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Author Topic: Simple White Envelope
Squishy0405
Wii Wiish You A Merry Chriistmas


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I edited this from email b/c it had the > symbols, sorry if the paragraph breaks suck!

SIMPLE WHITE ENVELOPE

It's just a small white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas -- oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it -- the overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma -- the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties, and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school
he attended. Shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team
sponsored by an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged
that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together,
presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.

Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.

Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could
have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them." Mike loved kids -- all kids -- and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball, and lacrosse.

That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.

For each Christmas, I followed the tradition -- one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last
thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to cancer.

When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree,and in the morning it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad.

The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.

Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.
May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the true
Christmas spirit this year and always. God Bless! -- pass this along to those friends and loved ones who you know are the givers who understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

--------------------
"Fate is like a strange, unpopular resturant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never ask for and don't always like."-Lemony Snicket

Posts: 1119 | From: Bronx, NY | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Darn I thought this was going to be about the "White Envelope" the traditional gift of redundancy given by ailing firms around here at this time of year to their loyal employees. Complete with P45.

quote:
The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last
thing opened on Christmas morning, and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.


"Never mind that crap dad - anything good for us this year?"

--------------------
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

Posts: 997 | From: Maidstone, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Jay Temple
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Eddy, your sig seems ironic right now.

--------------------
"Well, it looks we're on our own ... again."--Rev. Lovejoy

Posts: 3572 | From: St. Louis, MO | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dropbear
Angels from the Realms so Glurgy


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Plain white envelopes give you cancer? I thought it was anthrax?

Dropbear

--------------------
" The villagers had said justice had been done, and she'd lost patience and told them to go home, then, and pray to whatever gods they believed in that it was never done to them. -- (Terry Pratchett)

Posts: 823 | From: Hobart, Tasmania | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TB Tabby
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church.
I can understand the shoes, but wrestling headgear?! What kind of church is this, Our Lady of the People's Elbow?

--------------------
I like to go down to the playground and watch the kids run and jump and scream, because they don't know I'm only using blanks.

Posts: 942 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
christmas tree kitapper
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Squishy0405:

SIMPLE WHITE ENVELOPE

It's just a small white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas -- oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it -- the overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma -- the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.


Frankly, anyone who can't give anything more imaginative than ties and powder to relatives shouldn't be giving gifts in the first place anyhow.

And I hope you haven't wrenched your arm by patting yourself so admiringly on the back, there, lady.

--------------------
"I have never in my life been more disappointed by a politician I voted for than I have been with George Bush. He is a total liberal."- overheard by me on the shuttle to the U of A game on Nov. 11th.

Posts: 3878 | From: Tucson, AZ | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Spamamander in a pear tree
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I'm trying to figure out what kind of school athletic league would let young wrestlers participate without the appropriate safety gear...

--------------------
"There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning." -Albert Einstein

Posts: 1058 | From: Yakima, WA | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Class Bravo
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Yeah, really...that was the first thing that came to my mind too. I don't think they would even be allowed to do that.
Posts: 918 | From: Southern CA | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
ParaDiddle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Squishy0405:
{edit}. . . an inner-city church. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged
that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together. . . {edit}

I, with full knowledge of perpetuating an urban stereotype, submit the following.

In what "inner-city" do young athletes wear ragged "sneakers"?

- P

Posts: 1856 | From: Milwaukee, WI | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
NeeCD
Happy Holly Days


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OK, not to defend the glurge, but TB Tabby, the headgear was the main point of why this woman felt sorry for the kids - obviously if they had had headgear, they wouldn't have lost every match. And Spamamander, it was a church sponsored non-league team, not a school league, so - again obviously - they were counting on the baby jebus to protect the young athletes.

Glad I could clear that up for you. [Razz]

Edited to get names right.

--------------------
I wondered why the Frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK!" and other lingo mean?

Posts: 1720 | From: Stafford Hamlet, OR | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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quote:
I can understand the shoes, but wrestling headgear?! What kind of church is this, Our Lady of the People's Elbow?
[lol]

--------------------
"For me, religion is like a rhinoceros: I don't have one, and I'd really prefer not to be trampled by yours. But it is impressive, and even beautiful, and, to be honest, the world would be slightly worse off if there weren't any."
-Silas Sparkhammer

Posts: 3239 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TB Tabby
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Ah, I see...I really need to read these more carefully before I comment. Problem is, I have a low tolerance for self-righteous drivel like this.

--------------------
I like to go down to the playground and watch the kids run and jump and scream, because they don't know I'm only using blanks.

Posts: 942 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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