An unforgotten Christmas


Connor Purcell

I walked through the cheap, metallic door that glimmered under the shining moon and the descending snowflakes. In my living room, under the snow-bitten pine lay a blanket, barren of presents. Christmas Eve had always been my favorite holiday; the day that my family gives each other gifts and opens our own. However, this was the year 2003 and my family’s finances had seen better times; with all hopes of this great holiday lost, I remember seeing two church members walk through that same metallic door, with presents stacked one upon another. Awe filled my innocent eyes and joy filled my young heart; a doomed holiday then saved.   

 This great Christmas that was had many years ago was primarily due to the assistance we received from a local church in West Olive. This anonymous church desired to “adopt” a family for the holiday of Christmas, through Salvation Army. 2003 was a year after my parents had gotten a divorce, and with my mother being a single parent of 3 young boys, times were difficult and meeting ends was achieved through lengthy work hours. From this shown need, we were gratefully selected. Toddler toys were given to me and my brothers, gift cards for my mother, and clothes for all; each and every present was professionally wrapped and made the appearance all the more glamourous. I remember seeing the large smiles on everyone’s faces in my family as I held up my new lego set; the little plastic pieces glistened pristinely; I had never felt more loved.

  WIN WO is another program/organization that aids younger-aged kids so that they may get presents at Christmas; this program/organization takes place through WO annually. Each year, a first-hour classroom is assigned a young child with certain interests. These interests range from clothes, toys, accessories, etc. When I discovered that this organization is relatable to my past experiences with the Salvation Army, I was intrigued. The Salvation Army purchased presents for my family based on requests made from my mother. She gave them ideas based on her own interests and her 3 boys. What these two organizations do on the holidays is beyond amazing for not only children in need, but the families, too.

  The reason why these programs are so beneficial to the children and the children’s families is quite obvious; children love to get new toys and parents usually love the joy that these objects give to their young ones. When families are in need, there are many programs like the ones previously stated. For example, with little research I was able to acquire information on Make-a-Wish Foundation, Prison Fellowship Organization, ToysForTots, and ToyBox. With countless more organizations, it really goes to show that there are people out there that are willing to help those in need on the holidays. These organizations range worldwide, but what the Salvation Army and WIN WO do ranges in our local school district. It is amazing to see people help one another with gift giving non-locally, but when you discover that this may be happening next door, it’s extraordinary.

  The feeling of both receiving and giving Christmas presents is a true delight, but most of these presents come at a cost. For some of the families as generally spoken upon previously, these costs have exceeded their budgets. Heartbroken at the thought of their children’s sorrow and disappointment when Christmas morning arrives, it is organizations like WIN WO that save the day. From organizations like this, I have never had another Christmas where I haven’t seen presents under a Christmas tree. I know that gifts aren’t supposed to be all of what Christmas is about, but to a lot of younger aged children as I was, nothing made me happier than being with my family and opening gifts. These organizations are vital in our modern day society and the fact that we allow one organization to work through our school for elementary school children is amazing. I never want another to experience a Christmas without receiving presents as my family had almost dealt with; organizations like WIN WO and the Salvation Army are needed and will continue to be throughout the future. Families need to know that they are appreciated and sons and daughters need to know that they are loved.