One of our staff struggles with the holiday season. She lost her mom a few years ago and her family lives on the opposite side of the United States. As much as she tries to put on a brave face for everyone, every once in a while the facade cracks. She does so much for others; it breaks our heart that she is sad during what should be a joyous time.
Two clients noticed that she was having a difficult time and became concerned. Upon learning of her circumstances, they immediately wanted to know how to help, what to do. They decided to get her a Christmas tree, as she couldn't afford one this year. "What is Christmas without a tree?" one of them said to me. They made a few calls and arranged for a tree farm to donate a tree. She could go and choose whatever tree she wanted. This tree farm was the only one that said yes, by the way.
They made a hand-made card and snuck it into my office. We hid it on her car for her to find at the end of the day. About an hour after the end of her shift, she telephoned and thanked us for the tree and the card. She was humbled and grateful.
The part of the story that I am leaving out is that the clients who arranged for the tree live in a homeless shelter for families of domestic violence. They have very little, yet they provided joy for someone else's Christmas.
Isn't that just the nicest thing ever? The very spirit of Christmas.