It was special in it's own way.
It was hard for me to decide on what to do for the special day. I didn't want to weaken the excitement for Taryn.... she is very much aware of Santa and his elves. I also didn't want to miss seeing her face Christmas morning as she walked into the same living room I did for so many years...
I can still remember the butterflies raging in my chest and squealing with excitement.
Robbie and I both wanted to be with her on Christmas morning, and thankfully my mother in law offered to stay Christmas eve with Tenley so we could.
Let me tell ya, Santa did not disappoint.
And by Santa... I mean, the real jolly old St. Nicholas.
You know who you are...
A few days before Christmas we received packages from people we had never met, they work for a company that does a sub for santa to a specific family every year. We were the chosen ones. The gal that shared our story came by the house a few weeks prior to give us some gift cards and make us aware of how much our story had impacted her fellow employees. I feel so thankful to them and the heartfelt gifts that were sent our way.
To: Tenley and Taryn
I didn't want to spoil any surprise inside, so we kept the bag as it was until Christmas morning came.
Another night in the hospital a cute pink (large) basket of gifts was given to us by an anonymous friend with a note that read, "you do not know us, but we know you... we want you to know how many lives you are changing... Merry Christmas." There was also an envelope with a great amount of cash. I still have no idea who sent this amazing gift our way.
My very favorite gift was this painting of my girls watching the floating lanterns from Tangled.
I absolutely love it.
There have been many other amazing anonymous gifts and envelopes with cash from secret Santa's.
Each one I feel an enormous amount of gratitude towards.
The only way I can think of thanking them is by paying it forward. I want to change someones Christmas season for the better. I want to make them feel Merry and Bright. I want to know their children as well as themselves will be surprised on Christmas morning as they open exciting gifts with smiles that cannot be rubbed off their faces.
I experienced it, and I want to pass that joy along.
That joy reminds me of the true meaning of Christmas. Even though the fun of St. Nick will always be a tradition, Christ is here all year round. That joy and gratitude is something we can all keep in our hearts if we keep Him the center of our lives.
Paying His message forward.
Our burdens can be made light, and the smiles from that joy knowing He will never leave us will still be going strong.
Tenley's favorite gift has been her baby who gets a fever and takes medicine to help her feel better...
She's becoming quite the little mommy.
May you and yours keep the Christmas spirit throughout this new year.