Thrift Shop Christmas

"I love our tree, Mom!" - Happy kid, happy mom.

“I love our tree, Mom!” – Happy kid, happy mom.

This is a story of how a stressed out mom and a 3-year-old boy almost ruined Christmas and how friends, Value Village and Macklemore saved the day.

2013 had not been the best year of her life and as December approached she had every intention of making Christmas a special time for her and her son to remember.

An advent calendar – Check!
The Elf on the Shelf – Check!
Gifts bought for the boy – Check!
Christmas Cards ordered – Check!

And it all went downhill from there. The days passed so quickly, the cards didn’t get sent. No decorations were out! Finally, on the Eve of Christmas Eve, she wrapped all the presents, filled the stocking and hid everything in a closet underneath the stairs.

Family came over and she breathed a sigh of relief, at least Santa would be good to her son.

Then the house was quiet, someone wondered where the children were and they were discovered amidst the wrapping in the closet underneath the stairs.

Every gift was unwrapped, even the stocking had been dumped.

It is an understatement to say that Momma lost her cool.

“Christmas is ruined! I am so upset! How could you do this?” And to time-outs the kids went.

She told all her friends and cried through the night. Wisdom and love were shared, it took a while to let go of her anger but she let the words of her friends sink in:

You have every right to be angry but that is only a small part of Christmas. His Christmas is not ruined–He still has the presents and a great mom who loves him. – Dana Wheatley, Calgary Playground Review

Take a huge deep breath. Pour a big glass of wine. Picture yourself twenty five years from now listening to Max telling you his three year old did the same thing. And think about how you would tell him to be kind and still find the magic for your precious grandson. Drink another glass of wine, shake it off, and respond with love. It’s just presents. He’s just a little guy tempted by something exciting and it doesn’t ruin a thing unless you let it. Truly. – Sarah Deveau, Doing All The Things

Grab him, look him in the eyes and say, “MAX, Christmas is about LOVE. You found the presents and that ruined the surprise, but nothing, NOTHING can ever ruin my love for you. Let’s remember that this Christmas, OK?” What about writing a letter to Max from Santa? I’m using this letterhead for a giftcard, maybe you could write a letter saying I am sorry you found my gifts early, but that never erases the Christmas Spirit… – Michelle Davies, Everything Mom

Kids. Are. The. Worst. – Catherine Dabels, The Dabels Divulge

Christmas Eve shopping at Value Village - 2013 will always be remembered as "The Macklemore Christmas" for me.

Christmas Eve shopping at Value Village – 2013 will always be remembered as “The Macklemore Christmas” for me.

She went to work on Christmas Eve and got off at noon, headed to Value Village and started singing a tune.

“I’m gonna pop some tags. Only got twenty dollars in my pocket…”

On the way in, she got a text from a friend, “I have an extra tree, can I drop it off for you and Max?”

So, along with “new” toys from Santa, she threw in some ornaments to remember this year by.

Christmas Eve became beautiful and full of joy.

Christmas Morning brought surprises for Max and peace for his mom who realized one of her greatest gifts this year was the wisdom of friends.

Letter from Santa to Max - 2013

Letter from Santa to Max – 2013

 

Scooter-Riding Penguin ornament from Value Village

Scooter-Riding Penguin ornament from Value Village

Jolly Snowman ornament from Value Village.

Jolly Snowman ornament from Value Village.

Bearded Santa felt ornament from Value Village.

Bearded Santa felt ornament from Value Village.

Dancing Santa ornament from Value Village.

Dancing Santa ornament from Value Village.

A hand-written gift tag from a friend turned into one of my favorite Christmas Tree decorations.

A hand-written gift tag from a friend turned into one of my favorite Christmas Tree decorations.

Please share your horrible and wonderful Christmas stories and commiserate with me!

 

 

6 Comments

  • Jody Robbins says:

    Love this. You really saved the day. As bad as it was at the time, that’s one Christmas you’ll never forget.

  • Vicky says:

    Misty, this is so precious. Thank you for for showing thee human side of being a Mom. The letter from Santa is so very special. My son has received amazing for Christmas gifts from Value Village for Christmas before.

    I’m going to share your blog with some folks from Value Village who I’m connected with through work.

  • Astrid says:

    I love the dancing Santa! He makes all the craziness worth it. Unlucky 13 is over and i am sure 2014 will bring wonderful things.

  • You know I don’t really think kids are the worst, right?

    Well, not always anyway….

  • Maija says:

    I love this story… the true meaning of Christmas 🙂

  • Aunt Sharon says:

    Thank you for the sweet Christmas story. What a great story to tell at Max’s graduation party or wedding!

    I pray that 2014 brings you the joy and peace you deserve!

    Hugs to you and Max!
    Love,
    Aunt Sharon

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