SPOILER ALERT: MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR SMALL CHILDREN
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are excited and ready for my favorite holiday of the year! As you probably know by now, My Brother’s Keeper has been an absolute madhouse the last month. We have registered nearly 3,000 families for Christmas help and by 4pm today they will all have their gifts delivered. Because of this, my life has also been just a little hectic. In light of this craziness I will be keeping this week’s writing short and sweet. I would like to share with you one of the stories I heard during my Christmas gift deliveries. (To respect the privacy of these people I will be changing their names).
This week I made a delivery to Anna. Anna met us at the door, which is not common. She clearly didn’t want us to come into her home, which is absolutely fine. We are very understanding of peoples need for privacy as well as the embarrassment that some may feel if their home is not as nice. Whatever her reasons were, Anna met us at the door to gather her gifts, which we deliver in black trash bags. The black trash bags have two reasons- first it is none of your neighbors business if you need help around the Christmas season, being discreet helps to make people more comfortable with an already uncomfortable situation. Second, many children would much rather get their gifts from Santa than from some blonde girl in a big white van. So as we are handing over these trash bags Anna is thanking us repeatedly, a very common part of our deliveries. WARNING: next part may not be appropriate for children. She then looked at me visibly upset, fighting back tears and said “I had to tell my son last week there was no Santa. I didn’t know how to explain to him that he wouldn’t be getting any presents.” Anna had just gotten through our Christmas line this week. She had lost hope that she would be able to give her son what he deserved. She called her son down and from upstairs came a 5 or 6 year old boy, Austin, who gave us each hugs and thanked us for bringing him Christmas. It took everything in me not to cry on this wonderful woman’s front porch. Instead I asked if they would like to join us in a Christmas carol and we all sang We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
It’s so hard to explain to children why they don’t have as much as their friends. No child should have to grow up so fast. Fortunately, 3,000 families got to have their Christmas this year because of all the amazing volunteers at MBK. My hope is not that this story ruins your Christmas but that it inspires you to help.