Considering this holiday arose from the severed head of a wild boar I think it’s actually worked out pretty well.

So this year was the 9th Annual Jame Garfield Miracle and if you followed it you probably know that it was filled with more awesomeness than ever and also more angst than ever.  It makes sense, I guess.  It grows and grows and the successes and failures grow with it.  Honestly, I got frustrated several times and I considered making this the last year, but seeing the response from the people who were able to help and to be helped makes me realize that it’s worth the frustration.  Important and worthwhile things are hard…if they were easy everyone would be doing them.

There’s never any guarantee that everyone will be helped (and in fact that would be impossible because the needs are always so great) but the willingness and desire to help everyone is there and I hope you felt it.  Even if only one person was helped it was worth it, and there were so many.  I’m already watching comments and emails come in from people who are so incredibly grateful on behalf of their children.  Project Night Night was floored by our support and sent lovely pictures that I can’t share for privacy reasons but which made me so happy that I’m part of this community.

It’s hard to measure it precisely but I estimate that since 2009 over $450,000 has been given to help Christmas/Hanukkah happen for underprivileged kids and that’s mind-boggling.  Just stranger helping stranger with no expectation except to make life easier for each other.  It began nine years ago as an earnest gesture of someone trying to help someone else, regardless of the outcome…and that’s what it still is today.  That’s what the holidays are all about.  This is our gift.  It’s the gift we give to ourselves and no matter if we helped 100 people or 100,000 I’m so proud to be a part of this.  I hope you are too.

If you helped others this year, thank you.  You give others hope.  You give me hope.  Even if you weren’t able to gift children you should know that you helped. This year I gave out $7k in toys and coats and books to kids who needed help and that money came from you…from the money I make here and from book sales and calendar sales.  If you are here then you helped.  Thank you.

If you were helped I hope you feel the same joy that we felt in helping.  So many people who were helped in the past come in future years to help others.   It’s a way of giving back and I’m so grateful that you let us be part of your holiday.

If you abused the system then, well, I’m sure you have a very hard life.  I can’t imagine it was easy to make a decision like that and perhaps you had your reasons.  A few days ago I was contacted by someone who asked for far more than they should have.  They’d felt desperate and made a bad decision.  I can relate to that.  I told them what I will tell you if you are in the same spot right now.  You don’t have to return the toys. They are a gift and it’s up to you what to do with them but if you want to do something truly wonderful then take the extra gifts and bundle your kids up and donate them to your local women’s shelter.  (The toys…not the kids.)  It feels amazing and it’s such a great way to teach your children the importance of giving and of appreciating what we have.

If you weren’t helped I’m sorry.  Please take solace in the fact that people care.  That you are not alone.  That more good happened than bad…and that’s not always the case in life.

For those of you struggling this year I just want to tell you that you’ll get through this.  If you’re struggling emotionally please reach out to friends and family.  They love you more than you know.  If you’re struggling financially please know this: The best toy your kid will get this holiday is you.

I grew up really poor but even during the tightest years I was happy.  And if your children have you then they are happy too.  When I was a kid if we couldn’t afford decorations my mom would pop a giant drum of popcorn on the stove and we’d thread it into popcorn strings that we’d hang all over and eat it like candy necklaces.  It probably cost $1 and it is one of my favorite memories.   Go to the library and check out a ton of great books to read to your kids on Christmas.  Play charades.  Play tag.  Bury a shoebox of your old costume jewelry in the backyard and make a treasure map that takes your kids all over the house looking for clues as to where to dig.  Write a poem for your child about what they mean to you.  Tell secrets.  Laugh.  Then laugh some more.

Hug your loved ones tight if they are near.  Send your love to them if they are not.  Snuggle with your pets or go visit a shelter if you don’t have any.  And if you are alone, know that you aren’t.  Not really.  Because we care.  Even if you haven’t met us yet.  People are going to love you, I promise.

Thank you again for letting me be part of something so hard, yet so worthwhile.  Much like life.

This post isn’t for wish lists.  It’s just to say thank you…from me to you.  If you’d like to use it to thank others or tell an inspiring story or share great hints for how to feel less alone during the holidays that would be amazing.  I think we could all use some good cheer and funny jokes and if I could find a way to let you imbed videos of otters eating in the comments I totally would because those damn things are practically medicinal at this point.

86 thoughts on “Considering this holiday arose from the severed head of a wild boar I think it’s actually worked out pretty well.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. My heart yearns to be generous but my children have to eat, so I give of my time when and where I can but if any of you ever need like $5 I probably have about that in cash so be sure to ask.
    I am in awe of all that you do for everyone else – and always amazed at how you inspire us, the masses, every day. You’re my favorite Christmas gift. <3

  2. ♥ I appreciate the JGC. I didn’t get any help this year but I am so happy at all the help others recieved.

