Thursday, December 22, 2011

A 'Happy' Christmas Miracle

Raising two kids on my own was really hard sometimes.  Not the kids themselves.  I’ve always been blessed to have them in my life; they are what kept me going, kept me sane, kept me learning and growing, kept me connected and loving.

The Christmas season of 1999 found me working full-time, but without resources.  My job meant that I was away from my kids for 12 hours each day.  Eight hours working, an hour lunch – and three hours spent traveling back and forth between home, babysitter, work; then work, babysitter, home.  I used my crockpot a lot back then, simply to insure that my kids had a decent meal instead of a quick box of macaroni for dinner.  To give me time to spend with them in the few hours we had each evening.  We were, simply, living paycheck to paycheck and there was seldom anything extra.

 As Christmas approached, I worked on making each of the kids a gift and managed to set aside a total of $30 to spend on presents.  The pictures above are of the wooden checkerboard that I made for my son - all of the small dots, the birds, even the campfire, were painted using toothpicks, lol!

My daughter had always loved snow globes.  She called them “Happys”.  And, two days before Christmas,  a nearby store had a beautiful Happy on sale.  Off to the store I went and felt so thrilled that they still had a few left!  I made my purchase and, as I walked out the door, the bag was knocked out of my hand.  That beautiful Happy fell to the pavement and broke into a dozen pieces!

I was as shattered as that precious snow globe!  I walked a few steps through the throng of last minute shoppers, braced myself against a wall, and burst into tears.  I was so devastated!

And then a man and woman approached me and asked if I was okay.  I sobbed and told them, between gulps of air, what had happened.  This wonderful woman stayed, talking to me, reassuring me, giving me the gift of her comfort and care.  The man left, but I didn’t really notice.

And then the man was back.  He held a bag out to me and insisted that I look inside.  They had replaced that beautiful Happy and gifted it to me.  And then they simply wished me a Merry Christmas and walked away.

The enormity of what they did was so much more than the cost of the Happy.  That they took the time to stop; that they cared enough to give of themselves and make a difference for a woman and a child that they didn’t know.  They blessed me in so many ways that evening!  And I have tried, since then, to always pay it forward; to see others through the eyes of love that I felt looking upon me then. 

It doesn’t take a lot to lift someone else up.  Making a difference doesn’t require a huge investment of time or money.  Sometimes the small things are huge things in disguise, a grace that makes life sparkle and shine with love and possibilities.

It’s been twelve years and the gift that those two gave to me has never left me.  Remembering, as I’m doing now, can still bring tears to my eyes.  I’ve never forgotten; never stopped feeling gratitude.  They left a legacy of love and generosity within me.  And that legacy expresses itself in my own ability to be thankful, even for the seemingly small blessings in my life, and to give of myself and my resources as and when I can.  It may be a few encouraging words, an expression of love or something more tangible - but there is always something to give.

Wishing you many blessings and miracles of your own, no matter how you celebrate the season.  And may you find grace and gratitude in each day of this coming year.


  1. These are the things people do that always make me help someone else, because you are so right, these gestures of humanity are sometimes just what a person needs to get them through.

  2. Hi Cynthia,

    I found you over at Where Women Create share day. I like your blog and premise behind it. I'm Queen Of Dreamsz Studio on Facebook. I'd love to have you visit my blog and my FB page.♥ I'm going to try to remember the Tuesday event that you have.

    Stephanie Suzanne
    Queen Of Dreamsz

  3. What a lovely story. Thank you for much for sharing it. Merry Christmas!

  4. this is just so touching is one of those special stories that changed you forever. thank you for sharing it with filled me up.

  5. 'gestures of humanity' - what a beautiful way of expressing it Luna! It is the seemingly small things that lift us up and help us carry on; that can reconnect us with the beauty and light of life and living. Thank you!

  6. Haven, thank you for allowing me to share my story with you :) Merry Christmas to you as well!

  7. Stephanie Suzanne, thanks so much! I love learning about how and where people connect with me and my blog :) I'll be sure to visit yours, and re: Toot Your Horn Tuesdays on my Facebook page: I usually send out reminders each Monday and Tuesday.

  8. We all have those transformational moments Stephanie G...and people who come into our lives to facilitate them. You are one of those people - a nurturer of hope, healing and, yes, miracles. Thank you so much for being in my life <3

  9. That was just lovely. What a sweet memory and a renewal in human kindness. Love it!!!

  10. Thanks Erin! It's a story that I've loved sharing with you :)

  11. Hey, Cynthia! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope your muse is nudging you to set yourself free and PLAY! :o) The best of everything to you in 2012! ♥

  12. An inspiring post Cynthia :) I'm a single mother myself and it is a hard slog but I'd never be without my precious gift! Thanks for sharing, a beautiful story :)


Thank you for leaving your comments; I read and appreciate them all! Cynthia