Back in December of 2008, my growing family and I experienced a wonderful Christmas miracle that we will never forget....
At the time, our 3 children were 4 years old or younger. And Lyndsie was pregnant with our 4th child, Jon. My business was struggling during the "Great Recession" where most of the money I made had to stay in the business, and I often found myself relying on family members or friends to help us with just the basic necessities.
We were used to seeing utility door hangers telling us we had 48 hours to pay our bills or they would shut us off. Daily, I was getting hounded by collectors asking me to pay them tens of thousands of dollars. My wife, Lyndsie, even asked if she should take the kids and move in with her sister so I can figure things out. On top of that, we had no money for Christmas presents for the kids. Needless to say, I was struggling to keep it together this time of year.
However, each night, starting in mid-December, we started to hearing knocks on our door, but they would run off by the time we opened the door. On our doorstep, we would see gifts referencing the 12 days of Christmas. For example, the 2nd day were two chocolate turtles for "2 Turtle Doves." A wonderful surprise was the 3rd day where "3 French Hens" were 3 frozen chickens. On the 6th day, "Six Geese a Laying" brought us a dozen eggs left on our porch.
But the one that touched us the most, was the 8th day for "Eight Maids a Milking."
That day was particularly difficult for us because we didn't have money for groceries, including milk for our little ones. As I went to answer the door, I could hear several footsteps running off thru the snow, obviously to avoid being discovered. To our delighted surprise, we opened the door to find 8 quarts of milk on our front porch. The kids were excited that every night was a new "Christmas present." As I brought them all in and I looked at Lyndsie with overwhelming gratitude, she and I began crying and embraced each other in the kitchen that someone would be kind enough to brave the cold and help us during our most difficult Christmas ever.
The next morning, I went out front to see if I could track the footprints in the snow. Instead of leading me to another home, I tracked several sets of footprints to the back of our home, stopping near our kitchen window. I could imagine that they saw our reaction and I hope they could truly see what a Christmas miracle they brought into our lives that evening. I hope that their lives were blessed more than ours was that evening.
I never found out who it was, and I don't care to know. What they did left a lifelong impression in our minds and hearts. This has now become a tradition that our family chooses to pass on to our children to make the holidays a little bit brighter for another family.
My challenge to you is to forget your own problems and find someone else to serve that is more in need than you are.
You don't have to do the 12 Days of Christmas to make someone's holiday season better, but any little, random act of kindness will help you feel the Christmas Spirit stronger than ever and bless their lives too. Let's work together to make these next few weeks special for someone else and you'll find that your own problems are pretty insignificant.
Who's with me on this one?