  3. A book, a blanket, and a stuffed toy – that’s definitely what I would want if I were homeless. And I got a calendar thrown in just for luck in the new year. Happy days, Jenny!

  4. This made me cry. It’s wonderful people like you and those who donated that remind us there is more good than bad in the world. Thank you.

  5. To the person that got my daughter’s backpack and my son’s headphones, we are so very grateful for you.
    I truly appreciate the help we received from those that were able to help us.
    You are all so amazing for helping those that need help, with absolute trust and no questions asked.
    I appreciate you, Jenny. You have a beautiful heart and share so much with us and I can’t begin to tell you how much that means and how wonderful you are.
    Happy Holidays to everyone.

  6. We were helped, and are left overjoyed. Thank you so very much. A coat, drawing supplies and headphones are enough to keep my teenager happy for quite some time, they will know it was the kindness of others and not from me, but that I feel is more of a gift than the items. I had even mistakingly transposed 2 numbers in our current address… Everything was delivered to a woman up the street. Again, the kindness of strangers came out on top. We have the gifts, we feel the love. Thank you, everyone who participated this year.

  7. Much love to everyone, including the wonderful Mr. Garfield. He gets cuter every year, as do you, Jenny! <3

  8. Jenny, first and foremost, you are amazing. The Saint James Garfield Miracle is nothing short of amazing. This year got out of control. I am not sure I will do it again next year – too many scammers and a few rude (maybe through desperation, maybe just how they are) people. But I don’t regret the presents I sent as even though I know one was probably a scam, a little boy has shoes to wear to school. That is what matters.

  9. My children have a toy and book under the tree.
    My child has a coat. Both have cozy pajamas.
    I am so incredibly thankful. (I’m also excited to play with the amazing Blutrack sent to us to play on the stairs with!)
    I was able to reconnect with a lovely lady who purchased my children’s coats last year that they have worn all year and are currently playing outside in.
    I know the frustration levels were high and tense from the get go but SO many people were helped. Thank you ❤

  10. I look forward to this every year. Thank you so much for enduring the angst part, Jenny. I made a new friend through this year’s gifts, I think.

  11. Despite the odd scammer here and there, I still think the JGXM is a fabulous idea, and so many people are going to have a better Christmas this year because of it. And it’s all thanks to you, and the wonderful tribe that follow you. Merry Christmas to all!

  12. During our lean years we cut out pictures from magazines and used them as Xmas decorations. George W Bush made a lovely ornament, his grin almost cartoonish. We got cheap ribbon and made bows and used pipe cleaners to attach them. I somehow missed JG this year but scammers or no I will be back next year. You are a delightful Hooman, Jenny Lawson.

  13. Always proud to be part of the community that does this.

    Ad,as requested, a joke:
    What did Joseph say when Mary complained that he didn’t call ahead to the inn for reservations?
    “Look, you’ve been riding my ass all day long…”

  14. I bought a calendar, didn’t check the address. Got an email saying that it was delivered. It wasn’t. Well, it was, but to a house I no longer live.
    So I bought another. Can’t really afford it, but, I need a calendar and it’s for a good cause. So thank you, Jenny, for being awesome.

  15. Jenny, thank you for doing this, I know it must be exhausting. I also grew up poor but my parents always managed to make every holiday fun (for seven kids!) and I never felt like I didn’t get enough stuff, even when there was very little. When my own kids were young I never had enough money to buy them a lot of presents either, so they usually got some stocking stuffers and one big present each. To make opening that one present more fun and take longer we started a treasure hunt, and that took at least 30 minutes. It was so much fun we did it every year, and my daughter continued the tradition with her kids. They are both over 30 now and the treasure hunts are always mentioned when we talk about their favorite childhood memories.

    Also, those otters are insanely adorable.

    Merry Christmas!

  16. Thank you for doing what you do! I didn’t participate but did grant a wish through another organization on Facebook for kids with special needs and their siblings. It was one of the gifts I most enjoyed buying this year! I feel like if people can bring that joy to a stranger, they will receive a joy like no other in their own life. Thank you, Jenny! P.S. I hope my husband bought a calendar!

  17. Many hugs to you and yours, Jenny. This post plus the mere fact that the JGM exists has me nearly ugly crying, but I don’t regret that at all.

    As far as getting through this time of year if it’s hard for you: may I suggest sleep? I’ve been loving it these days. Seriously, though, please do get all the rest you need, even if other people think you rest ‘too much’ or whatever…

  18. I want to thank Janine, who got a curling iron, a t-shirt, and 2 bracelets for my girls. They will love them and I am very grateful. It gave me a little space to breathe and that’s worth a lot.

