12 December 2006

there IS a santa!!!!!

oh, what an emotional roller coaster of a day it has been!

i'm always so torn around the holiday season.

on the one hand, i know that the gift giving frenzy has reached epidemic proportions. not to mention, i've long held that if i were a christian, i would be horrified by what the day has become in this consumer culture. it seems so contrary to what christ himself might expect a birthday celebration to be.

on the other hand, i remember being a child and all of the joy and happiness and excitement that came from seeing gifts under the tree. i've really re-connected with this through bebe. he is slowly ridding me of my bah-humbugness.

this year has been a tough one on us, financially. we are literally barely scraping by, the money for bills somehow appearing when we need it. but this month has found us a lot closer to the edge than i ever imagined i'd see in my adult life. i have vivid memories of this sort of living on the edge from childhood, as my mom was alone and 17 when she had me. we lived with my grandparents the first several years in my life, but after that... suffice it to say that it scares the crap out of me to this day.

i've spent a fair amount of time battling with myself over christmas this year wanting even a few small gifts for bebe to have. i decided that i would take a few of his toys, maybe, and hide them to wrap up to open on christmas day. after all, he is in the area of development still where he will most likely enjoy the unwrapping of presents way more than he would the presents themselves. and then he does something clever and i wonder... then i think about all of the people in the world that have nothing - where survival is a struggle. i think about all of the children that are living in the u.s. that have far less than we do. and i feel selfish and shallow. battle, battle, battle. everyday it seems, for close to a month now.

some moments ago, i was sitting in the living room with bebe as he was drawing and the phone rang - a call from a pay phone. on the other end, a man's voice was bellowing, "ho!ho!ho! merry christmas! go check your front porch!" i don't even remember now what i said, but i started laughing. he repeated himself. then he hung up. i opened up the front door to find a big box of presents, wrapped, just sitting there, at the top of our stairs! i hauled it in as a flood of tears came. much like the tears that have started once again.

gimmee a second.

there are presents in there, not just for bebe, but for all of us! there's also a card attached from secret santa. bebe keeps pointing at the box and clapping his little hands, saying "riley gift! riley gift!"

i have no idea where this came from. i've not even really spoken about our situation with but a few people. but santa, if you somehow find this and read this, thank you so much. so much. i'am touched and moved beyond what i can even describe. and i promise you that when we can, we will pay it forward. it will be the very first thing that we do.

i can't write anymore right now. i can hardly see the screen and keys through my tears.

thank you. t h a n k y o u.



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