Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Santa Anna


I LOVE Christmas!  We attended a beautiful candlelight Christmas Eve Service last night at our church to celebrate the birth of Jesus!  It is always one of my favorite services of the year - I love the candles, love seeing families worshiping together and love all of the Christmas music.

I love our time spent with our family.  This is the first year that all of our girls are not able to be home on Christmas Day.  Rachel and Faith are here today and we will truly enjoy being with them. I am sure it is going to be a great day! 

Sarah is a surgical intensive care nurse and is working and caring for others today.  Proud of her - she has some of Canton's famous Heggy's chocolate and our homemade Christmas cookies at work with her today to share with her fellow nurses and doctors. 

Anna is also working today - at Youth Villages in Memphis - she is a Behavior Youth Counselor and works with kids who have had pretty tough lives for a lot of different reasons.  She decided that rather than feel sorry for herself for not being able to be home on Christmas Day she would do something to bless "her"  kids!  She sent an email to family and friends that was very touching - here
is what she wrote -


Hello Everyone!

 
As some of you may know, I will be spending Christmas day with the kids at Youth Villages. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, so I want to try to make this a special day for the kids that i work with! Since I have worked very closely with two different cottages this year, I want to provide both cottages with stockings "from Santa" to open on Christmas morning.

 
There are 11 boys in the cottage that I currently work in and 12 girls in the cottage I used to work in. I am interested in getting socks, markers, coloring books, small toys, puzzle books, candy, etc. for the boys. For the girls, I would like to get scarves, books, gloves, devotionals, undergarments, makeup, yarn for crocheting/knitting, hair products, etc. One of the girls with be giving birth to a baby girl in February so it would be awesome to get her a few things for her child (bottles, diapers, clothing, etc). The girls are ages 15-17. The boys are ages 13-17 and lower functioning, so some of them are interested in things meant for younger age groups. 

 
I am looking for donations to help me fill these stockings. If you are interested in contributing, I know the kids will be VERY appreciative! 

 
This year has been quite the learning experience for me. I have definitely realized how incredibly blessed I am to have family and friends who love and support me, something most of these kids do not have! I would love to be able to share my blessings with these kids, some of whom have never received a Christmas present before. It will mean a lot to me to be able to see the smiles on their faces when they wake up on Christmas and have a few small gifts to open. 
 
Well, the response to her email was truly amazing!  This was such a huge outpouring of love and generosity!  She received almost $1700 in checks, and  gifts for her kids!!  She would tell me everyday that when the mail arrived there were more checks and more boxes full of gifts for her kids!
 
She was able to fill 10 stockings and 48 gift bags for them!!  She shopped  for and wrapped all these gifts and Santa arrived early this morning and last night - it took several trips on his sleigh to get everything there but it is ready for the kids to find this morning when they wake up! 
 
The kids won't know that Anna ( or Santa Anna as we call her!) was behind this - they will just be told that Santa came!  Anna shared with me last night that she heard one of the boys saying his prayers and praying that Santa would come!  Ah..............  :) 
 
And besides all the gifts, Anna will be making waffles, and cinnamon rolls for the kids to enjoy today.  She also baked cut out cookies and the kids will decorate them.  I am certain that this will be a Christmas that these kids will never forget - and I am sure that Anna will always cherish this day as well! 
 
My heart is full thinking of all of this happening - in fact my heart is overflowing !!!  I am so proud of Anna and the difference she is making in these kids lives!!! And I am so touched by the huge outpouring of love from our friends and family!  Thanks to all who donated - I hope your heart is full of joy today as well - you truly made a difference in the lives of these kids!! 
 
We are truly, truly blessed!  And as our Christmas card says - It is a WONDERFUL Life!!! 
 
 
 
 
I created our card with My Digital Studio (MDS).  MDS allows you to personalize all four panels of the card - she here's what I did -
 


 
So fun to create and personalize just the way I want!!
 
I also created a smaller post card that I will share tomorrow!
 
Merry Merry Christmas!!!  May you have a truly wonderful day as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord. 
 
 
here are a few snippets of our home at Christmas -
 


 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And from Charlie and Benny who have now become best friends, Merry Christmas!!
 
 

2 comments:

  1. Laura, you are blessed. You have a beautiful family and home. Merry Christmas. Beverlee

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    Replies
    1. Hi Beverlee - Thank you! Merry Christmas to you, too!

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