My absolute favorite company memory of all time and will be forever: Angus Christmas Miracle.
When our girls were “little” – say Tessa was about 13 and Callie was maybe 9, I used to decorate the office and bring in food for our potluck. Tom and I would cut down an extra fresh tree in Montana for the office and I’d decorate it. This one Christmas, I’m guessing some where in the range of 1993 to 1995, we had a ton of food left over. It was just before Christmas so I decided to call St. Xavier Catholic Church, the closest in proximity to us, to find out who was the most needy family in the parish. I learned of a family with a single mother with two very little girls that had absolutely nothing.
I got the address which was, surprisingly, close to us. The girls and I loaded the Christmas tree, lights, ornaments and all (even a Christmas Angel on the top), into Tom’s red van and headed over just as the sky was starting to get dark. We drove up, unloaded the tree, placed it upright along the side of the front door; rang the doorbell; scrambled back into the van to watch. A young mom opened the door with two little girls peaking between each side of her long legs. Didn’t take her long to see the tree. The little girl’s faces were indescribably surprised.
But, that wasn’t all. We headed back to the plant, loaded up all the extra food (and there was a lot: deli meats, cheeses, deviled eggs, breads, cookies, brownies – the lot), and headed back. We drove up to the house. The tree was already up and brightly lit in the front picture window. Although now they know our van. The littlest angel of the family (maybe 4 or 5) saw us through the window and started jumping up and down screaming. We had to hurry before their mom saw us. It took a couple of trips to set the food on the porch, but we got it done without being detected. As we were running back to the van, attempting to scramble in, the mom opened the front door. She hollered out to us, “Wait!!” I yelled back, “No worries about the food – it’s all good. Merry Christmas!!” In the cold night, she called, “Thank you ….thank you so much!!” The girls and I laughed and smiled all the way home. I will never forget that little angel jumping up and down.
What did we learn that night? You give in dollars, the giving trees, food bags, baskets, etc. but you never really see the difference it truly makes. We did that day, and the real pleasure, or gift I should say, was that my girls felt it too. I think this precious experience is why my girls are so generous in their own way today. The gift was ours.