Pictures with Santa

The donations and support poured out to Cridge Transition House this Christmas was astounding and made Christmas so special for the women and children who were being sheltered over the holidays.  The heartfelt generosity brought me to tears more than once. In all of the overwhelming, big, gratitude moments, there were also some very special small moments.  In all of the busyness of doing the work and daily living, with Christmas layered on top, I want to tell you about a small moment that took my breath away.

At my own home, I’ve always relished the traditional pictures of kids with Santa displayed prominently on my fridge.  First, it was pictures of my own kids, then grandchildren and the children of my children’s now-adult friends. I don’t know what it is about these pictures – maybe the hopeful, excited faces exuding confidence that they made it to the Nice List and stayed off the Naughty List! Maybe it’s just part of the Christmas magic.  Whatever it is, those pictures cheer me, sustain me, and make me chuckle.

As I rushed through the transition house kitchen on a typically busy December morning, something on the fridge caught my eye.  There was a picture of Santa with two of the little boys currently living at the house, stuck to the fridge door with a magnet.  Knowing these two well, it was amazing in and of itself to see them sitting still long enough to have their picture taken.  But it was sitting with Santa with beaming smiles – the confident Nice List faces – that stopped in my tracks.  Those little faces on the fridge door magically transformed our shelter into a home – a safe place where your child’s picture with Santa belongs.  Like the pictures on my fridge, that picture cheers me, sustains me, and makes me chuckle. And this one reminds me of how blessed I am that a mom who has endured so much, is able to enjoy and share some Christmas magic with me. I wish her many years of a safe, loving home with a fridge covered in Santa pictures.

By Marlene Goley, Manager of The Cridge Transition House for Women