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A True Christmas Story (Warning, Tissues Will Be Needed)


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Oh, wow, yes, tissues definitely...

 

I think we may be adopting a similar tradition after this year.  This year a neighbor of my mom's had a house fire (it was a couple weeks ago due to faulty wiring in the older house).  We have collected a couple bags of clothes and donations already and my husband has passed on one of his laptops, but we have decided to give them any gift cards we receive for Christmas as well.  They'll be getting some restaurant cards, Target cards, and now I'll be able to gift them with Amazon as well!  

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I lost it when Michael shook his head...

 

What a wonderful story about an extraordinary tradition. I don't mind being caught shedding tears for this one...Next year there will be a white envelope on my family tree too. :hug: :hug:

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This was posted on Facebook by a friend and i had to share it - 

 

The "WHITE ENVELOPE" is brilliant! I think we will be adopting this tradition.

 
Christmas Story: 
For the Man Who Hated Christmas 
By Nancy W. Gavin
 
It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years.
 
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it—overspending and the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma—the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.
 
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
 
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was on the wrestling team at the school he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.
 
As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.
 
Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids—all kids. He so enjoyed coaching little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came.
 
That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed a small, white envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me.
 
Mike's smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year. And that same bright smile lit up succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition—one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
 
The white envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children—ignoring their new toys—would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the small, white envelope never lost its allure.
 
The story doesn't end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree. And the next morning, I found it was magically joined by three more. Unbeknownst to the others, each of our three children had for the first time placed a white envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing to take down that special envelope.
 
Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit will always be with us.

 

Yeah this was nice Cazzie.. no tears from me but it doesn't mean I don't feel it. Mike lived the Spirit of Christmas, he wore it like a cloak as should we all. We should put our fellow man ahead of ourselves, in even the smallest of ways each day. 

 

This is a perfect and lovely story and tradition!  Thanks so much Cazzie!!

Oh, wow, yes, tissues definitely...

 

I think we may be adopting a similar tradition after this year.  This year a neighbor of my mom's had a house fire (it was a couple weeks ago due to faulty wiring in the older house).  We have collected a couple bags of clothes and donations already and my husband has passed on one of his laptops, but we have decided to give them any gift cards we receive for Christmas as well.  They'll be getting some restaurant cards, Target cards, and now I'll be able to gift them with Amazon as well!  

That's a beautiful thing!  Nothing bring on the spirit of Christmas Present by helping your fellow man ... beautiful

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Thanks Caz for sharing this ... I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself ... I spent Christmas alone, in bed, in pain from a migraine and struggling with a deepening depression. The weather was too warm and foggy all day. It just didn't seem like Christmas. This was a reminder to me that there are always others in far worse straits then I. Years ago when my mum's family gathered to celebrate we would exchange gifts. It had become habit for me to ask that a donation be made to a charity of their choosing in my stead. The surprise was learning on Christmas Eve who benefitted that year. We no longer gather so the tradition has ceased, perhaps it is time for me to revive it. There's still time, Christmas has only just begun, there are still several days left to the season.

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I work for one of Canada's big five banks. Yeah the bad guys!

 

They donate millions to charity each year. They give us time off to do charitable things and each Christmas teams do charitable work. My team contributes $40.00 per year each - there are 12 of us, so we have money to send to the Yonge street or Scott Mission, and we buy toys for the Toronto firefighters toy drive each year.

 

The Contact Center where i work, collects Teddy Bears annually for the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. It's so cool to see empty tables slowly fill with hundreds of stuffed teddies and other huggable animals over a few days. Each one from the smallest to the giant will bring comfort to a sick kid.

 

My point is there are so many ways to help. If you can't afford to donate money, or groceries, donate old furniture, clothes, books. Help sort food, or go and serve it, or help kids do homework or read. I loved craftingmom's idea of collecting gift cards! Brilliant.

 

Just do something, your soul will thank you for it.

 

So very true Timmie. I can't afford to give money very often so instead I give my time. As my profile says I work in a Church cafe that specialises in outreach. And in a soup kitchen serving Tea and Coffee to the homeless. I also help out at a debt charity, befriending people trying to get out of debt. 

 

Not only am I helping people, I feel like I'm making a difference (however small) to someones life and maybe making it that much better. 

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So very true Timmie. I can't afford to give money very often so instead I give my time. As my profile says I work in a Church cafe that specialises in outreach. And in a soup kitchen serving Tea and Coffee to the homeless. I also help out at a debt charity, befriending people trying to get out of debt. 

 

Not only am I helping people, I feel like I'm making a difference (however small) to someones life and maybe making it that much better.

 

As someone who was served hot drinks by kind people like you, that smile or good morning might have been the only kind thing I'd hear in a week. So believe me, it makes a difference.

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I work for one of Canada's big five banks. Yeah the bad guys!

 

They donate millions to charity each year. They give us time off to do charitable things and each Christmas teams do charitable work. My team contributes $40.00 per year each - there are 12 of us, so we have money to send to the Yonge street or Scott Mission, and we buy toys for the Toronto firefighters toy drive each year.

 

The Contact Center where i work, collects Teddy Bears annually for the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children. It's so cool to see empty tables slowly fill with hundreds of stuffed teddies and other huggable animals over a few days. Each one from the smallest to the giant will bring comfort to a sick kid.

 

My point is there are so many ways to help. If you can't afford to donate money, or groceries, donate old furniture, clothes, books. Help sort food, or go and serve it, or help kids do homework or read. I loved craftingmom's idea of collecting gift cards! Brilliant.

 

Just do something, your soul will thank you for it.

Hear, hear! That's the way it should be.

 

Quite a few years ago I stopped buying presents for anyone over 18 (family and/or friends) instead of buying trinkets I make charitable contributions to a few organizations in honor of those I would have bought a present for. I'm down to 1 Christmas and 2 Hannukah presents right now. Easier on timing and better for the world. And particularly convenient for those of us who have zero religious beliefs and think of the holiday season as mostly a nuisance.

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Thanks Caz for sharing this ... I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself ... I spent Christmas alone, in bed, in pain from a migraine and struggling with a deepening depression. The weather was too warm and foggy all day. It just didn't seem like Christmas. This was a reminder to me that there are always others in far worse straits then I. Years ago when my mum's family gathered to celebrate we would exchange gifts. It had become habit for me to ask that a donation be made to a charity of their choosing in my stead. The surprise was learning on Christmas Eve who benefitted that year. We no longer gather so the tradition has ceased, perhaps it is time for me to revive it. There's still time, Christmas has only just begun, there are still several days left to the season.

 

That sounds like a wonderful idea Dugh. I hope you feel better soon. :hug::kiss:

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