eyes and tears streaming down the mom’s face they thanked me for helping their family and children this Christmas. He had worked in construction and with the housing economy down he had no work. Then I noticed that in this house they had a couch, a small T.V. and a little Christmas tree with not a single present underneath it. I was overwhelmed with gratitude that I had listened to my heart when I saw the email that morning. I began to unload the gifts and explained that I didn’t have time to wrap them. They were overcome with emotion and couldn’t stop thanking me and hugging me.
As I went to leave, they said that they wanted to give me a gift as a way to thank me. They looked around their house and handed me their remote control to the T.V. It was the only thing they could think of to give me that had any value. I told them I couldn’t really use it, but they came back with a hot pad from the kitchen instead. I wanted to be thankful, so I accepted the gift and wished them a Merry Christmas.
Walking back to my truck through 2-3 feet of snow I was overcome with a sense of gratitude for the gift I had just received. In 30 years of Christmas’s I had received a lot of presents and great gifts. I had never received a gift like that. I knew that I had been an answer to this little family’s prayers and that I had received the exact gift that I wanted when I started the entire project. Wiping tears from my face I thanked God for allowing me to experience that moment, the best Christmas I ever had.