    I said this on the huuuuuuuuge post,but if you want some help next year, please let me know. I’m happy to do whatever you need. It would be a nice way to pay back all your generosity over the years.

  19. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness – no Christmas, no birthdays for religious reasons. I was fortunate in that my family didn’t do without and had most of our wants. But my mom wasn’t that child growing up. Before her mother decided their family would become JW’s, there was no Christmas unless a kind relative happened to include them. They were the kids that’s were sent to school without the supplies they needed and whose parents never paid their fees. So as an adult I give – in honor of the child my mother was and that I never had to be. And hopefully I’ve managed to give a child in my community a small reprieve from that childhood.

  20. I don’t remember ever seeing anything about this before this year. I did try to find a list but I wasn’t sure how to find one. I live in Canada. I will keep my eyes open next year and try again! Jenny, you inspire us to be better people!🙂🙂🙂

  21. See, you being such a good person makes me feel that one day, I, too, can be a partially good person. Keep up the good work. Happy Holidays. Thanks for the otter shares!!!!

  22. adds otter to list of potential pets that I want

    Going out and looking at Christmas lights is my favourite part of Christmas. When I was a kid I would make paper chain decorations out of green and red crepe paper, like my mother would do when she was a kid.

  23. Thanks 🙂 I get such comfort just from reading your blog and the posts in the community. I’m sure there are thousands like me who never post, but are silent supporters of the community.

  24. You are such a good person, Jenny, and even though the JG Christmas Miracle attracts a few scammers, it is an amazing example of the goodness of people. Sometimes, it can seem that we live in a society where people are selfish and close their doors to people who are different. But you and all the people who give and receive during the JG Christmas Miracle show me that that there is a fundamental goodness in people.

    And Jenny, no matter what your doubts and that lying bastard depression tell you sometimes, you are an amazing person. You have touched so many lives just by being you. I know your books really helped me. So you touched my life.

  25. This post brought tears to my eyes, because you express so eloquently what the season is about, and what the rest of the years should be, too. I needed to hear this. I hope you hear it loud and clear from your tribe, Jenny. You are awesomeness X infinite love.

  26. Thank you and Saint James Garfield for allowing me to be a better person. Merry Christmas, Jenny!

  27. Jenny,
    But next year, accept those offers of help. I felt much better using the Google Doc where duplicates could be weeded out. It’s OK to make it a little more rigorous.

  28. Jenny, you touch my heart and the tears flow. Thank you for being beautiful. Hey, I also got Furiously Happy in the mail (hmm, where do the commas go?) with your autograph! What a generous bit of your time midst all the rest. Happy Heathen Holidays <3

  29. Oh dear god, I have cried so many times this December over the generosity of people After this shit storm that was 2018, it restores my faith in humanity. Money was tight in our household growing up and the first few years with our kids, it was rough, esp. when we finally got a house of own and we pinched pennies so hard they bled copper. I am glad to be able to payback all the people who helped my mom and helped our kids out as well

    Yesterday I was in Kmart picking up a few things to finish cleaning the house since my daughter is coming home today. When I got to the register, the cashier rang up my stuff and then looked at me and said: “An Anonymous donor covered your purchases”, I stood there with my shower curtain, mason jars and tablecloth and looked at her like she had just spoken Swahili to me. I was in so much shock. And then I started to cry, because I remembered all the hard days and how the generosity of one person can make so much difference. I think I cried all the way home and then donated the money I would have spent on the purchase to a local charity that helps families in need.

    Jenny, as long as you do this every Christmas, and as long as I am able, I will participate. Happy Yule, Merry Christmas and Happiest of Holidays.

  30. Thank you for doing this, even though it was tough. I really don’t have much this year as I’ve been off work for a while due to ill health and don’t have a lot of money coming in, but it brought me joy to buy a book for a little girl here in the UK from one of the lists. When things get tough it can be such a relief to escape into the pages of a good book, and it certainly sounds like this little girl and her family are really going through a tough time right now. To The Bloggess, please accept help from your many adoring friends and fans next year. You don’t have to do it alone.

  31. Kate who is of the helper elves, compiled a bunch of helpful data after the event, that I hope she shares with Jenny, but it looks like there was only a 1% margin of error (people who got missed). 390 unique requests for families and 1,157 people helped. I think that is amazing. What a beautiful event that helped so many people!

