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    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #1

    Dec 20, 2016, 08:04 PM
    Merry Christmas to all
    Hello AMHD peeps. It's that time of year again, time to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or whatever it is you celebrate this time of year. I wish you all health and happiness, and of course epic loot. :)

    Our Christmas was looking a bit bleak loot wise, but the kids were okay with it, know that things are tight right now.

    Well, yesterday that all changed. No I didn't win the lottery. Actually, that's not true, I did!

    Yesterday evening Sydney heard someone outside our door. She looked out the window, saw a man with grey/white hair and a beard. He put something in our mail box and left.

    She went to retrieve the item after he was gone, and it was a red envelope addressed to the Alty family.

    Inside was a computer printed note that read:

    The Alty Family

    Wishing you the merriest Christmas ever and may 2017 bring you all the happiness and joy that you bring others.
    Go out and treat yourselves to a little something extra this holiday season.
    Merry Christmas!!

    Along with that note was a card with 3 gift cards in it, a $50 gift card for Sydney to her favorite store, a $50 gift card for Jared to his favorite store, and a $100 gift card to Superstore (groceries, clothing, furniture, you name it ) for Rod and me.

    No signature, no hint as to who sent it. Our own personal secret Santa.

    The most amazing thing is, after thinking long and hard about who could have sent it, I realized how many amazing people I have in my life. I literally have a list of friends that would have done something like this. That alone is just incredible. Feeling truly blessed. Sadly none of them will confess that they did it, and it's driving me crazy. LOL. I'm actually thinking about getting a DNA analysis done on the envelope because they must have licked it closed, just so I can thank them personally.

    I hope that all of you are as blessed as my family, and since I do celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas to all of you!
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5646
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    #2

    Dec 20, 2016, 09:25 PM
    Merry Christmas to you! That is such a heartwarming story and restores faith in humanity!
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #3

    Dec 20, 2016, 10:28 PM
    J9, I can honestly say, this act of kindness, just when I felt so low, has made this the best Christmas ever.

    It's not even the money, the ability to give my kids a special Christmas, it's knowing that someone out there cares about me and my family enough to do this, to put in this effort, and to make it extra special with the magic of not knowing who it was.

    One part of me wants to know who it was so bad I can taste it. The bigger part of me realizes that if they wanted us to know, we'd know. And the magic of not knowing, that's part of what makes this so special.

    Merry Christmas dear friend. I hope that the Christmas spirit touches you as it has me. :) I now believe in Santa! :)
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    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5646
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    #4

    Dec 20, 2016, 10:53 PM
    Truth told, I'm having a hard time getting in the Christmas spirit this year. It's not the money, the new job has rewarded us beyond measure. I don't count my pennies and we don't live paycheck to paycheck anymore, so the money isn't an issue this year.

    I'm just not getting in the spirit and I don't know why. However, your story gave me a glimmer of hope.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #5

    Dec 21, 2016, 12:20 AM
    I hear you J. Before this secret Santa I was not at all in the Christmas spirit. Truth told, for too many years Christmas is just a time to spend money we don't have so that our kids are happy, so that they don't loose the Christmas spirit. It's sad that as an adult, for me at least, Christmas isn't about the season or the feeling, but about buying things I can't afford, to make other people happy.

    Even sadder, my kids have never cared about getting tons of presents, but as a mom I wanted to give them that. I put the stress on myself, they never did. This year both Jared and Sydney said that as long as there's Christmas PJ's (a tradition of ours, the first gift they open), and a Christmas ornament (another tradition), they don't care if they get anything else. And they're fine with PJ's and ornaments from the thrift store, and if we can't get that, they're fine as long as we're all together. As long as we sit in front of the tree, laugh, hug, take pictures, and then watch Polar Express (another tradition) together. Ya, gifts are nice, but not necessary. But of course as a mom there has to be something under the tree for them.

    My kids have more Christmas spirit than I have had in a long time, because somewhere along the way I seem to have lost the meaning of Christmas, and that it's not about gifts, but about being together, family, friends, love.

    I think I need to watch the cartoon version of How the Grinch stole Christmas a few more times. :)

    To me it's always been about giving. Getting has never been a very comfortable thing for me, even with Rod. If I can't give him as much as he gives me, I feel horrible. Every year I stress about the possibility that someone will give me a gift when I didn't get one for them, or didn't spend as much on them as they did on me. I have no problem giving and not receiving, but receiving without giving is a big time stresser. Because of that I never truly relax until Christmas is over, and I never truly let myself enjoy it.

    I think my Secret Santa knew that, knew that if they gave me this gift and signed their name, I'd do all I could to reciprocate, even though I can't afford to.

    They've taught me something very special. It's not about giving or receiving, or spending money you don't have. It's about doing something special for those around you, and not expecting anything in return. It's about making someone feel special, even if all you give them is your time, a smile, a hug, and a few laughs. It's not about the money (insert song lyrics here).

    The gift cards were amazing, and we're so very grateful to whoever it was, but the joy it gave us, bringing the Christmas spirit back to us, this one truly unselfish act, it's given me a truly new perspective on everything. It's given me Christmas.

    I hope you find it too. I wish I knew what would give it back to you, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
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    #6

    Dec 21, 2016, 05:49 AM
    Merry Christmas dear friend. Thanks for sharing such a heart-touching event. God is really great! He always bless us in unexpected ways...
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,801, Reputation: 2674
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    #7

    Dec 21, 2016, 12:06 PM
    I am alone for the third Christmas. Chris, my son, is still living and working in Germany. Annais is expecting twins in April, boys, to accompany Lily, my grandchild, who is almost two. So I am blessed beyond measure. Chris was to come home to visit next summer, but that will no longer be possible with the new addition to their family. But, you know, I will skype him on Christmas Eve and it will be like he is still here with me and that is all good.

    Merry Christmas all of you wonderful people here in our thriving community.

    Its my turn to work over Christmas and Boxing Day, but I am cooking a Christmas Dinner for a shut-in patient of mine, so she and I will share some goodwil together.
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    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #8

    Dec 21, 2016, 01:50 PM
    I'm alone too, and in fact am 'iced' in my steep driveway. I don't mind so much these years. It's even a shock when someone calls me through my computer and says 'Joy, move in front of the camera!' I don't want to, especially when it's a sudden surprise!

    But I spend a ton of time on Facebook as well as here, so that's my social circle.

    Merry Christmas to all you dear people!
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    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
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    #9

    Dec 21, 2016, 04:23 PM
    Whether on your own, or surrounded by family or friends, I wish you all joy and blessings now and throughout the New Year!

    May you fill your heart with sweet memories, gratitude, and hope when you share it with others!
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
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    #10

    Dec 21, 2016, 07:02 PM
    Merry Christmas to all my AMHD friends.
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,318, Reputation: 10854
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    #11

    Dec 22, 2016, 08:26 AM
    I wish all my AMHD family and friends a safe and happy holiday and many blessings in the NEW Year!
    cdad's Avatar
    cdad Posts: 12,701, Reputation: 1438
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    #12

    Dec 23, 2016, 09:36 AM
    Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all. Kindness goes a long way in this world and if we can spread some love it will change the world. I'm thankful for all of you through the year. Love and blessings your way !!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1he1unMZWTsy !

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