Give Back Double and a Little Bit More

Santa’s Sleigh is an effort of nickels and dimes that we make every Christmas to help a few folks in need. Compared to most high profile charitable campaigns ours pales a little in comparison.

But what it lacks in monetary impact it more than makes up for in spirit.

Last year I shared the story of a grandmother in a nursing home who drew a very meager donation from Santa’s sleigh – only $41.78.

All she wanted for Christmas was to send a little love and a few minor things to her faraway grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

This Santa’s Sleigh was happy to do and it was worth every penny and more to see the joy it brought to this sweet woman.

Today in my mail I received a note from her son, indicating that his mother had passed away in June. But he was contacting me out of what he considered an odd request. She had left instructions that $85 from her left over worldly goods be given to “that Santa man”.

He did not understand her direction because he did not know the story of what happened last Christmas. When I shared with him the story he asked if he could call me.

We had a wonderful conversation. He told me that in the final months of her life his mother was not able to speak well or share her thoughts all the time. But hearing the story I shared with him has helped him to connect the dots of much of what his mother was trying to say those last few months.

He had been trying to understand her seeming obsession with Christmas and Santa Claus. As a family they had never had much of a Santa tradition and yet in his mother’s last few months she brought him up again and again.

She told a granddaughter, “When you are given something from Santa Claus, you give back twice as much – and a little bit more”.

That explains her direction to leave $85 for Santa’s Sleigh this year – that’s double what she received, and a little bit more.

What a sacred donation!

This widow’s mite will be applied to Santa’s efforts this year and, just as last year, it will be gratefully received by someone who will decide, no doubt, to give back double – and a little bit more.

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