Friday, December 21, 2012

Yes, Virginia. There Is A Santa Claus

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.

xoxo Kate

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!"
And you know that that means, right? Shoe shopping! As for the purple eyeshadow, I have just the right Sharpie for that. 

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012


  1. You guys better still be hooking in three years so I can join once I've finished uni and got a job!

  2. Kate & Lydia,
    I sent an email in for my friend with out her knowing because I knew she needed a little extra help for her and her two boys. When I went over yesterday to drop off the two small gifts that was all I could afford to share she was beaming from ear to ear. She said someone has donated a small Christmas tree to her and the boys so she had kept them home to decorate it from school that day. She also said " I went to my mailbox two days ago and an envelope was addressed to me with a return address I didn't recognize. I almost tossed it into the garbage thinking it was a bill. Instead I put it on a stack on my kitchen counter. My older son Jacob ended opening it because he said it looked like Christmas mail not a bill and he was right!! Inside was a gift card to Walmart!! I grabbed the card and had no idea who the lady was that had signed it but I am so thankful! My boys where jumping up and down saying we can go get Christmas dinner now mom!". I was thrilled for her and very misty eyed at this point. You see her children sometimes go without the basics of even milk because their mom has sever anxiety in crowds so she sometimes can't even wait in the foodbank lines some weeks. I always try to check in on them & take milk, eggs, & bread. But with a family of four boys myself it can be hard as well to do all the time. SO THANK YOU to whoever had my friend's name in Yelm, WA. From one hooker to another hooker I am so grateful!! You just made her children's Christmas dinner wish come true. Her oldest loves to cook in case your wondering why they are so excited. I think he will be the next Chef Ramsey one day!

    Amanda H

    1. Ugly cry...heart warming and lovely. Merry Christmas!

  3. I just wrote my thank you note to my Hooker...the truth is, there are no words to adequately describe the love between the Hooker and hookee, we are all amazeball Hookers, especially the 3 of you for believing one person CAN make a difference. Look how many one people are changing the world. My son picked out a toy for tots, which we couldn't have done without the gc we received. Thank you for the opportunity to teach and pay it forward. And dizzy will be psyched to get a light saber under the tree! Xoxoxo

  4. I loved reading this! And I loved seeing all of the thank you's and gratefulness throughout the world! I sent my gift card to Oregon but.. before I could put my family picture and letter that I wrote the mama in the card, my husband did his ONE GOOD DEED of the year and sent out all the Christmas cards, including that one, with just my signature and the gift card. I'll be darn if I didn't delete the email after addressing the envelope.. So I sure hope my mama match received her (very bland and boring) card! Merry Christmas, Hookers!!

  5. Yep, you made me cry. You guys are the best hookers in the history of ever!

  6. So yesterday after a crazy work week, that culminated in the 9 month old with double ear infection (how's that for a well check visit!) and waiting on the 2.5 yr old strep test results (2nd in 10 days, thankfully this time the culture came back negative last night), and my crazy dying dog barking his head off for no reason other than the wind was blowing... I checked my mail and there was a thank you card from the mom in CA. She included the sweetest picture of her daughter and twin baby boys and in that picture I realized that as crazy as my week was, perspective is again everything. Amazeballs ladies - you provided all of us perspective, healing, hope and the ability to remember that good does prevail. The happiest of holidays to all of you!

  7. Here's a big hug for you Kate {{{hug}}} and a heartfelt thank you for writing this beautiful message. And thank you to all of Mommyland for your love and generosity and devotion. Merry Christmas!

  8. Is this Mommyland?!




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