Homeless Christmas - Best Christmas of All
by susie harrison
Friday, April 26, 2002
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Best Christmas Ever
Through out my childhood, in my middle income family,
Christmas was always a joy.
Family, Friends, the gifts, and the spirit,
Memories for a lifetime to enjoy.
But this year was different, in 1988,
Two small children and I in a strange town,
With no where to go.
Finally in mid-December we landed in
A homeless shelter settled in cold snow.
I bravely told little ones that it was not really Christmas,
Only everyone was practicing for the year to come.
Which that year would be the grandest ever.
Then at night I would cry as I watched,
My toe head babies sleep.
Nothing to give them, nothing to keep.
I ignored the beautiful lights, and went deaf
To seasonal, spiritual, music of Noel,
I turned my head to the Santa asking for change,
I hid it so well.
Who needed Christmas anyway?
I often forsake to my children.
We would sing Happy Birthday to Jesus,
But that would be all, our lives were too complicated
Christmas Eve settled so quiet,
In the old church serving as a womans shelter.
I could hear the quiet tears of other mummies
As we all shared the same fate.
We could hear the rustling around in a distant room, and it too woke the kids. The manager came to us and explained it was just
Santa Claus and we must go back to sleep.
I though, Oh, how nice to stage such an event, but how cruel
With out bad intent.
We awoke to see our beautiful tree in the lobby, empty of course.
Then went to the dungeon (basement) for our Christmas breakfast.
Usually consisted of cold slimy eggs and burnt bacon.
Once again I ignored the magnificent day,
It had no place in my heart this year.
As slowly dredged up the long stair case back to our cold rooms,
We heard a noise of sweet music of Silent Night.
I thought they could torture us no more.
When we ascended to the top of the steps,
The room was void of people
But there was an incredible mess.
BOXES and Boxes, never any that were small,
Scattered the room, scattered it all.
The tree shown brighter than it ever had before,
As each little child ran with joy to find boxes 4 foot by 4!
With each name on it, spelled just right!
My little ones too, ran in search of their very own box,
Overflowing with ribbons and bows, toys and candy.
For a moment I held my breath,
Santa forgot us?
Then in the corner of the room were three huge boxes,
They must have been the biggest, most brightest boxes
In the entire room.
I followed my little blonde boy and little curly head girl
As they, for the first time in weeks, giggled with glee.
And there I sat and watched while my beautiful little children,
Who I thought would have nothing,
Open green, red, and blue wrappings with gold,
Every special little toy or article of clothes,
Brought laughter and joy through out the room.
I looked around me and say mothers in awe,
And I myself, who had neglected my own box,
Silently let tears slip from my eyes.
God had not forgotten my children after all,
In this cold, dark church with no friends and no family
The tears welled up in my eyes as I looked above to Jesus,
And thanked him for blessing my children,
But not necessarily with gifts, but the spirit of others,
Who cared so much to remember my children at Christmas!
Later the manager at the shelter explained that the minister and his wife donate each and every Christmas Eve to spend the entire night secretly wrapping gift for children and mothers. They do this ONLY to see the look in the eyes of the Mummies as their children open the unexpected gifts.
In addition, I would like to add that pesonal stories such as these, help people grow and learn the value in helping other children and families in the futrue . Now I spend a great deal of time 'returning th favor' so to speak, where ever I go.
And I cried the entire time I wrote this because words are not enough to express the emotion one experiences through hard times and the Joy that can be brought by others in your time of need.
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|Reviewed by Birdie Houston
|Life takes us through many routed changes though a difficult situation... you were blessed richly to be with your children that is a wonderful gift anytime|
|Reviewed by Lois
|A very neat story to be shared anytime of the year. I too, can relate to the feelings you barely touched on in this story... been there myself, more than once. Haven't had to go to a shelter though, so I found it enlightening and encouraging to think of this wonderful couple who spent their Chrismas Eve's wrapping gifts for the women and children at the shelter. I am thinking of perhaps doing the same next Christmas, instead of buying for grandkids who already get more than some small communities in the way of gifts... thanks for the encouragement and insight.|
|Reviewed by Joe
|A very heatwarming story. Thanks for sharing.|
|Reviewed by Denise d'Sant Angelo
|What a beautiful story, I too have been homeless and so I remember the times we spent
without gifts for Christmas or even winter clothes.
|Reviewed by Vincent & Sophie
|A fine, heartworming story that should awaken Americans to the mistaken priorities of our government. Such mothers and children are treasures upon which our country depends for its highest achievement.|
|Reviewed by Diana Campitelli
|My children and I are facing a similar situation this year. I got divorced on Nov. 8 and the judge has ordered my children and I to move by Dec. 8. I had an apartment lined up about a week ago and then I called them only to hear that they rented it to someone else. I stood on a street corner on Thanksgiving Day with a sign that we need an apartment. People wanted to give me money. I received $58.00 but what we really need is a place to stay. Please pray for us. My boys are 11 and 13. I am serving the Lord the best I know how.|
|Reviewed by debbie
|Your story reaches a place so many have been, and you captured the emotion very well.|
|Reviewed by Kathleen b
|With your words you have painted a picture and draw the reader into that picture. I feel the sadness and then the sad happiness. That is a very very hard thing to accomplish. You did it very well.|
|Reviewed by WILLIAM H. QUINION
|It is when you are at your lowest that God moves people to do their best work. So it is and was with all who will be great in his eyes and closest to his heart. When enough heat is applied to the clay, it becomes a precious GEM; attractive to all.|
|Reviewed by Janet Caldwell
You are a breath of fresh air. Happy late birthday sweetie. I do hope that you are well. JC xoxoxo
|Reviewed by Janet Caldwell
|Wow! This reminded me of a Christmas a few years ago. I had quit working to stay home with our children, and my husband was in the military. Needless to say, we had no money. Christmas was going to just come and go at our house. Except that every year on base they draw the name of an airman who is in need of help. My husband's unit decided that we were in need of the help. They sent home boxes of food, and presents for the kids. One of the secretaries even went out and bought gifts for the children. I told my husband that as poor as we were; that was the best Christmas ever.|
|Reviewed by EVELYN JO LOCKERT
|Very good story.|
|Reviewed by Trixie Love
|Such a beautiful
heart warming story...
Thanks for sharing this....
|Reviewed by E T Waldron
|Thanks for sharing this heartfelt story and reminding us of what is important...|
|Reviewed by George MacLean Akurunwa
|Great story. Speaks of the heart of God.|
|Reviewed by Claywoman
|GULP! The lump is too big to allow me to talk...|
|Reviewed by Josephine Bohen
|There but by the grace....
|Reviewed by Masarat Daud (Reader)
|What a wonderful write Susie! Excellent!|
|Reviewed by Fritz Barnes
|Susie, this is a great story! Brought a tear to my eye, yes, real men cry.
I could really feel your pain, as a mother, feeling so helpless to make Christmas be special for your children. But what a delightful outcome!