I’m harkening back to Christmas. You can call me a cheater. Go ahead. It’s still a great story. And it really belongs in my The People category…but since I’m “cheating” anyway, who needs to quibble about post organization right now.
Yes, this means I failed to execute today as well. I chose showering over running the Mother Theresa poems to the library. I hadn’t in two days. Showered that is. I knew if I didn’t take the window I had before the kids were out of school it’d go to day three. I’m not a night shower-er.
That being said this is an AWESOME way to be anonymous and do for others. I didn’t strategize this. Happy accidents like this have been happening a lot these days.
So, my in-laws have this interesting tradition of telling each other what they would like for Christmas. And yes, they are grown ups. Some of them eschew that info all together and buy not-so-awesome gifts with absolutely no personal connection. Just stuff.
The in-laws are actually a wonderful crowd; I’m so grateful I married into such a fun, vibrant and smart family. So this Christmas weirdness has been only mildly annoying.
However, this year I asked them, URGED them in a formal email that in lieu of gifts for me, would they please donate to a cause or person that was near and dear to their hearts.
There was the Hole in the Wall gang and water.org, to name a couple.
But my favorite was my sister-in-law’s choice. She’s a high school teacher in a low-income, high crime high school. Most of her students have family and friends in jail or known someone who has died from gang violence.
My sis-in-law (heretofore known as SIL) teaches junior and senior AP English with her Doctorate in education. She’s been teaching there for seventeen years, going to work in her Lily Pulitzer clothes, pushing her students to be who she knows they can be, listening to their challenges, making the occasional lunch for those in need, and dancing the Harlem Shake on her desk.
She donated what money she would have spent on me to two exceptional students My husband totally got jipped by the way. He DID NOT request the “in lieu of” presents, I DID! Guilty by association. But as you must have guessed from the lost wedding rings story, he had no complaints.
One of the students was a young woman; a junior on track to be Valedictorian next year all the while her family resides in a homeless shelter. My SIL made it possible for that girl to go to prom with all the trimmings.
The other student was a male senior. GPA 3.86 despite having an awful family life, of which she would not detail as she protects the privacy of her students. He couldn’t afford to go to prom either and most definitely not the clothes to wear to one. My SIL parlayed my Christmas request into a full prom ride – all expenses paid. Including the tux rental.
Those kids don’t know my name.
That’s exactly how I like it.
Honestly, who’s hating on me now?