  32. OK I have Feelings about “surveillance media” but I resolve to unmask next year from my own blogs. Even when my Autism says NOPE I reply to every one of your posts and I’m the one who drew you James Garfield cartoons and made you and the crew into astronauts. Thank you for helping me come out of this shell.
    I’ve got just enough cash every month to make paying my rent exciting BUT what I do have is oodles of plump and delicious blood. For two years I’ve been a Blood Buddy donor one of a team of six whose blood is also a match to a stranger with Sickle Cell Anemia. Everything I’ve heard about this disorder is that it’s terrible and painful. Regular donors are easier for her as she won’t build more antibodies that would make new or emergency transfusions harder. I’m so lucky I stumbled into this program my hospital runs. I was as lonely as shit. This lets me be a part of the world.
    My Coordinator told me that with all our California fires, the demand for blood is higher while many donors are themselves are affected by our disasters.
    So if you Bloggess fans would like to lay back in a comfy chair covered with a warmed binkie, eat cookies and juice as you gossip with lovely people who tell you you’re wonderful, why not consider giving your local hospital a call? Peace to all and Happy Gnu Year

  33. OMG I never knew I wanted an Otter for a pet. I’m so glad so many kids are going to have a better Christmas! The spreadsheet sure did help since I am sure lots of people did not have time to wade thru 2500 comments.

    Kids might like piles of presents, but they really treasure the special memories they make with you. Tomorrow we’re going to make cookies and probably fail spectacularly at making Christmas Slime and later watch a Holiday movie.

  34. I was helped. My life is hard, emotionally. I’m in an abusive relationship that I can’t escape from, because I’m in a different country than my own, and I can’t take my kids and go back to America without his permission. My visa here gives me no recourse to public funds, otherwise social services would have us in a shelter somewhere, away from him. He controls all the money, and was not going to give me any for Christmas presents. You made Christmas happen for my kids. I had to lie to him about where the presents came from, I told him they came from friends I’ve had forever, who feel like my kids are family, and so send presents to them. It’s just amazing what you have done here, and how much I appreciate it.

    I’m paying it forward as well. My daughter’s school gave us a £20 gift card to Tesco’s, which is a grocery store. Grocery money is the only money I get, so I didn’t need the card. But I’m friends with a single mom who is panicking about Christmas. So I gave it to her in a Christmas card. She cried when she opened it up.

    I’m paying it forward in another way as well. My daughter had a massive growth spurt. She’s 10. So she has brand new school trousers that don’t fit. She has school pinafores that don’t fit. She has three very fancy dresses that don’t fit. Plus some pajamas, it’s a onsie, and I’ve got to figure out how to get her a new one, plus a robe, because we aren’t allowed to turn on the heat, so we layer pajamas and robes. My husband does not allow blankets in the living room. I give my daughter my robe that my husband gave me during one of my very long hospital stays. Anyhow, I am in the process of washing and drying the clothes, and I know one of the other people that needed to ask for gifts during the miracle, here in the UK, because I told her about it, knowing her kids weren’t going to have Christmas presents. She mostly asked for tights, and warm boots, and things to keep her daughters warm, because she can’t afford the warmer uniform pieces. Tomorrow, I pick my mom up from the airport, she is flying in, and this will be my first Christmas with her since I moved here, so I’m just so happy. Anyhow, this mom lives in a different town, a town we used to live in. Her daughter used to be my daughter’s best friend. When they had Victorian day and went to a museum for Victorian stuff, they were to dress up. She couldn’t afford a costume, so my mom, who had bought my daughter’s, bought her one too, so she could be the same as the rest of the class. Anyhow, I can’t pay things forward with money, but I can give her the things my daughter can’t wear. The trousers are completely brand new. They just didn’t fit. She will be able to pack the three very very nice dresses as presents. I gave her the pajamas onsie, warned her there were a few holes, did she want it, and she can sew, so she will fix any holes.

    I try to pay things forward any way I can. Need things cooked for a bake sale, I’m there. Give things that don’t fit my kids to people I know who need it more, in a heartbeat. I have to.

    Social services is involved in my life due to my mil reporting me as a bad mom, but since NICU had reported to social services that my husband was abusive, they decided to check into us. Now we have social services, early help, the health visitor, and my kids schools all involved. Early help dropped off two bags of food, and a huge bag of gifts for my kids. This was just two days ago, so after the miracle happened. I was just in awe.

    Santa came in the form of everyone who sent things to us. I know two names of the top of my head I can say thanks to, Sabine and Mike. Mike, my twins had just broken their toybox. The new one you bought is fantastic. They love it. They love it turns into a bench they can sit on. It’s fantastic.

    I was hoping to get child support from my deadbeat ex-husband, since he told me he had a job, but I suspect he works under the table, so I’m going to beg my mom to buy the unicorn onsie I have on my list, and a robe that I don’t have on my list, so that she stops stealing my robe, and can stay warm.

    This turned into a long comment, and I’m sorry. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who made our Christmas something special, and I wanted to share how I pay it forward in any way or shape I can. I don’t have much, but I have a habit of giving to the point I’ll give someone the shirt off my back

    So thank you so much to everyone who made our Christmas something special, and yeah, I’m paying it forward in the best way I can.

