Secret santas brought joy to a dark Christmas | NevadaAppeal.com

Secret santas brought joy to a dark Christmas

Sue Jones
Virginia City resident

For years I hated Christmas – with a passion. I gave new meaning to Bah Humbug, mostly out of guilt because I couldn’t give all the lavish gifts I’d like to, and I’d never learned the true meaning of the Christmas season. Then someone came into my life and changed everything I had ever imagined about the Christmas spirit.

I was a single mom recovering from a bad marriage and Christmas was just one more reason to be miserable. And then I was adopted by a secret Santa. For the 12 days preceding Christmas, each night I found a small gift on my front porch with a card signed only by “Secret Santa.” At first it was just a tray of cookies or just a dime store ornament. There was never anything extravagant, yet each gift was a treasure from an unknown individual. As each night arrived my children and I tried to catch this phantom, once chasing someone in the dark after my doorbell rang.

For 12 days I tried to figure out who this was, to no avail. I couldn’t comprehend how anyone could be so caring and giving while working so hard not to receive credit for their kindness. By Christmas Eve I decided to accept these small gifts, believing someone thought we were worthy of their consideration and kind gestures. It wasn’t about the cost of the gift, or the recognition, just someone who felt I was in dire need of some Christmas spirit.

That was 15 years ago and I’ve tried on several attempts to return the favor and pass the spirit on to someone else in need, but I could never be as successful as that family was so long ago. They finally revealed themselves to us and said each year they voted as a family to adopt someone in need of some extra TLC, but they had never admitted to it before, because no one had ever been so rewarding, or maybe because no one had ever needed it as much as I did that year.

The transformation their kindness made in me, and the joy they brought to us that Christmas will never be forgotten.