Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I believe in Santa

This Christmas of course was different than years past.
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.

Another surprise was left a couple days early... one night the doorbell rang and we found a large black garbage sack waiting on the porch with a big red bow and note saying,

To: Tenley and Taryn 
From: Santa.

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.


The Andersens said...

Beautiful! You are amazing!

Carrie said...

Totally sitting at work and crying my EYES out! I am so thankful for all the love and support that you guys are receiving...there is absolutely no family more deserving than you guys!

Anonymous said...

I can't think of a more deserving family. I'm so happy that even through these extremely hard circumstances the light and love of the season was able to find you. Here is to hoping your 2012 will be healthy and happy. Still praying and thinking about your sweet family.

Devrie Pettit said...

You are probably the most amazing mom in the entire world. Your girls are the luckiest to have you. I have SO much work to do : )

Anonymous said...

Faith is not an easy thing to have at all times. You, Robbie and your entire family have done well in having and keeping your faith in our Father in Heaven. You are paying it forward with each word you write and express by sharing your testimonies each and everyday! Thank you!!!

Heather and Dave said...

What a great Christmas! You guys amaze me at how you find the positive in your lives every day. Generous people rock and your family deserves every bit of the fun. We are thinking and praying for you!! So glad the end is near, your girls are darling!!! Love Taryn's Christmas dress and coat and that you and Tenley got to meet David Archuletta (ahhhhhh! Lucky!) Happy New Year! It's going to be a great one :) xoxo, Heather

AmberLou said...

Wow Shawna... how amazing! What a fun Christmas! As always, I am moved by your words once again... you inpire me! Love you!

Natalie in Sparks said...

wow that is awesome! I bet that was so touching to feel so much generosity and love directed to you and your family! I am glad because you do deserve those kind of moments despite the hard times.