Today is Monday - three days before Christmas. I have anticipated the giving away of our first Christmas jar for several months now. Today was the day - and it went nothing like what I had imagined!
Because we know the recipients of our jar, I thought we would deliver it under the cloak of darkness and magic of Christmas Eve - my spouse thought differently. "If we deliver it a few days before Christmas, they will have time to pay bills, buy gifts, or whatever they need to do with this money, dear," he logically explained. Why does he always have to make so much sense!?
We ended up filling two jars to the brim with the silver coins saved after deciding to keep the pennies out. There were also bills mixed in as well from other family members who wanted to be a part of this too. We found an empty popcorn tin to hold the jars, a copy of the book, and a note explaining it all. We filled it with plenty of red and green tissue paper to insure safe transport, put a bow on top, and we were on our way.
As we drew closer to the designated house, he asked, "Okay, how do you want to do this?" Driving up, dropping off the tin, ringing the bell and running suddenly didn't seem to be an option on a sunny afternoon, so I asked him to pull over at the end of the block.
I got out, retrieved the heavy tin from the back of the car, and quickly sneaked across the front lawns to the house - as much as a person can "sneak" in broad daylight carrying a cumbersome object!
I placed the goods on the front steps in front of the door and ran back across the lawns to the car with my heart pounding. Done!
I quickly got back in the car, giddy with relief, and we drove away. Then a few seconds later my husband said, "I'm afraid that someone will come out of the house and trip over it where you left it. That would really be awful after all that they've been through."
"You want me to move it?" I asked, somewhat in disbelief.
"I think you should."
Back around the block we went and slipped our vehicle once again into the clandestine parking spot. This time we had to wait for the mail carrier to finish delivering the mail. Then, for the second time, I got out and quickly ran across the lawns to the front steps of the house, again hoping to remain undetected, lifted the tin and moved it over to the side of the porch.
Back to the car I ran, heart pounding even more than on the first try, got in and we were off - for sure this time!
The man of the family who received our jars mysteriously came down with a staff infection last February that developed into sepsis and was hospitalized for several months. While he tetered on the brink of death, he suffered two strokes that left his legs partially paralyzed. He underwent two major surgeries to remove pockets of infection from his spine where it had settled, and then endured months of rehabilitation.
In the time that followed, they have been inundated with mountains of bills and have sold everything that they can possibly sell - including their wedding rings.
We know that the money in these jars can in no way begin to solve this family's financial difficulties, but our hope is that they will help them to know how very much they are loved. Our first Christmas Jars couldn't have gone to a more deserving family. God bless them and all others who receive Christmas Jars this year.