    Kris from the UK. I was comment 56 on the post for the James Garfield Miracle. I’m only saying that so you know who I am in case you helped me.

    I love you all. And I love you Jenny, for everything you do. I own all your books except your colouring book, but I’m hoping to get it soon. Colouring really helps me relax. I have severe anxiety, depression, and rapid cycling bipolar 1. I also have fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, arthritis in my back, spina bifida, and an annular tear in my spinal column that sprays spinal liquid onto the nerves in my back. I’m on massive amounts of medication right now. All I can say is thank god for socialist medicine. I had to pay £500 for 30 months of medical. No other bills. And since I’ve spent over a month hospitalised over 3 different visits, and my twins spent 12 weeks in NICU, and my oldest twin spent a year on oxygen, plus I had an emergency c-section with them, and later a hernia surgery, and not a single dime was billed to me. I love knowing if I get sick, my health means more that my insurance company deciding I don’t need to still be in the hospital.
    Sorry about that tangent. After living in America, I definitely prefer the medical care here. They saved my life 7 times.

    Thank you everyone, and much love. I really hope you understand just how special what you did is. You saved Christmas, not just for me, but for many others. I hope that those who have been helped also find a way to pay it forward, even if it’s just donating time.

    Thank you.

  35. Everything in this column was wonderful except when you said “People are going to love you, I promise.” I don’t believe that at all, but that is my problem. I will work on having a better attitude and being more accepting

  36. You are a rock star for me and everyone else! And good choice on the otter videos!! Totally cuteness!

  37. Jenny, and everyone else for that matter, if you never helped anyone else again, you would have done more than most other people. Yes, it’s always a huge amount of work and there are times it’s dismaying and terrifying for different reasons, but what you did was organize angels, and in the process, remind us all there is good in the world, no matter what else happens – and just as importantly, good in US.

    And for those who think you want an otter, let me just tell you, you really don’t. I was a caretaker for the otters at a major aquarium many years ago, and they’re TROUBLE. That’s trouble with a capital T, and they can wreck a room before you can even think about it faster than a dozen sugared up toddlers. Just keep watching those videos. Far less property damage!

  38. This was the first year I was able to buy and I’m so grateful for the work you put into hosting. I can only imagine what huge undertaking it must be!

  39. My soul is crying happy tears while my face acts like this is no big deal. Thank you for letting us do this, Jenny. All love to you.

  40. Because of you, Jenny, and this wonderful blessing rising from a taxidermied critter head, I have made some wonderful friends. I have seen my kids light up because someone went rogue and got something else for them that they wanted. I was over the top because of food and cleaning supplies that I never could have gotten on my own. My youngest (he just turned 18 in June so could not be a part this year -kinda made him sad) found a love of books he never knew about until you (he has one of your books and is trying to get the rest now). But he now has a goal of being able to one day help others because he knows that not all the people in the world are A-holes. So PLEASE what ever you do, don’t stop believing in this. Even if you have to take on an army of volunteers to help you. This gift that you have started can change a life. From a mother that could not get anything except a couple of pieces of fruit and a candy cane to a child that has been made fun of because they are poor and had nothing, this group is a miracle. I know I would not have survived without the love I found here. Thank you and everyone so very much.

    P.S. You are awesome in person! One of my best memories was meeting you.

  41. I love that you do this every year and I love that last year I was able to help a few people. I grew up rather well-off, I never really knew it but I had all the ‘best’ toys and my house was where all the kids would gather to play with all the cool stuff. I grew up that way and didn’t realize until much later how fortunate I was. Always plenty of gifts under the Christmas tree, including at my grandparent’s house.

    Nowadays is a different story, with my mom retired due to health and me working less then part time due to health. But I’m still blessed in so many ways, and always try to ‘give back’ in any way I can. This year I was able to help a family our church ‘adopted’ who otherwise wouldn’t have presents under the tree. I also donate to the local food bank and homeless shelter whenever I can. When I was a kid Christmas was a time for miracles, but kid-type miracles like talking on the phone to ‘Santa’ every year. I see much better miracles here, thanks to you and James Garfield.

  42. I just want to say how much I love you all for doing this every year. You guys are amazing!

  43. Thank you for introducing me to Project Night Night. I was so happy to be able to do something to help homeless children. And thank you to everyone here for your stories. I hope we all continue to be brave enough to ask for help when we need it and to give of ourselves when we can.

