Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Hunt

It was December 22, 2001. We were living in Utah at the time. I was 8 months pregnant with my second child, had a 22 month old baby running around, DH was living in Egypt for a year (for work), and we had our house up for sale. Yes, life was a little chaotic, but good!

Due to my husband's inability to make it home for Christmas, our dear friends had invited my son and I over for Christmas dinner. Awesome! My son is the pickiest eater EVER, so making turkey and the fixings only for myself would have been depressing.

At 6:30 pm on the 22nd, my doorbell rang. I answered it and was greeted by some overly cheerful people wearing reindeer antlers and Santa hats.

"Hello!" they exclaimed, "We are on a Christmas Scavenger Hunt and hope you can help us!"

"Sure," I said, intrigued by this proposal, "what are you looking for?"

"Well," the lady replied, "We are trying to provide a needy family with enough food for Christmas breakfast and dinner. Do you happen to have some green beans, a pound of bacon, or rolls?"

I excused myself and went to check. Opening the pantry door, I was reminded of the fact I was not cooking anything this year! No green beans...no rolls in the fridge...and no bacon. Darn! This was such a cool scavenger hunt and I really wanted to help!

"Sorry," I sadly said to the cheerful hunters, "I don't have any of those items."

"Oh, that's OK," she gleefully replied. "We are also taking donations to buy the family a gift card from Target so they can do some Christmas shopping. Would you care to donate to that?"

I ran to my purse as well as I could being so pregnant! Opening my wallet I realized I literally had NO money. Nope...not even a dollar. How embarrassing!

I sulked back to the door and had to tell them how sorry I was I could not help. "But good luck to you," I exclaimed!

About 8:45 pm my doorbell rang yet again. Oh my...now it is getting late. Who could this be? I opened the door to see 25 people on my porch spilling onto the walkway and into my front yard. Candles were lit and carols were being sung. Before I could react, they were in my house, delivering boxes upon boxes of toys and food.

"Merry Christmas," the same jolly lady replied, "Part of our scavenger hunt was finding the needy family...and YOU are it!"

I was literally speechless. Of course, being hormonal, I started to cry. What a dismal sight I must have been...BIG pregnant, young child, house up for sale, no husband in sight! All I could do was stand there. There was no telling them to stop! They were SO HAPPY to have found me! I could not bear to tell them I was NOT the needy family!

They only stayed for a few minutes, finishing a beautiful rendition of Silent Night and Joy to the World, ending with a round of hugs from all. After they left, I stood there with a tear stained face just looking at the boxes upon boxes of things, wondering what I should do with it all.

The next morning, I called our church office and relayed my story of the night before. By divine intervention just hours before my call, 2 needy families contacted my chruch asking for immediate help. I quickly loaded my Ford Excursion, which was FULL to the brim with boxes, and drove over to make my special delivery. It felt so good passing this wonderful gift on to someone else who truly needed it.

Our pastor shared this story with each church service that day. It put a smile on our congregation's face and led to many jokes about my "neediness" and inability to keep anything in the pantry or a dollar in my wallet!

I love this story. Whenever I retell it, I get the same feeling in my heart as the day it happened. It is truly a testament to the generosity of strangers and the true meaning of Christmas.

May the joy of the season bring warmth to your heart as it did mine.


fishlips said...

This was a fantastic story what a true meaning of Christmas and giving it brought tears to my eyes too...


Lisa said...

Fantastic story! Thanks so much for sharing! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

This is a great story. A true Christmas story. It brought tears to my eyes and made me laugh too. I can just imagine how you felt. It was nice that you were able to help two other families though.

Merry Christmas!

Whoopsie Daisy! said...

Oh! That is one wonderful story but I had to reach for a bunch of tissues too! Such a beautiful example of giving and sharing!

I was coming here to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. I am not very organized this year. My cards were made just a couple of days ago so just those who live near me are getting them today. You are in my thoughts as I wish my dear friends and family peace, comfort, and joy.


thescrapmaster said...

LOL that is so cute! I am glad you did something great with everything you received.

BTW. I am so keeping up on my paper challenge too. You would be proud :) I got your set today and I will mail it out first thing next week.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!


jennifer said...

Yes, a beautiful Christmas story! I love to hear things like this that remind you of how much good is still left in this world :)

Tessa said...

What a fantastic Christmas story!!!

Jen said...

What a wonderful Christmas story! Thanks for sharing this and reminding us all what Christmas is about.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Louise, that's me!! said...

Great story!!!
Hope you had a really fantastic Christmas... All the best for 09

Dianne said...

Siobhan that is a wonderful inspiring story! Thank you for sharing....it made me laugh, then cry....you poor pregnant girl...LOL

Jen said...

What a beautiful, touching story. I'm glad you were able to pass it on. Happy 2009 to you and your family.

thescrapmaster said...

Happy new year to you!!


gale said...

Wow what an amazing story!