This special story comes from my cousin’s Sister-in-law Ashley Boehm. I love it because it shows how this Sub for Santa opportunity transformed their entire families Christmas experience and brought a very special realization and new empathy for a family in need.
She says this…
Dec 12 – Deliver Christmas gifts we’ve gathered for a family in need. My sister-in-law Kaylie Luke signed up to adopt a family and we all agreed to pitch in in lieu of a gift exchange among ourselves this year. And what a blessing to understand how blessed we are, to understand true need, to provide basic necessities to others while we want for nothing!
I am grateful to my sister for bringing this opportunity to the family, for getting everyone excited about it, and especially for the opportunity to explain to Aaron (my son) that we needed to pick out clean undies and warm jammies for 2 little boys who needed them.
He was especially sweet the day we went shopping for our items. I had explained that there was a family, a mom and 3 kids, who didn’t have towels or warm blankets or good shoes to wear (a family who honestly asked for only essentials, not one single fun thing, new or used, and for that humble reason we gathered everything they needed and tons that they didn’t!)
As we walked through Wa-lmart shopping, Aaron wanted to go gather towels AND blankets AND pillows AND jammies AND undies AND socks…I had to explain that our Aunties and cousins were getting some of those things and we only had a small list to provide.
Out of nowhere on the ride home, he said, “Mom, that’s horrible that our Christmas family doesn’t have a dad. Maybe we can share our dad with them.” THAT empathy and the ability to identify and the desire to fill a need in others is what I strive for.
So tonight we piled 15 people in 3 cars full of gifts and food and were taken to the home of a sweet family who sent us home with fresh tamales as a token of thanks. How wonderful it was to see the kids running happily up and down the stairs with presents in hand, and to that family: Sorry if we were a little overwhelming!!