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  • Nickole Kanyuch

Christmas in July

“It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.”

-Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Many apologies on our backlog, however, with July just around the corner, it seems appropriate to remember last Christmas with a Christmas in July post. As 2016 came to a close last December, SeizingPsych watched the goodness of mankind accumulate in many, many ways. The story begins over a decade ago, when what was a small family of three was struggling to find Christmas. The bank hardly allowed for a trip to the grocery store, much less Santa’s workshop. A single mom with two children, Kristan didn’t know what she was going to do that year - keep her son alive or put Christmas under the tree? As her daughter, that was the first time I saw Christmas for what it was. Getting off the ice that December I found a giftcard for tennis shoes with my skate bag so I wouldn’t be practicing jumps off-ice in tights. I found a skating dress in my bag and ice time magically appeared in my name in the cashier’s booth. All the things that our family couldn't afford were coming together. However, I didn’t see Christmas in those things. I saw Christmas in the many anonymous and kind souls that helped myself and my family by giving these things out of the goodness of their hearts.

This past year, I was blessed to see Christmas again. Thanks to the many donations Seizing Psych received in collaboration with Pinland Bowling, Raven’s Nest No. 40, and more friends - known and unknown - than we can count, another family struggling with the financial stresses of severe mental illness woke up to a delivery from Santa on Christmas day. While I and the rest of us here at SeizingPsych cannot thank those of you who contributed enough, I am also at a loss of words to communicate my gratitude to Kelly for allowing us to be a part of her family’s Christmas this year. Watching so much selfless kindness and generosity come together, and being a part of something so much larger than myself was a beautiful and overwhelming experience. I have had only a taste of what this family has experienced, and only watched the kind of illnesses these children live with, but it means so much to have had the opportunity to make their lives a little easier - just as was done for me so many years ago - if only for a day. Kelly graciously allowed us to share her children’s Christmas morning, and their smiles and excitement are proof that hope and joy can still be found in our world today, that Christmas is more than a package under a tree - and that Christmas exists within each of us.

So many thanks to our elves, I hope you all had a very, very Merry Christmas and that you are still able to find that Christmas now despite the season being months behind us


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