The Envelope Under the Tree

Do you know someone who always seems to have a story to share?  That person who can turn the everyday occurrences of life into an event that must be shared?  That would describe Harry.  He is one of our Loan Officers and has seemingly a million stories that always have an underlying moral.  Perhaps that’s part of the allure.  Anyway, this is one of his stories.  I hope you enjoy it.

“The year I turned nine, everything about Christmas changed for me. That year my Mom and Dad simply exchanged envelopes in place of the usual gifts. The content created the most joy I had ever seen on my parents’ faces. They each had selected a charity to donate in the name of the other.  The details of the donation were packaged in a simple envelope that lay under the tree. I don’t remember exactly what my Dad received but I do remember my Mom’s gift that year. My Dad had taken some of my Christmas “stuff” and added to it for gifts to children who might not have received anything for Christmas. He presented my Mom with a list of the children and the gifts they received.

‘Each year the exchange of Christmas envelopes continued. The creativity and generosity continued to increase over the years. I remember years when a particular family was the recipient of one of the Gifts. Another time our church’s youth group was involved in spreading the joy by helping with the delivery. It was never a question of who could spend the most, the goal was to do the most possible to spread the Christmas message while staying within the budget. As I got older, I was enlisted to help. Sworn to secrecy until Christmas morning, the experience of helping with the Christmas exchange profoundly influenced my own thinking.

 ‘The best part of any worthwhile tradition is the opportunity to pass it on to the next generation. This is one I intend to continue.”

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