Monday, December 12, 2011

Joy...and The Hunt


This year I decided to include a card with my annual Christmas story...because the card's sentiment is exactly how I feel when I retell this year after year...

For the past 3 years, I have shared a story here on my blog. It is about the Christmas spirit and trust me, it will be worth the read! It is my favorite Holiday story ever...and one that I never tire of telling! I hope you will take the time to read it. :)

Historically I get a lot of comments asking if readers can share the link to this post. In short: Absolutely!

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, my husband 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 church 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.

24 comments:

thescrapmaster said...

It brings tears to my eyes EVERY YEAR! I love you, S!! From one paper ho to another, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Hugs,
Sami

papillon said...

that is what Christmas is all about in my opinion, wow! and to know it does happen for real makes me believe in miracle :)
merry Christmas, Siobhan! hugs :)

StephC said...

Amen! Lovely story and I'm so glad I have been touched by it this morning.
Hugs!
Steph

Sonya said...

What an amazing story---Christmas spirit at it's very best!

Irini said...

What a fabulous Christmas story!....brings a smile to my face!
hugz
irini

Becky said...

What an awesome story! And a joyous card. :)

Michelle said...

Wow, that's an amazing story! Sitting here getting all teary, just reading it. We need more people like that!

Your card is gorgeous. I love those letters!

Rhonda Langley said...

Great story so worth retelling! Fabulous card so unique!

Dana said...

What a terrific story! It's the first I've heard it and I enjoyed it immensely!

Pam~ said...

Love this layout and card, Siobhan! Your story touches my heart every year! Have a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!

Pam said...

What a heartwarming story! As bad as the economy is, it's touching to hear about the people paying for others to get their layaways out. The recipients of this generosity won't soon forget and will pay it forward when they are able. Merry Christmas!

landofstamping said...

I remember reading this story on your blog last year!! Can't believe I've been stalking you that long already!! Love the card too. The colors are great and that joy stamp is gorgeous.

Gina said...

I love this story :)

Awesome card too, love the panels of color behind the image.

Diane Clark-Sutton said...

Love the story and the card.

Jennipher said...

This is a first-time read for me but, WOW what an incredible story. Thanks for sharing.

gale said...

I love reading this story each year. And that card-it's gorgeous!!

Amanda said...

Ahhh that is an amazing story. What a great gift, to receive and to be able to give.

punknscrap said...

I love this story, I think it is a wonderful example of human kindness. I also love the card, stunning colours!
Happy 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!
xox

scrappinmominky said...

I love this story! Thanks for telling it again. I grin every time I read it.

Miss Molly said...

Wow...it was truly a plan in the making....

Carrie said...

Love this card, great layout and I love the colors.

~Chris~ said...

Wow what a incredible Story. I could just feel the Joy that you spread that Day to those other Families in need. Such a blessing for everyone!

Helen L said...

Well, I'm a month late to find this story, ,but I LOVE it, and it put a smile on my face!!! :-)

tania said...

What a wonderful story!