Jeff and I set our alarm for 6:30 am to get up and finish our last minute wrapping and organizing of gifts. We had to get sitters for the girls as we did not have enough room in either of our two cars because they were packed! We even had to take the seats out of the van. Loading up the cars was exciting. Driving to the city I felt like I was carrying precious cargo.
A few days before my girlfriend, who lives states away, told me her husband had prayed for our family one morning during family prayer to be able to make our deliveries for Christmas. I thought of that my whole drive downtown.
We got to our secret location downtown and began unloading the bags and bags of gifts onto the loading dock. There were many people there to deliver and separate the gifts. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall with each deliver. Here is just a sampling of what we were able to experience.
We called the family when we were out front and said we wanted to drop a little Christmas present by. Their mom was at work and the oldest daughter came downstairs and there we stood with just one of our three trips of goodies we brought into that house, keep in mind there were three of us delivering (yea Anne thanks for coming to help)
As we walked up the stairs into their apartment the boy said "are you kidding me?"
We brought in load after load to put under their empty tree.
A few weeks ago I was at Goodwill where they had three brand new (with the tags) leather rocking chairs with speakers in the headrest for $9.99 each. I bought them hoping we could give them to one of the families - who knew this would be the perfect gift for this family.
when Jeff brought up the first of the three gaming chairs - i didn't even know that is what they are called until the boy screamed, "A Gaming Chair?" Then Jeff said, "not just one but three." The 11 year old boy jumped into the arms of his older sister and the two of them were jumping up and down like they had won something on a game show. The 15 year old said, "I don't know what to say, but I feel like I am going to cry"
We stood with them around the tree and told them that Santa had accidentally delivered these gifts to our home but they had their names on them, that they were not from us but Santa himself.a photo of the packed car
The shy 8 year old girl had run into the back room to call her mom at work, I could hear her on the phone but didn't know what she was saying.
right before we left, the phone rang and the boy answered it and it was his mom, who must of just got off the phone with the 8 year old girl he said, "mom you are not going to believe what is going on at our house" His older sister told him not to tell her and let her come home to a surprise, then the 8 year old said the first words she had said since we got there, "I already called mom when they walked in"
We gave them big huge hugs, told them we are so happy they moved in our ward and that we loved them. Jeff reminded that this is the Christmas spirit and no peeking until Christmas morning. The boy asked him if he could use the gaming chairs as they were unwrapped and Jeff said of course.
those kids had no idea that under their tree sat, a with two games, hundreds of dollars in target gift money, new clothes, an entire library for the children, mp3 player, , new bedding, new star wars sheets, and honestly so much more, but for me the thought of them going to bed that night just wondering what is inside those wrapped gifts was so exciting for me.
When we picked them up for church the next morning the boy said,
"even though I had a mattress to sleep on (we just finished working on getting them all mattresses for Christmas) I chose to sleep on the floor by the presents so I could be as close to them as I could"
I learned so much during this experience. I think more than I wanted to learn. I saw a new side to service. I admire those who gave with no questions asked and said, "just tell me what you need" I have a new found appreciation for those who gave to people they will never meet and trusted me with their generous gifts! I am happy to report All were delivered into the hands they were meant for. That is a Christmas miracle.
As with any big project there are highs and lows. I have shared many of the highs and the lows will go into my personal journal. But I will say that from this I learned I want to be one who will give with no expectations in return and am grateful for those who taught me this this Christmas.
As amazing as this day was it is barely scratching the surface of what took place on Sunday and on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day. .... more to come.
Thank you to all of you for your gifts, donations and prayers.