Last year, I wrote about how I happened to be in my magic special place -- Target -- and saw a mom using one of our Helping Hooker gift cards to make Christmas happen for her family. As you all well know, I think Target is magical and amazing things happen there and most importantly, they have themed Sharpies. Hello '80's GLAM! They're all turquoise and shimmery and eyeshadow-y colors that haven't been seen since Adam Ant. Because that man can ROCK blue-on-purple eyeshadow.
It was crazy and surreal and despite my being really cynical about if we could actually convince women to send gift cards and letters and presents to complete strangers, it all seemed to happen. And Lydia totally enjoyed doing her happy dance and saying how all people are good and want to be kind and helpful.
And so this year, we were like "LET'S DO IT AGAIN! But less porny. And with more sleep and less cursing.
And we TOTALLY succeeded in the less porniness and more sleeping and possibly less cursing with the exception of the e-mail thinking we were actual digital hookers and kept sending the vice squad after us to lock us down for a couple hours. But we won, not because of any super skillzzzz but because I'm pretty sure the internet just got tired of supervising us.
But...we also learned this past week, in one of those bone-jarring heart-wrenching kind of ways, that not all people are good, and despite kind and helpful strangers, bad prevailed over good in Connecticut. I mention this for two very important reasons. One, because of the nature of my job, I -- sometimes fantastically and sometimes tragically -- have a front row to these kind of events. All day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I spent my waking hours in the tragic front row, trying to make sense of what happened for myself, and then through your TVs all over America and around the world, trying to help you all make sense of the same thing.
When I got home from a very long Friday, Happy greeted me at the door. "Daddy said you maybe had a bad day at work and needed a hug." And then wrapped those monkey arms around my neck and my head and held on. [Editor's Note: Really, they're quite long...he can scratch the back of his own knees. While standing straight up. - Kate]
Late on Sunday, I sat down at the computer to get through some emails and pay attention to everything that I had neglected the previous three days. And that's when I found all of you...
There were letters in our inbox, and messages to our Facebook account, and posts on our Wall. There were notes saying not only thank you to angels who had sent cards, but messages from moms who had read the thank you that was intended for them. They all started the same -- thanking Lydia and Guru and me. But really, it's me who needs to thank you.
Thank you for pulling me back from the edge, when sadness and sorrow and heartache seem to fill the room like Dementors, making everything cold and dark. Thank you for showing me that even if this year was no better than last year, you wanted to give back this time because you got something last year. Thank you to the moms who gave from addresses that include the letters APO. Thank to you that mom who wrote and said "I got TWO amazing gift cards. Is it OK if I share one?" Thank you for sharing with us the pictures of sweet, happy children with missing teeth and messy hair who will wrap their monkey arms around their mommies on Christmas morning, still knowing Santa is as magical and wonderful as he was last year.
The New York Sun said in an 1897 letter to a little girl named Virginia that Santa Claus existed "as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus...Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus...Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world."
We may not see a man in a red velour suit (shut up, Randy) but Santa most certainly exists. He may be called Sinter Klaus, and Saint Nicholas and Kris Kringle. But he's also called Sarah in California, and Megan in Pennsylvania, and Rebekah and Rebeccah and Rebecca. Around here we know Santa as Barbara in Arkansas and Lauren in Virginia and Linda in Vermont. You're the reason magic still exists, that cookies and milk get put on the fireplace before bed, and that children listened for jingle bells in the middle of the night. You made Christmas.
Thank you for being an unseen wonder.
P.S. But truly, the best part? When you guys inadvertently wrote porny stuff like this:
- "...and I can't wait to be a hooker next year!"
- "...couldn't do it this year, but please count me in as one of your Hookers next year!"
- "Next year I'm going to be giving out the hooker love. Wait. What?"
- "...and my husband said hopefully I can be a hooker next Christmas..."
- "Get me some thigh-high boots and purple eyeshadow girls! We'll be hooking it up next year too!"
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012