Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Elves came and went.....

4:15 am this morning on email, “Hi guys – the weather man just said it is supposed to thaw out today, and freeze tonight!  This means we have to make delivery today.  Get rolling and call me when you are up!”

I arrive at the office at 6:45 am and E says “All set, my last meeting is at 2:30, then we can motor!”

I open email at 6:47 am and read, “I have to get more wrapping paper and one last item.  Will be there by 3 pm!”

“Hello, this is Elf #1 calling to arrange for drop this afternoon, possibly around 4 pm.  Are you able to complete Operation entertaining the kids?  Good, Good, we will see you then.  We need a 30-minute window to drop the packages and disappear.  We can not be seen by the little ones!”

2:35 pm “E lets get loading the car and at 3 we are on the road”

3:00 “Hi K, looks like you got everything all set!  Lets squeeze those items in here.  Okay, all set, lets hit the road”

4:02 pm knock, knock………..

Grandma opened the door, and the twins ran up as adorable as they could be!  Both had crew cuts, clean white t-shirts and khaki slacks.  They are almost two years old, and have special needs.  Faces so bright with curiosity, but no way to tell me about it.  I touched twin number one on the belly button and he squeeeeeeeeeeeled in obvious delight, and twin number two quickly pulling up his shirt for his button push!  Grandma started laughing and said, “You must be the Elves!  Nothing makes me happier then seeing them laugh, Thank you so much for doing this.  I replied “Hi, I am Predo, and this is E.  Where can we put Santa’s gifts?

I took us two trips each before the Dad looked at us and asked if he could help.  I said “sure, I am certain Santa would not mind”.  Mom stood there, mouth open, eyes wide, not saying a word.

Dad followed me out to the car as E was on his way in with another load.  Dad stood there for a second and looked at me.  His eyes were wide and starting to water a little.  I figured I should do the talking and said “just grab anything that is wrapped, we got to get this show on the road!”  He smiled at me, looked at the car, turned back to me and just looked into my eyes.  “Everything?  You aren’t helping another family with all this?”

“Everything that is wrapped.  We have our orders and do not ask questions.”

I know he was happy for what we were doing, I also know he felt like less of a man because he could not do it himself.  You see this family literally was living on pennies a day.  Dad worked, and Mom and Grandma raised the four kids.  They also house Foster kids that need a “safe” place for a short time.  This family saves children from the dark side of society.  This family sacrifices everyday to help a child actually make it in life.  This family deserves so much more then we could give them.

Mom and Grandma just stared, mouths hanging open as we took trip after trip after trip to the car.  Every time our arms were full enough that we could not manage the door.  They were in utter shock.  We gave them everything they asked for then some.  You see, what they wanted was diapers, jackets, sheets, blankets, and food……Santa never made food in any of the stories I have heard.  So we got them food and diapers and blankets and teddy bears, and shoes, and jackets, and games and MP3 players and a new vacuum cleaner and a big “food card” and learning toys for the special twins and books and gift cards for the little boy and the little girl.  They got crafts projects, and bed in a bag sets and clothes and tools and well, anything else we could possibly think of.  As a group, we put together one hell of a Christmas for this wonderful family!

Grandma said “Wow, my God, sweet Jesus, Oh…”

Mom said “Uh, WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?  Seriously?  How can I get in touch with you?  Who are you?  How do I….we….(trailed off to silence with her hand slowly moving to cover her mouth)”

Dad did not say a word.  He walked across the living room, and with very wet eyes put his hand out.  He looked E and I directly in the eye, unable to speak, and shook our hands with so much force and vigor that I think he may have broken something.  This man, whose children were all fit and healthy, stood before us a rail of a man thanking us for our help?  Us.  This man eats maybe once a day by the look of it, but makes damn sure his children eat, and he is thanking us. 

I sit here in front of my laptop, in a warm house, drinking a gin and tonic out of an actual cocktail glass thinking about the fact that he was thanking me.  This man, who probably works two minimum wage jobs, eight days a week, for his family first and him second.

Before we left, I turned to him.  When he made eye contact, I winked and said quietly “The thanks go to you!  Merry Christmas"

Wanna know why I feel like shit?  My dream present would be a 1972 canary yellow corvette stingray.  These people wanted food.


Cool Breeze December 19, 2008 at 4:54 AM  

Man, that is the most awesome story. Your gift of love to this family is the best gift anyone could receive.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. December 19, 2008 at 5:47 AM  

WoW!(tear)Thanks for sharing that!A man after my own heart! I just love you...what can I say. Your acts of kindness have made my Christmas! Next year, can I spend Christmas with you? I'd make a great Elf!

Merry Christmas Babe =)

big hair envy December 19, 2008 at 6:22 AM  

I often find that the Holiday Season puts things into perspective for me as well. SO much to be thankful for...

You and your Elf Buddies are amazing! How can I get involved in something like this locally? Did you go through Social Services? Noe Noe Girl and I will definitely be looking into the possibilities for next year. Although, SHE is a giving Elf ALL YEAR LONG:)

(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl December 19, 2008 at 6:27 AM  

Awwwwwwww Sunshine! That family will tell that story for YEARS. You are amazing! Sending big hugs your way.

belladella December 19, 2008 at 9:14 AM  

I don't even know what to say. Amazing, truly amazing. I'm speechless and I need a tissue.

Big hugs to you!

Living on the Spit December 19, 2008 at 7:32 PM  

I thought it was about time I came on over and met the great and wonderful Predo and I am so glad I did. What a wonderful expression of goodness and light you bestowed upon that family. Giving is truly a life changing experience. I may not have everything i want but I am reminded that I have everything I need. Thank you for reminding me of this.

Your heart is very special and you will be blessed beyond belief. Thanks for such a wonderful post. If there is anyway I can help next year, please let me know. I can make quilts, crochet hats...whatever I can give.

I look forward to many more posts from you...the whole gang is right. You are truly a gem.


Frita December 19, 2008 at 8:17 PM  

Sniff...sniff... what a great thing you guys did! Can you imagine what was going through the minds of the people in that family? What a difference you all have made in their lives. That is what Christmas is all about! Thanks for the great story.

I too want to know how you got involved? Do you have a special agency you work with to get a family?
N's school did some things for kids that we had names for but I think it would fun to sponsor a whole family sometime.

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