Recently my daughter’s school had a shoebox collection for under-privileged children in Third World countries.
These children wouldn’t normally have any presents at all, so the idea of the appeal is to fill the shoebox with all kinds of goodies they can open on Christmas Day.
We filled ours with dolls, teddies, toiletries, jewellery, pens, pencils and so on, and one of the biggest thrills of Christmas this year will be thinking about those children, unwrapping their carefully selected gifts.
It reminds me of when I “adopted” an old man called Ben, who used to be our neighbour some years ago.
He wasn’t married and while he spent Christmas Day with his son and daughter-in-law, for the rest of the time he was alone.
One year I decided that I was going to be his secret Santa.
I got a big box and filled it with cakes, sweets, one-person games, puzzles, a bottle of wine, books, lots of food and much, much more.
I took it round to his house one quiet afternoon, rang the bell and then ran to a nearby hedge to watch him open the door.
He looked around for a few moments; saw the package and took it inside.
I was so happy I could hardly contain myself.
The look on his face was amazing.
The next year I tried the same thing again but he was waiting for me.
“So it was you!” he said, as the door flew open.
I admitted it was, and he gave me a big hug and happily took my latest present from ‘Santa.’
For the next few years I always filled a box for Ben, until he sadly passed away shortly after Christmas 2007.
I would recommend anyone being a secret Santa to a person less fortunate than yourself.
You will make a person very, very happy and believe me, the feeling you get from doing such a simple but important task is something you just can’t describe.