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.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I have already shared this story, but I think its worth repeating for anybody who is new to my follies…
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. Every year, Wilzie and I make sure we buy gifts to donate – we don’t have kids of our own, so its the least we can do. And now, we doing our 2nd Annual Santas Anonymous Goodie Bag Giveaway!
Just head to your nearest Wal-Mart, Toy R Us, or shopping mall (check here for other drop off locations) to drop off a new, unwrapped toy*, and then send us picture – either by email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), or Tweet it to us (@baconhound and @joyfulfollies) - of you dropping off your donation to be entered in our giveaway**!
You have until the end of the day on Friday, December 16 to enter.
We will enter your name into the draw (1 for every donation) to receive a Goodie Bag of the homemade nom-noms we are making this year – consisting of all the baked goodies I am detailing this week, as well Wilzie’s maple-bacon Chex mix and possibly some Bailey’s (if we don’t drink it all first) - and we will randomly select a winner on Saturday, December 17.
It’s a win-win situation…well, for one of you, anyway. And hopefully everyone else can feel really good knowing that they can help make Christmas a little brighter for families in need.
And I want to give a special thanks to Saylish, Mike & Nathan at The Next Act Pub; another bonus of selecting my (delicious) cameo burger submission was that I received $1 from every burger sold in a gift card to use at the Pub. I made a whopping $137 and the trio generously agreed to donate that to Santa’s Anonymous instead! They really started our giveaway with a bang (and just gave me another reason to love that place) – hopefully everyone else will follow their lead and give give give!
A child’s only worry on Christmas morning should be which toy to play with first.
*And follow @santasanonymous on Twitter to find out what toys they are most in need of
**if you are out of town, and are inspired to help, feel free to send a cheque and Wilzie & I will gladly do the legwork for you!