If you've been reading along, then you know that I am over the commercialism of the holidays. I'm very glad to not have television so I miss out on the holiday bombardment of advertisements. But once upon a time, I knew a man who embodied the very spirit of the Christmas season. He was a truck driver my parents had befriended. He was the sweetest of people. We had spent weekends with his family and went to his daughter's wedding. A very generous family. How this whole thing started I can't remember, but I do remember the way this man would don a Santa suit and provide a holiday for children who wouldn't have had one otherwise. There was a meal and presents, a visit with Santa, and box of food to take home so these families could have their own holiday meals.
The very first year, we delivered boxes of food to families via an RV. The next year, it grew and grew. My mom was baking cookies for this man and his brother to sell on their route. They took the money and funded part of the celebration. They added donations from the boss and others as well as putting in their personal financial contributions. It was amazing!
As a kid who didn't come from a wealthy family, the generosity shown was how the spirit of Christmas was represented. Sure, this man wasn't the "real" Santa, but in my book, it was as close as you can get. And the heart of this man was touched each and every year...enough so that he would excuse himself, take off his Santa beard, and have a bit of a cry. He knew he was making a difference, I just don't think he realized how much of one until he was in that moment and he made a child's (or a parent's) holiday.
This man kept the spirit of Christmas alive for a young woman who wasn't sure about believing in the miracle of Christmas after a certain age.
And this is how I came to this addition for today:
This is one song we used to sing every year at the Christmas sing. We would wind up the evening with this one: