The Aftermath

My children will never know how little I was able to provide this Christmas. Due to the kindness of many people, they were blessed with an abundance of gifts, treats and love. Jeffrey had been questioning me on Santa lately, expressing he thought it was me, and I had kind of shrugged it off, telling him that Santa was about the spirit of giving and loving other people. But on Christmas morning, after all the wrapping was torn through and the chaos settled to a dull roar, he came and sat on my lap.

“Mom?” he said, slinging his arm over my shoulder, “I think I was wrong about Santa. No way could you have done all this. I think maybe Santa is real.” The lump in my throat kept me from answering…

With that he got up and went back to work on another Lego project.

In a way, he is right. No way could I have done all that was done- it was only through the grace, kindness and generosity of others that my children were given such a lovely Christmas. Some I know, and can thank in person or with letters. Others, I will never know- and cannot even thank if I wanted to. Goodwill and kindness are alive and well in the world. People are so very good, if they are only given a chance to be so.

So Thank You. Even if I wasn’t on your Christmas list, I thank you. I thank you for the small acts of kindness you may have carried out for someone else. I thank you for the soft words, the card, the plate of cookies, the grocery gift-card, the movie tickets, the check, the thoughtfulness of your heart. Because your hands might not have served me, but all hands are the same when serving one another- and when we serve each other, we are serving God.

14 thoughts on “The Aftermath

  1. Thank you for that last paragraph, Tracy. I thought about you as we went about making sure that Santa visited some families in our neighborhood. Even if I couldn’t help you, my friend in the computer who doesn’t even know I exist (and that’s okay!), I could help some other mothers in your name.

    I hope you know how much you’ve helped me understand so many things. I feel privileged to read about your journey. I’m praying for you and your family.

    Merry Christmas.

  2. I’m so happy about your Christmas!

    Sometimes it can feel like good will and acts of service are thrown down a well. We never see them hit bottom or understand their effects. Many are too shy or unneccesarily humiliated when receiving service to tell how it effects them. Thank you for sharing your Christmas gifts with us. It will strengthen my resolve to go on serving. And probably will make me a better receiver of service too, it’s not easy either.

  3. I really hope the people who’ve done for me feel I was a gracious receiver. It’s not an easy place to stand. It’s a hard, uncomfortable place to be, but my goal has been to be humble instead of humiliated. I cannot wait for the day I can give back- I have so many stellar examples of what good service looks and feels like.

  4. Your writing captured the true essence of Christmas!
    So glad that you and your kids had a Merry one, and were able to allow others to be blessed by serving and helping you. It is a tough place to stand, being the receiver, but the time will come when you can be a giver again.
    Hoping that the New Year brings you sweet memories and abundant joy! And lots and lots of laughter and peace!

  5. In my memory the best Christmases were during the hardest parts of our lives. People are just so good. I understand your aching to be on the giving end of it. I’m still waiting for my turn to be in those shoes. I’m so glad that there was Santa and Christmas magic at your house!!

  6. You’re still a giver – just in other ways. To your children, to us, and even to your X- you’ve been very patient and kind to him from what I’ve read here.

  7. You have a gift for expressing yourself so well. I know just how you feel—we wouldn’t have had a Christmas this year if my parents hadn’t completely funded it. Your kids certainly look happy!

  8. Just rereading this and remembering blessings I received when things were rough. Your post brings tears to my eyes (and that doesn’t happen a great deal). Glad your Christmas was good.

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