We thought for sure we’d have a job by Christmas, but as the holiday approached and we still didn’t have a job we felt the peace of knowing that we’d be okay.
The singles ward put themselves in charge of Secret Santa gifts; when asked, I replied that we didn’t need much, if anything, to please focus on other -more needy- families but that if there was a matchbox car at the bottom of the bag, the boys would find that fun. As gifts from Grandparents rolled in I was about to call our RS pres and ask that our name be taken off the list for Secret Santa, when our secret santas showed up with three large boxes for the boys, and a card for us. In the card was a very generous gift card for the grocery store, and in the boxes were Hot Wheels and an elaborate garage.
My friend’s parents sent us a Christmas card via registered mail. They sent it registered because they had been inspired to send us some money to help us through this holiday of unemployment. We were so touched at the thought, and overwhelmed at the generosity.
Although my in-laws sent us some money instead of Christmas gifts a month and a half ago, they also sent a couple of things for us to open on Christmas day. And then they sent an enveloppe with another check last week, with a letter explaining that Paul’s brothers had all requested less gifts for Christmas so that the extra money could be sent to help us.
Several of my friends starting coming up with ways I could “help” them get ready for Christmas and for which they would pay me. Suddenly I was babysitting, crocheting, or giving lessons and for the first time since I was a waitress I have cash in my wallet. In ordinary circumstances I would have been offended that they’d pay me for something I’d do so willingly for free for my friends, but this month I have just been so touched by having the opportunity to make a little cash. I have been equally touched by the friends who have undervalued their goods and services to make our Christmas more attainable.
Others have chosen to slip cash into Christmas cards. Someone else left a wonderful Christmas basket on our doorstep anonymously (which is a feat given that we have to buzz them in the front gate and yet by the time we got to our door there was a basket and no sign of the sweet Santa. We think he must have snuck around the corner until the coast was clear, or been let in by a neighbour and then returned to the front gate to buzz us to get our attention. However, it was very thoughtful.) Fresh fruit! Yes! And meat (goodness– Foster Farms boneless, skinless chicken breasts? and a beef roast?) Good heavens, the bounty!
Still other friends have performed special acts of service by checking in on us, sending us job leads, and being there without hovering or pestering. Some of them refuse to call on important days because they don’t want to be the cause of a “false” phone call, choosing instead to talk to us when we meet at the park, or sending emails. All very sweet and thoughtful gestures.
To say nothing of the hundreds of prayers uttered daily on our behalf …
As every year since we moved to California has been lean, this was our most lavish Christmas yet. We have been so richly blessed and are so grateful for all the acts of service and kindness that have made this holiday season bright. It’s like the Christmas stories you read, when the poor family has a beautiful Christmas because of the kindness of others. We just can’t wait to have a job so that we can do this for others.