Secret Santa

So you know when you see something moving- sweet expressions of kindness and the like – and you get that lump in your throat?  Apparently, physiologically speaking, that’s your vagal nerve being stimulated.  Some researchers believe that this reaction between our brain and vagal nerve is how empathy is hard-wired into the human body.  This is a supremely comforting thought for me.

Image via Wallpaper Web

Today I present a little collection of Secret Santa stories that I’ve heard over the last couple of years.  Because for a lot of us, at its core this time of year is about goodwill, generosity and a little dose of faith – whether it’s in magic, humanity, or God.

Last week I read about a rash of anonymous shoppers paying off the lay-away accounts of families saving up for their kids’ Chrsitmas purchases at Kmart. All across the U.S., just pennies remain (to keep the accounts active in the system) as the balance of Christmas layaways are paid for those who struggle to bring a little Christmas magic home.  More surprising still, this amazing gesture has grown organically all on its own and all over the country.  No marketing ploy, just good folks trying to spread some holiday cheer.

Vintage Felt Christmas Elves via Ruby Lane

If you didn’t hear about The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson, and her Christmas Giftcard Miracle of 2010 it’s inspired and worth  a read now (or try the Washington Post’s story about it here).  Last year, Jenny gave away some giftcards to readers in need of some holiday cheer.  And let’s just say the power of the internet took over, allowing her to pair people in need with those with the heart to give, and all in all strangers gifted other strangers with more than $40,000 worth of giftcards so kids who wouldn’t have, had something to unwrap Christmas morning.  It was pretty incredible.

Image via Junkaholique of his beautiful vintage bauble collection

And finally this video via The New York Times is sure to bring a tear to your eye, as a Manhattan couple find themselves inundated with misdirected Santa letters and struggle with what they ought to do.  There are a lot of  dreams in those letters.  Grab your tissues.

Well I think I’m going to go donate a toy to a toy drive now.  And then deliver some holidays cookies around the neighbourhood.  Happy Holidays all!

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