Photo by: Shutterstock

Pay it Forward

Photo by: Shutterstock

I have wandered blindly through this season, crunching numbers in my head. It’s been difficult to see the magic through the worry.

This year has been trying. It has seemed endless in its financial stressors. We have had to make financial choices that were painful, and have struggled every month to make ends meet. We watched our savings shrink and our debt increase. In an ebb, and hoping for a flow.

My husband and I sat down to delicately discuss Christmas. What would we do? Which credit card had the lowest APR? How would we pay it off? How would we be able to give our children the Christmas we so desperately wanted to provide?

Then a miracle occurred. A Christmas spirit intervention.

The next day, a simple envelope arrived. It was red, addressed to our family, and begging to be opened. Our last name was misspelled. There was no return address.

I opened the envelope. On the outside of the enclosed card was the simple sentiment, ‘Merry Christmas!’ Inside, one hundred dollars, and the following message:

“Someone once did something nice for me. It’s my turn to pay it forward. Merry Christmas.”

As the moment poured over me, I felt shock, joy, humility and gratitude. I knew that something incredible was happening.

I believe in the goodness of people. I believe in moments of grace. I believe that Santa Claus is alive and well in the spirit of gracious giving in all of us. I believe in second chances. I believe in magic.

I believe.

To the unknown Santa who chose our family:

You have given us so much. For the selfless kindness, the magic, the perspective, the joy, we thank you. We will not forget your call to pay it forward.

For the gifts you helped provide and for gifts that money can’t buy, thank you.

And, thank you for the gift of the simple sentiment we look forward to passing along.

Someone once did something nice for me. It’s now my turn to pay it forward. I want to create a new legacy of giving.

Merry Christmas.

“Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it – you feel it, you know it, you believe it.” – Kevin Alan Milne (The Paper Bag Christmas)

Bethany Thies is a mother of four, writer and rehabilitated gypsy who now calls Vermont home. She can change a diaper in 22 seconds and is the proud author of the chronic sarcasm and tom-foolery blog, Bad Parenting Moments.

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