December 26, 2014

The Mysterious Christmas Gift



NOTE: This article is being reposted due to a major error on the first posting. I apologize for the mishap. Carolyn

As I drank my morning coffee my eyes glanced over to the bookcase across the room, to a post office envelope sitting on the shelf, partially hidden by an a red poinsetta and an 8 x 10 picture of myself as a child in my mother’s arms, before my father beat and choked my her, almost killing her. That the picture frame had a cracked glass was appropriate, symbolic of the broken family that resulted from my father’s final attack on my mother, who was aided by a woman’s shelter in reframing a life without violence.

The envelope was addressed to the United Way of Westmoreland County in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Janelle, a friend of my neighbor, was taking the envelope and mailing it in a community unknown to me. The intent was to prevent the envelope being traced to me.

As I listened to my favorite Christmas carol, Adeste Fideles, I reflected on the envelope and the strange circumstances in which its contents came to me.

Ten days previously I’d been at a party where Santa Claus was a special guest. I couldn’t discover who this jolly old man was, and with so many men impersonating Santa this white-bearded white-haired gentleman wearing the traditional red costume it was (more…)

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