My Christmas Tradition...............

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My Christmas Tradition...............

Post by garylmartin1 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 10:30 pm

For over 14 years, I have handed out hard copies and sent/posted the following. Please help me get this around the world by passing it on to anyone you know, or posting it anywhere you can. Thank you and God Bless....................Merry Christmas

A Christmas Story

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so, and it all began because my husband Mike, hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it….overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for grandma………..and the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else. Knowing that he felt this way, I decided that year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, and ties, as I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in a very unusual way. Our son Kevin, who was twelve that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended, and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that their shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, (a kind of light helmet designed to protect the wrestler’s ears). It was a luxury that the “ragtag” team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up taking every weight class. And, as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with a false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly saying, “I wish just one of them could have won. They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids……...all kids…….and he knew them, having coached little league, football, and baseball. That’s when the idea for his present came to me. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes, and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed an envelope on the tree, with a note inside telling Mike what I had done, and that this was his gift from me to him. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and following years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition……… year sending a group of mentally challenged youngsters to a hockey game. Another year, donating money anonymously to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure.
The story doesn’t end there though. You see, we lost Mike to dreaded cancer several years after I started this tradition. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and by morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the other, had placed an envelope on the tree for their father. The tradition has grown, and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching their fathers take down the envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

May we all remember Christ, who it the reason for the season.

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Re: My Christmas Tradition...............

Post by SantaClaus » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:53 am

I like that tradition!

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