  44. I think one of the biggest things that needs to go in the directions is to NOT put things in your cart unless you’re for sure going to buy them. I hate to admit that I’m one of the people who put some things in my cart and then got rid of them. There were several reasons why. One was that I had already spent over $300 on several lists and wanted to do more, but I realized I just couldn’t. Another reason was that I balked at spending $20 for baby socks and little kid underwear. That stuff is available at thrift shops and Goodwill for incredibly cheap, and so I thought my money would be better spent somewhere else. I had NO idea that putting the item in my cart and then taking it out somehow made the list look permanently fulfilled. It makes me feel terrible, but I also feel that it’s kind of ridiculous to assume that someone is doing this on purpose.Humans make mistakes. The third reason I did it was that when I first started purchasing things, I didn’t know to look at the list through the filter of “purchased and unpurchased” and I put things in my cart only to discover that they had already been bought.

    One last thing I think needs to be said. Most of us purchased things with no expectation of thanks. We also had no way of knowing whether the person really needed the items or was just taking advantage. This was a giant exercise in faith and love and I really appreciate the people who have posted good thoughts about the process and not complaints about what they didn’t get. I loved hearing the stories about what people did and do in the lean years when imagination needs to stand in for money. Love, faith, and sheer grit will get a person way further than fussing!

  45. Your calendar is cool but I wish you had scheduled Christmas on a Tuesday again so I could get another 4 day weekend.

  46. Otters basically just throw food straight down their gullets, don’t they? I think the “chewing” is just for show, like they copy humans’ eating style. That noise is too cute.

    I didn’t even get to see the 9th Annual James Garfield Xmas Miracle until this evening… I’ve been offgrid of late. I’m glad to see it went so well. Hopefully next year!

  47. Our church works with a ministry that serves incarcerated families. This year, I was able to buy a boy the Fortnite Monopoly game and get chapter books for a girl. She is a POC, and I was able to crowd-source a list of great books that contain diverse characters. It was so much fun!

    I, too, remember growing up poor. Except that Christmas was magical even when there was little money. There was family, and food (my grandma knew how to make wreaths out of hundreds of pieces of hard candy), games around the card table, my mom took a few days off to be with us. It really ISN’T about the “stuff.”

    Also, Jenny, you brought together hundreds of us, and this is the third year we have done a gift exchange via Twitter. We are friends because of you, and we’ve been able to send surprise gifts to people who need some holiday cheer. I would be happy to help organize the next James Garfield if you’d like. And now on to Booksgiving! I have been collecting copies of your book over the last year to send to people who, though maybe they CAN afford to buy their own, would like to know that someone cares.

  48. I also grew up poor and remember how helpful it was to receive a new coat or book donated by people in my community at Christmas. I’m thankful to be in a place in life right now where I can meet all of my needs and some modest wants as well, and be able to pay forward the help my family received when I was young.

    Jenny, thank you for continuing to organize the James Garfield Miracle – even when it’s frustrating – because being able to be a giver is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.

  49. I think when we read stuff that applies to us….it was meant for us to read them, at that exact time and place. SO THANK YOU FOR THIS POST.

  50. In your darkest moments you need to remember the positive difference you have made to people all over the world. You really are pretty danged freakin’ incredible, ya know?

  51. So not only am I amazingly grateful that my kids will have something to open Christmas day, but this year the Christmas miracle also brought a much needed job for my husband!

  52. I have been on the giving end (mostly Booksgiving, but JGCM too), and this year, for the first time, I was in the receiving end. My son was the recipient of warm socks, and Christmas toys.

    Thank you, thank you, to the angels who helped me give my boy holiday cheer. He asked Santa for the things you generously gifted him. He will be thrilled! I don’t want to raise a kid who wants a bunch of ‘stuff,’ but I didn’t want him to go without, either.

    A confession; I didn’t make him wait until Christmas for the socks; it’s already cold here. When I told him that Santa brought him some new warm socks, he immediately stripped off his old ones (which are thinner and probably too small for him) and put in a pair of the new ones. He was (heartbreakingly, for me) excited that it was a BAG of new socks. Not just one pair.

    It’s so hard to ask for help. I’ve never had to before. But I’m so grateful for this.

    Thank you, thank you, to anyone who helped those of us needing help this year. The last year has been so hard, and that strangers would reach out and take one stress off my shoulders means SO much. Happy holidays, everyone!

  53. We can’t help everyone, but we can help someone, and that makes a difference in this indifferent world. Thank you, Jenny.

