Wednesday, December 7

Advent Day 7: The Time Mom Got Us Farm Animals For Christmas.

My mom was a banker. I am not sure if I ever mentioned that before. She was a financial planner to be exact. She worked with people to help them save and make money decisions every day.

Every year around Christmas my mom would, of course, be thanked for the help she provided families. Grateful people wanting to show my mom how much they appreciated her.

That is where my favourite Christmas memory of my mom started.

My mom always supported World Vision. She had financially adopted a few children in Africa and their pictures were on my parents fridge (along with my high school boyfriends baseball picture that was up my entire marriage, my mom really liked him and I together... yup, awkward).

Anyway, back to my story, her adopted children pictures.. She never spoke about her feelings about it, my mom was a crier so it's safe to say she would just start bawling if you asked her her feelings regarding needy children.

One Christmas,  years ago, my mom informed all of us that we would not be buying gifts for each other that year. She made it abundantly clear that we were going to be cost saving and that it was about spending time together. You know, trying to get to the true meaning of Christmas (minus the religion).

Well, Christmas morning when we are all meeting in the living room my mom handed my kids envelopes, each of my kids opens their envelope to find this...

It's a paper ornament with a child on one side and a write up of what gift was given and how it helps the family/community.

Each of my children's gift was different, one was cows, another goats, one got chickens and I think a pig?? My mom explained how she donated these things to these kids and their families in each of my children's names and how it should feel good to help another.

What a beautiful moment right? My kids just fake smiled at each other.

Then she says, "This was going to be my only gift to you guys this year, until this week when I met with a family that I have worked with for 5 years and have helped make them a lot of money for retirement". She continues, "every year they come in at Christmas and give me a gift certificate to the Strathmore Station (a local restaurant my mom goes to once in a while with her friends) and I look forward to that every year.

Annoyed, she says "This year when they came in, they informed me they made a charitable donation in my name and then left" ever more flustered, she says, "what a crap gift that is."

I was dying!! Laughing so hard at my mom explaining how much she looks forward to the salad she has with her friends and how a donation in her name is so ridiculous.

Laughing at herself, she said to the kids, " I got you these (meaning the livestock for world vision), but I also got you this stuff too" and proceeded to pull out wrapped gifts, toys, chocolate and handed me an envelope with money in it.  (I was a single parent then and it was a hard time and she knew that).

The kids opened their gifts and I was laughing so hard as mom grumbled under her breath about not getting her GC this year, "I have gotten one every year" she went on. "A donation? jeez!"

Hahahahaha, still to this day thinking about that Christmas makes me laugh.

She never gave donations in our name again as gifts.


I am grateful for the happy times. Life is truly beautiful and such a gift.

I am grateful for opportunities for self improvement and learning about ones self.

I am grateful for days off. Time to rest and get ready for the holidays.

I am grateful for friends who chat on the phone and catch up.


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