I have never been more excited to give this Christmas.
This is partly because it's the first Christmas that I've had a full-time job and can somewhat afford Christmas gifts, but the other part is a little different. This is the first time that I've felt like each gift I've picked out is something that the recipient will treasure for years to come.
There's one gift in particular that is extremely important to me, because I know the person receiving it will be able to do something that probably would have never been possible.
This is what Christmas is all about. Giving. Joy. Happiness.
Every year, at the restaurant where I've worked since I was a teenager, we draw names for Christmas. About a week before Christmas, we have a party where everyone brings a dish and their families. We eat together, play games, and go home with a present from our secret Santa.
This year, I drew Lindsey's name. Lindsey is a sweet waitress, that has worked at Sam's for years, much longer than my six, and has five children. Five boys. Lindsey is so wonderful, and I knew I wanted to do something special for her.
At first, I started thinking about a manicure/pedicure gift certificate. We're only supposed to spend about $20, but I wanted it to be something that she could do for herself. With five boys, she doesn't have much time for that. Then, it came to me.
A few weeks before I found out I was coming back to Appalachian, Lindsey mentioned that if I ever had tickets to an Appalachian basketball game, she and her family would love to come. She said it wouldn't be all of them going (there are 7 total!), but that whenever it was, she would "make it happen."
When I drew her name that night, I knew it was my chance to "make it happen" for her.
I started talking to people and brainstorming. How could I get 7 tickets to a game, and not spend an outrageous amount of money? Then I spoke to Marcia, my old boss that I live with, who happens to work for the place where the Appalachian basketball games are held. She told me she'd work on it and get back to me. I started working on my end too, and had someone else from the restaurant at home ask Lindsey what day her and her family were available for an unknown activity. I got the date and told Marcia.
About 30 minutes later, I received a text from Marcia saying:
"There are seven free tickets waiting for you in the box office."
I couldn't believe it, I started crying at my desk thinking of Lindsey, her husband and her five sons that will now get to attend a men's and women's basketball game on a Saturday in January at Appalachian State, completely free. I told Marcia how eternally thankful I was for her generosity and she simply replied:
"Good Things Happen to Good People."
With the $25 that I had allotted for the tickets, I purchased Lindsey and her family a gift card to Pizza Hut, that they can use when they come. I had found out that though don't get to eat out a lot, they all love pizza.
Tonight is the night that I will give this gift to Lindsey. I cannot wait to see her face full of happiness. She deserves every bit of it and more, for being a great mother, wife and friend.
I love these tickets even more because each one is labeled with the title of our mission that Marcia came up with: Operation Christmas Tree
This made my Christmas, and I hope it makes yours too.
I couldn't have done it without you, Marcia. You truly are a guardian angel.
As always, Have a Sweet Day!