As you all know, I LOVE Christmas and everything associated with it and I'm super bummed that I was forced to play "Scrooge" yesterday.
I work at a church and we do a Charity Christmas shop each year. Basically, we have names submitted to us by local social service agencies and we then contact the families and ask if they'd like to participate. If they would like to, all they have to do is return the self addressed, stamped envelope to our office by the deadline.
It's a great program because if the families agree to participate the parents get to come and "shop" for their kids Christmas gifts. Each child gets three brand new gifts ($30 gift, $20 gift and a $15 gift) along with stocking stuffers (we even wrap the gifts and provide any batteries that they might need) and the family gets a food basket with gift certificates for additional food.
However, this year we had a person come to us nearly a month after the deadline for returning the cards and say that she lost her card and had never returned it. Well, losing the card isn't a huge deal, we've had people do that before, but they always contact us within time limits to let us know they'd like to participate. This lady didn't. Now we're a week out from the event (and a month beyond the final deadline), all the toys, food baskets, etc. have been purchased and are put together. Also, when she failed to return her card or contact us in any way, we filled her spot with another family.
So, the people in charge made the decision that it was simply too late to add another family. I get that, I really do. Unfortunately, if we don't have a hard line cut-off then we'll have dozens of families showing up that we didn't plan for and we won't have the resources to help them all. I don't think the decision was wrong, but somehow, I ended up having to be the person to call this woman and tell her that, since she'd missed the deadline by more than a month, there really isn't anything we can do to help her.
I feel horrible.