  54. I don’t even know where to begin.

    First off Jenny you are amazing and thank you for what you do. When I first read your post and what to do I didn’t expect anything to happen that is just the year I have had I was thinking the worst for everything. So I followed the rules picked out a toy for each of my boys and a jacket for my son who was wearing a hand me down I found on fb marketplace that was not keeping him warm and I would cry hearing my son who is 3 tell me he so cold. That night I prayed and was really only hoping that someone was kind and would help by getting his jacket I didn’t care about the toys. When I woke up in the morning I was shocked to see both toys and his jacket where purchased and in the way I cried and told my husband who was just as happy as me. Then I waited till Friday per the rules to add items needed I didn’t think it would matter the way some of the comments where I thought all luck was out but gave it a try since I was blessed the first time my added items where diapers wipes and food. And within 12 hours I was shocked everything was purchased for our family so not only did this help my family make Christmas possible it blessed our family more than I could have ever imagined.
    Thank you Jenny and every single Angel who helped out our family you will never really know how grateful we are to you all.
    Also with the food we got in bulk I was able to split food with another family who had non they where just as happy as we where for all your help.
    If anyone wants pics I will email them to you please let me know.

  55. I am so filled with gratitude and can assure you we pay it forward in kindness and anyway we can. Thank you to you and all of the Angel’s who helped shine a bright light for so many families!

  56. Just posting with a slightly different perspective. I will honestly own that I did not participate in the JMXM this year, because I am a cynical old biddy and it just seemed like a lot of people were not being honest and fair, and if I contributed I would have spent too much time wondering if I had been taken advantage of. But the spirit of the good you try to do here – and the great good I believe you DID do here, when all was said and done – prompted me to make contributions to a couple of my local charities that also support needy families at the Holidays. So just remember that every good deed is like a pebble dropped in a pond, that has ripples beyond what you may ever see or know. The good you do here reaches out into communities in ways you may never know, and you should be so very proud of that.

  57. I just got here to warn/apologize to Kris in UK that her son’s spider robot will not arrive until 12/30, and saw the lovely, long post saying that the other gifts arrived and that Social Services brought other gifts. I am relieved – and weirdly benefitting from UK social services. We all will continue to participate, Jenny, no matter the format, so please accept the help that was offered for next year and don’t look back. This is s good karma generator that defies the laws of physics. Merry Everything!

  58. Even though we were Grinched this year, and I didn’t find out until yesterday, I love the JGM! It’s always amazing to me how this community comes together! It reminds me of the old Regretsy forums.

    So we are hoping next year that we will be able to contribute instead of receive, and that is good for us!

    Happy Xmas to Jenny and your amazing family, and to Serene and Stitchress (who worked so hard on the list this year, and to everyone in our community! Happy Chrismakwanzakkuholtice, and Festivus for the rest of us!

  59. Merry christmas everyone! I know this isnt the original post for the names garfield miracle but if anyone could please help me out I’d REALLY appreciate it. I had made a wishful with a cuple items for for two little girls and one each for my two littlw boys. I hated doig it and having to ask for help but our family has had peobavly thw worst time we have wvwr been through. After alot of praying and hoping for a miracle someone purchased the gifts for my babies. I was so releived,grateful,and excited. Things are very tight right now and ive been able to get a few gifts for the girls and my oldest son has one gift and the youngest only has his stocking, I’ve been realy stressed about it and feel awful and like I’m going to be letting them down christmas morning even tho they are great kids and would never complain or make me feel bad about it. That kinda just makes me feel worse. lol anyway it kinda made me feel like it was going to kinda be OK cause those gifts on their wishlist were the things they had ask for and were really wanting aside from a phone or tablet my 3 oldest have been begging for. The wishlist was filled like thursday before last ive been very impatiently watching for ups or fedex every day. Ive tried to tell myself they will make it in time or that nothing went wrong and everythig is just backed up and taking longer to deliever cause of the holidays but its chriatmas eve and nothing has arrived. I’m heartbroken for my children honestly and even tho bills are paid and they have everything they need i feel like a failure. If anyone could help me find out who purchased their wishlist so i could contact them and see if something went wrong or if they could find out when they should arrive id be so grateful. I hope everyone has a merry christmas!
    I can be contacted by
    Or on facebook im under
    Talia shae walters
    It shows a picture of my kids and husband on my banner and a photo of me as my profile picture.

  60. Thank you for doing this. I couldn’t participate this year, but I love it and have participated in the past. 💙 This truly is a miracle.

  61. The binder and backpack are going to arrive a bit after christmas but happy new year?

  62. Another thought for next year is to ask if Amazon will remove the “purchasing somewhere else” option for these gift list so the Grinch can’t do his/her thing.

  63. Thank you for this amazing list, I appreciate everything you do. You inspire me daily and I know you’re always there to remind me that I’m not alone if I feel like I am. Depression does lie and having a family that doesn’t understand doesn’t help. Thank you for being my framily, even if it’s only virtual and one sided! Merry Everything!

