I was lucky growing up, I never had to worry about whether Santa was going to show up or not – I always awoke on Christmas morning to a pile of gifts under the tree. But not everybody is that lucky.
When my Mom left her first husband, after taking her last beating, she became a single mother to my brother and sister. It wasn’t easy – they had to go without a lot of luxuries, but it was worth it because they were safe. And then Christmas rolled around, and she didn’t have any money to buy gifts for her children. She was a proud woman and didn’t like to ask for handouts, she believed that she could take care of everything on her own. But my Grandma saw that she was struggling, and didn’t want her grandkids to have to suffer through a Christmas with no gifts under the tree and Santa skipping their house, so she went behind my Mom’s back and filled out a form to give Mom’s information to Santas Anonymous as a hopeful recipient of donated toys. Mom realized that there were things bigger than pride, and giving her children a happy Christmas when their worlds were already turned upside down was her only wish. A couple of days before Christmas, there was a knock on her door and a couple of wrapped gifts were dropped off for each of her two kids. And come Christmas morning, Mom was able to sit back and watch my brother and sister tear open their presents, and happily play with their new toys like kids should.
Santas Anonymous is a great local charity that works hard so that kids (and parents) can put aside whatever troubles they may have and just revel in the happiness of waking up to gifts under their tree on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, there are far too many families that need to use this service, but those of us that can afford to buy presents can help those families have a joyful day.
Because I have heard Mom’s story of that first Christmas on her own, I am a staunch supporter of this particular charity. Wilzie and I make sure we buy (at least) one gift each to donate – we don’t have kids of our own, so its the least we can do. This year, donations are down – way down – and the word has gone out that Santas Anonymous has actually run out of toys, and I know that when Wilzie and I dropped our donations in the big box at Wal-Mart, it was sadly empty. So my husband, being the big-hearted softie that he is, has decided to host a giveaway to drum up some donations.
Please head to your nearest Wal-Mart (check here for other drop off locations) to drop off a new, unwrapped toy, and let us know about it by the end of the day on Thursday, December 16 – either here at my blog, on our Facebook pages or my Twitter accounts (@imfojoy). We will enter your name into a draw (1 for every toy donated) to receive a Goodie Bag of the homemade nom-noms we are making this year – there’s a little something for everyone: a little savoury, a little sweet, and a lot boozy – and we will randomly select a winner on Friday, December 17. Also, for every 10 donation notifications we receive, Wilzie and I will each buy and donate another new toy each. If you can’t get out to buy a toy yourself before the cut-off date, or would prefer to donate cash, let us know by Wednesday, December 15, and Wilzie will go and do the legwork for you.
It’s a win-win situation…well, for one of you, anyway. And hopefully everyone else can feel really good knowing that they were able to help make Christmas a little brighter for families in need.