I remember one year around Christmas time my mother came home and exclaimed that there would not be very many presents under the tree – we (my brother, sister, and I) each would get one from mom and dad and that was it. We were okay with that, as we were aware that Christmas for Triplets was by no means a financially easy task.
Low and behold, Christmas came about. As we got older, the tradition, if you will, became one of sleeping in, or at least staying quiet, until 11 o’clock at the earliest. Instead of heading to NH Christmas day, we would head up the day after, giving us time to really take in the day with our family and not have to rush breakfast or gifts or memories and smiles and laughs and stories.
Typically, my siblings and I lay in our beds awake until we hear someone else awake, and then we all end up in one bed just hanging out until mom and dad are awake, had their coffee, and are ready.
Being as we didn’t expect much, we didn’t do this that year. At first.
When I awoke, I walked into the living room to get to the kitchen for chocolate milk. I peered into the living room instinctively and was astounded. Santa certainly came – the tree, well the entire living room actually, was FULL of presents!
I instantly became 5 years old again and ran and got my siblings. My mother must have been excited, too, because she awoke earlier than usual. We asked over and over how all the presents got there and where they were from. My mother made us open each of them one by one, child by child, as we did every year (and boy did that take a long time), before she told the story.
So, the story goes as follows: my mother and her two other co-workers held a secret Santa between the three of them. Each were told to bring one, small, gift.
After they exchanged, they instructed my mother to close her eyes, as they had more. My mother of course began to worry because she didn’t have anything else to give. After a while, they had her open her eyes. The entire room was full of gifts bought from donations from the faculty at the elementary school my mother worked at, and my siblings and I had attended.
That was by far my favorite Christmas, and is now my favorite Christmas story. Merry Christmas, all, and remember to give to those that can’t provide.