The Best Gift you have ever given or RECEIVED.
When you are a parent with small children at Christmas time, gift giving becomes very tricky especially if you promote the whole “Santa thing”. Kids don’t think about Santa having a budget or limitations of any kind. He can get anything, otherwise he wouldn’t be Santa! Duh!
Parents, however, do have limits and sometimes they can only do so much.
We always told our children, when they were writing their Wish Lists, that they should not be greedy or frivolous. We stressed that they needed to really consider what they wanted and that they had to remember that there were many children in the world and only one Santa. It was possible that he might not be able to get them exactly what they wished for. We said it, but it didn’t mean they believed it, and as a mom or dad, the worst feeling in the world on Christmas morning is knowing that one special gift is not under the tree.
That is where my tale begins….
It was December 2002. Mr D was 7 years old and heavily into Marvel superheroes, an obsession that is still in effect so it was not a passing phase. The number one thing in his list to Santa was a “Spider-Man Sky Rider Playset” This was just what it sounded like: bridges, building, webs and a magnetic Spider-man that braves it all. Brand new and very popular, this proved to be a very elusive toy.
I looked everywhere for that thing! Every store I went to was sold out and no one could promise that they would be getting more in before Christmas. Even though online shopping wasn’t as common back then, I did check every web site I could find but they too were on back order. By the third week in December, I was panicking, especially since Mr D kept talking about how really hoped Santa would bring his “Spidey play set”!😬
As a last ditch effort, I called the manufacturer’s customer service number hoping someone could tell me when or where a shipment would be made in my area. The woman who answered the phone had to have heard the frantic edge in my voice as I told her about my son’s wish and my inability to find the “Sky Rider Play Set” anywhere in the known world!!
She told me that her name was Cathy and I think she might have been an elf, because, for a customer service person at a toy manufacturer a week before Christmas, she was incredibly pleasant and helpful. She searched all of the out going orders in the area but explained to me that the toy had been in such demand that they hadn’t been able to keep up the supply. I must have sounded very disappointed because finally she said,
“Let me see what I can do. Give me your phone number and I’ll call you back.”
An hour later, my angel Cathy called back. She had found a “Sky Rider Playset” in storage there at the factory and offered to ship it to me!! I was so excited I rambled off my address and thanked her about a million times. She said that she didn’t want my son to be disappointed and was happy to be able to help.
It gets better.
The Playset arrived express mail two days later totally free of charge. Instead of finding a bill enclosed within the package I found a note that said:
A gift for your son. I hope he has a very Merry Christmas! -Cathy
So, the best present I ever received was the knowledge that there are people out there willing to go above and beyond to make a child’s Christmas wish come true.