Wow. I'm stunned ... Ok, so S/O and I are not exchanging gifts. difficult child got the one thing he wants and easy child had a handful of small but nice presents. Then I lucked out on super affordable tickets for the kids to a late winter NBA and NHL game. Turns out to pay them, I ducked gas and hydro bills. Not tooo bad, will have to struggle through January to catch those up, but at least no other debt to handle Christmas. I am not a person hugely into lavish gifts. But I will admit that I was a bit saddened that difficult child had one single present (even though its nice!) to open. And though easy child is in no way greedy, I was able to get her things from her wish list but many things she was not getting. (She'd be fine with that, it's that mommy thing, that drive to want that beaming smile perhaps??? I think this has to do with the fact that throughout the year, they get a nice but not big gift for birthdays, and a small thing for passing school. They dont' get allowance. They don't get alot of clothes. We take good care of what we do have. We have things that need replacing, clothes, bedding etc But it isn't the end of the world. We are better off than many who don't have a roof let alone old things that we are lucky to have. In better times, I would buy good quality, they have lasted. It enables me to help the kids not really notice we truly live far below the poverty line. Last night S/O and I were baking cookies. 10p.m. and my phone rings. It's a person I know that I used to do volunteer work with many years ago. Her father is also a politician locally and was my music teacher for about 8 years growing up. I had no clue why she would call. I was told in a cheerful voice that she was at that moment standing in walmart with another woman and a man. That somehow my name was given to a local group that is playing Santa for some local kids that they consider deserving of a special Christmas. My eyes teared up. Actually they are tearing up again as I type this. I was kind of embarassed. Until she said that the person who requested something special for my kids had told them that I've been struggling with MS while maintaining normalcy for several years, that last year I was just out of hospital at Christmas and year before, that difficult child had problems for years and suddenly was excelling at school and doing wonderful at home, and that easy child is known at her school as the peace keeper and that she puts a smile on her teachers faces. I have no idea who would know all this about me and the kids nor who would do something like ask for something special for my kids!!!! I'm so moved. I think I'm still a bit embarassed at people realizing that my kids, though living in what appears a middle class home, are sacrificing all year and living below poverty. Yet I'm touched that someone would submit my kidlets for something like this and that this group chose my children as some of the kids they are doing this for. Apparently it was a contest type thing?? I'll get more details later today as to how this all came about I'm hoping!! The call turned into a fun one. They were all 3 handing a cell phone around to speak to me while shopping. They were laughing and having such a fun time. They somehow already knew some things my kids like and need. Again, I was shocked. They picked thoughtful things that they knew already were needed. They chose a new comforter for easy child after asking me about colors etc. They actually described them all to me while deciding to ensure easy child would like it. They bought her a new sheet set and pillow cases and 2 new feather free pillows. They got difficult child a thick microfiber blanket (those luxerious soft ones) with jungle cats (his favorite) on them, sheets and pillows as well. For difficult child they got him new socks and boxers, pyjama pants, tshirts for with them and 2 hooded sweaters with some type of design (I don't know what yet). For easy child a new robe, pyjamas, socks, underwear and hat, mitts and scarf that will match her jacket. They bought a shaving kit with razors, blades and gel as well as cologne for difficult child. For easy child there is bubble bath, lip balm, dry skin cream, medicated shampoo she needs for her scalp, and leave in hair conditioner. By that point I actually had to put S/O on the phone because I was crying so much. My kids are going to be so shocked. Gifts are already wrapped under the tree and they knew that was all of them. Then, when it should have been the end of the shopping (that list is overwhelming as it is), they asked for what the kids wanted, not at all a single thing that they NEED. I was shy to say anything! They ended up choosing for difficult child: a mens watch, NBA basketball, speakers for his ipod that is his christmas gift from me and S/O, and a DVD. For easy child: a little mp3 player with a screen to read the song titles, some sort of lego set, Tech Decks and a Tony Hawk ramp for them, a NHL licensed jersey and hockey stick, and a board game. They then said that they would be by this evening to drop it all off. They also said to expect some "other suprises". It his nearly dinner time here, and this is just making me tear up all day. I think I'm passed embarassed (nearly) and just overflowing with a feeling of wonder or something. I have no idea how to even thank them when they come by later. I have no idea how to thank whoever it was that submitted my kids for a chance for this to happen for them. I have put together a tray of homemade baking with a nice bow on it, and a christmas card with a personal note of thanks to give to the people who deliver it. Also another tray and card for whoever suggested my children, I'll ask them to contact the person to pick it up from them. I'm still hesitating on the wording for the person who suggested my children. But I'll figure it out. There is truly a feeling through this event for me that just resounds with the spirit of Christmas. Giving to others while asking nothing for yourself. For someone to do this for my children is just phenomenal. Even more amazing, apparently from the applications, quite alot of kids are getting this beautiful gift this year in our town. I have no idea who is funding it, or how they asked for applications and put the word out, etc. It's a mystery. I've always volunteered for christmas toy drives, food hamper programs etc. This is definitly not something common knowledge in this community. Its almost like there is a underground society of super Secret Santa sneaks. I know when my kids see this all on Christmas morning that I am going to be fighting to hold back the tears. I will be telling them on the 25th how it came about that Santa arrived in the house!