Thought I'd repost this........ - Posted by David Alexander

Posted by gwtx on December 22, 2000 at 18:51:11:

The old softie I am…I cried.

Merry Christmas, My Friend.


Thought I’d repost this… - Posted by David Alexander

Posted by David Alexander on December 22, 2000 at 16:25:39:

A Christmas Story

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 10 years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas - oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it overspending, 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 wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church, mostly black. 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. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat. 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- and he knew them, having coached 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 the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in 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 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 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 in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

May we all remember the Christmas spirit this year and allways.

(Author Unknown)

Re: Thought I’d repost this… - Posted by Lee

Posted by Lee on December 24, 2000 at 22:30:07:

Dear David,

Thank you for reposting this, Christmas Story.

As many of my family members are in from out of state here visiting, I gathered everyone together and “A Christmas Story” was read aloud.

I think we all rose to a new level tonight.

Thank you David

Merry Chirstmas Everyone

My true story… - Posted by Anthony - OH

Posted by Anthony - OH on December 24, 2000 at 01:48:50:

Four years ago I was still living with my parents. I bought a house in a local suburb and moved in.

The monday following my move, when I would have usually been in my parents master bath getting ready for work, they had a fire.

The electric blanket caught fire at the temp control, my parents were downstairs and heard the fire alarm go off. Had I been in the bathroom as usual, I surely would have been caught in the fire. Mom rushed upstairs with a gallon of water, only to find the bed on fire past the point anybody could do anything about it. The house was starting to fill with hot smoke. She amazingly pulled the door shut to the Master bedroom. By the time the fire dept got there the chief was sure that it would be a total loss, but when he saw that the door was shut he sent a crew in to battle the blaze.

Loss was around $50K, big hole in the roof, every room was smoke damaged and fire damaged.

My parents spent the night at my grandparents that night and mom says the thing she remembers is that she didn’t have her pillow.

Her pillow of all things. Well the familiarity of her pillow meant a lot to her. So when christmas came around my sister donated 2 NICE NEW pillows to the womens shelter in my moms name.

She then gave the white envelope to my mother. Everyone was touched especially mom.

Every year when asked what she wants for christmas she has a wonderful idea of something that would be missed by those in need. We make sure that something is donated in mom’s name each year.

Wow - Posted by Rick(CA)

Posted by Rick(CA) on December 24, 2000 at 01:26:28:

I’m stunned at the beauty of this. I look forward to the day when we all find ourselves giving back selflessly to our communities anonomously.

“Character is doing what’s right, when no one else is looking” - Congressman J.C. Watts

This family has a lot of character that I only hope to match one day.

Merry Christmas to all.

wow…this is awesome…think about it…nt - Posted by JCPerry_NH

Posted by JCPerry_NH on December 23, 2000 at 11:41:35: