It's been 15 years ago that I was first shown the Christmas Spirit--this is my story:
Jacob was only a little over a year old and I was a single mom working full-time at an advertising agency trying to make ends meet. I had hard enough time trying to get bills paid, let alone try to buy Christmas presents for my little boy. I ended up getting a second, part-time job at the mall to try to help with money for shopping.
I did pretty good at the start and put a few toys and a new dresser and bookcase in layaway at K-Mart for him. But as the weeks neared to Christmas and I kept paying down the layaway, I soon realized that I wasn't going to get it paid off in time for Christmas. Sadness overcame me. I had failed. And the most important person (Jacob) was going to suffer.
I wasn't sure what to do....I ended up confiding in a friend at work that I didn't have enough money to get my Christmas presents out of layaway. She gave me her support (or her shoulder to cry on) and some ideas--take out some of the layaway, leave the rest for after Christmas....But.....you see I didn't want to continue the second job after Christmas because I was starting Kent State University that January. I was going in the evening and was afraid I couldn't do it all. As it was, I was taking out some loans to help offset the tuition costs.
As Christmas neared, my work was collecting money and presents for families that were needy during Christmas time. They had a wall covered with profiles of families that needed help. I scanned the walls hoping I could find a present that would be cheap enough that I could afford to get. I soon realized that was impossible....so I ended up donating a couple dollars. (Hey it was better than nothing!)
I got to work early a few days before Christmas....I was trying to get some stuff done in my office. A knock came at my door, and the Media Director walked in. She handed me an envelope and said "this is between us". I looked inside and my eyes widened and instantly teared. It was full of money. I looked at her and she had tears in her eyes....she quickly hugged me and left.
It was $82. Doesn't seem like much now...but combined with my money, it was enough to get everything out of layaway for Christmas plus get a few more gifts for Jacob!
I never forgot that...and every year since that I have been able, I have given back at Christmas and throughout the year. What a feeling to give out the Christmas Spirit...
Yes, yes, yes I do...I got Christmas Spirit, how 'bout you?