nothing short of a Christmas miracle

One of my dearest friends recently asked what I was hoping Santa would bring me for Christmas. After the year I've had, I didn't have high expectations and merely hoped he wouldn't fill my stocking with coal.

The first two months of divorce have been a financial nightmare. Adjusting to my new life has been a challenge, and mounting debt and court rulings have stung deep. I couldn't eat dinner with Amara today because spending money on my share of the meal would have been quite the burden to my bank account.

But sure enough, Santa made a special delivery to my (second) home this weekend. I couldn't help but tear up. I was told Santa thought I could use a little bit of magic. In a moment when I thought all was lost, I found myself in my favorite city, alongside my precious daughter, with the magic of the holiday surrounding us both. Definitely the work of the Big Guy.

But Santa wasn't done.

After forcing my daughter to skate by herself because I could not justify spending an extra $10 to rent skates for myself, we walked around Chicago, hitting the no-cost attractions: viewing the Marshall Field's tree, reflecting upon Cloud Gate, and enjoying Christkindlemarket. But an unexpected thing happened as we perused glass ornaments and schnitzel.

A complete stranger gave Amara and I two tickets to see War Horse at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

And they weren't just any tickets. These were center stage second row loge level seats. On a day I worried I wouldn't have enough money to fill my gas tank to get home, two women performed this random act of kindness. Because I was left speechless and in tears, they never will know how much cheer this brought my heart.

Yet Santa had one more surprise. Admitting to my daughter I could not afford to buy one book at the American Girl store is a quite sobering experience. I haven't been able to buy Amara everything she's asked for for Christmas this year. So imagine my shock when I heard Santa had a sack filled with toys for Amara to bring home to Cleveland. Again, I was unable to control the tears.

Holidays are brightest when we help those in need. And the course of events in the last 24 hours are nothing short of a Christmas miracle. I will be unable to reciprocate the generosity displayed by my personal santas. But their selfless acts will remain with me forever.


  1. The Warhorse story made me cry. Wishing you a very happy Christmas filled with love and a much, much better 2013.

  2. Laurie, I'm not sure why they chose us but I am so grateful to those two women. I know 2013 will be spectacular. And I know it will be a good one for you too!


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