  64. I posted this over on the actual post with the lists but just saw this and thought it might been seen more here.

    Could anyone help me find someone’s list? A dear friend who works at the group home my cousin is at, tried killing herself last night. My ex’s mom runs the home she works for and we became (I thought) good friends. I actually suggested her come here and post and I believe she did. She has twin boys about 8-9 and a little girl. Could anyone help me find her list or does anyone know the easiest way to? I was helped here this year as well (Jessica Ratliff) and her 2 boys are staying w me until mommy gets better and I’ll have the little girl when her grandma goes back to work. I’m hoping to try to find her list so I can try to get things similar for her kids in the near future (fingers crossed) Because of this page I was able to give her boys each a pack of socks that had been sent to my sons from an angel here and I went to dollar tree to get them a few small things to open since I had nothing here for them and apparently their mom wasn’t able to pull Christmas off. I would really appreciate any help trying to locate her list!

  65. We grew up poor and sometimes well off but my mom always manged to give us one gift. In honor of that I got gifts for a good friend’s children and invited them over for turkey sandwiches on Christmas Eve. It was nice. I was voiceless due to being sick and everyone else was getting sick but we had fun. I love the story of your childhood with love coming in from all of your nuclear family.

  66. My thing, which I have been doing, going on 10 years now, is that I make candy. I am pretty adept at caramels, but I have done other things. Last year, I tried marshmallows (never again) and this year I made fudge. Typically, I give or ship it to friends because what I like about candy is that you can give someone 2 pieces or caramel or 4 pieces of fudge and give it with love, but because it’s only a little thing, they aren’t obligated to give a gift back. In love languages, receiving gifts isn’t really high on my list, so really all I look for is a thank-you. But in the past two years, I am blessed to have gotten to know many of my neighbors. I got a dog and just by being out walking my dog twice a day, I met so many other dog-owning people. This is very important to me because I live by myself and sometimes talking to my neighbors is all the talking I get in a weekend. So for the last two Christmases, I have written notes to each of my neighbors telling them my gratitude and wrapped the notes around a little candy and a dog biscuit for their dog. I then hand these out directly if I don’t know exactly where they live or I knock on doors and wish them a Merry Christmas. It makes me really happy.

  67. This is amazing, and you’re amazing. Keep being amazing. The world needs more.
    A = 78.9. Just sayin’.

  68. Wanted to thank you again. I posted on the original thread but want to do it here so you hopefully see it. We received our teenagers coat yesterday. He was thrilled when he opened it. Thank you so much Jenny we really appreciate it, I also want to thank whoever got my little guy his mittens and his math book. He has needed the mittens for outside play and has wanted that math book forever. Thank you so much

  69. I put our kids on the comments one year and was pleasantly surprised to see the gifts arrive. It brought tears during a tough year. I was quite grateful. Things have gotten better in the few years since and I hope to one day return the favor. I think about this every year and think it is a wonderful thing you do. I hope that when I am able to do so, that you choose to make it happen again. Thanks again and Merry Holidays to you and everyone here!!! Don’t ever stop making me think sideways and out loud. I love your snippets and view of the world. It all makes me feel quite normal and “furiously happy!” As an aspiring blogger and author, I hope to one day also support your (something) habit and purchase an ad for one of my works. The most recent one that was released last month would have been epic but I am not there yet. Ms. Blog was, check it out and let me know what you think if you have the time. Even I. A message would be fine. Thanks again for just being you!!!

  70. We just got back from an over Christmas stay in Delaware for our Cerebral Palsy Warrior but it cheered us greatly to know that our porch had packages carefully watched over by our sweet neighbors. I was worried that some Amazon bandits might benefit from the amazing angels who helped our family. But everything was waiting for my three kids when we returned to PA on Thursday. Thank you to the many who reached out and blessed us. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I am also relieved that yet again our CP Warrior has come out victorious and is at home where he bleongs once again. Health is a priceless gift and I’m sorry you are having a health scare Jenny!

  71. Thank you for the otters! They are one of the cutest animals EVER! I once used all the battery on the video camera on them playing at the zoo. We hadn’t even gone anywhere else. I could spend the day watching them do anything and not get bored!

  72. I was helped this year (a lovely person bought my daughter a Harry Potter tunic and a unicorn coloring book – both of which were a HUGE hit, and I will always have the warmest place in my heart for your generosity).
    One thing I was able to get my daughter was a sweatshirt – she and I had matching ones, but she had lost hers at school at the beginning of the year. She understood that I probably wouldn’t be able to get her another just like it, and was oddly gracious about it for a 5 year old. Of the gifts she was given, her biggest reaction was opening that simple sweatshirt. Her eyes welled up and she ran to me and hugged me as hard as she could (my eyes are welling up just typing this), and said “I thought you wouldn’t be able to get another one??? Thank you, THANK YOU.”
    So, kind stranger, you gave me the room to get her that silly, inexpensive sweatshirt that made her entire holiday. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, and thank you Jenny for giving us all this opportunity. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to pass the love on in gifting next year. <3

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