Jump to content

The White Envelope-- A Christmas Story_____


Recommended Posts


This is a truly wonderful sentiment. Wouldn't it be nice if we all

did something like this.

It's just a small white envelope stuck among the branches of

our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has

peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas -- oh,

not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it -- the

overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get

a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma -- the gifts given in

desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the

usual shirts, sweaters, ties, and so forth. I reached for something

special just for

Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son Kevin, who

was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he

attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a

team sponsored by an inner-city church.

These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that

shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a

sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new

wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other

team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to

protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.

Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight

class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his

tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't

acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of

them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but

losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids --

all kids -- and he knew them, having coached little league football,

baseball, and lacrosse.

That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I

went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling

eadgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On

Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside

telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the

brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each

Christmas, I followed the tradition -- one year sending a group of

mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a

pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week

before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of

our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas

morning, and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed

anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to

reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical

presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to cancer. When Christmas rolled

around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But

ChristmasEve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning it was

joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others,

had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has

grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing

around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down

the envelope.

Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and

the true Christmas spirit this year and always.

God Bless! -- pass this along to those friends and loved

ones who you know are the givers who understand the true meaning of

Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.