Mint Hill family ditches dreaded Christmas tradition to instead help others

Family pools money to buy gifts for others

MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - In the middle of the holiday rush there can, sometimes, be angels working among us.

“We are all blessed,” a Mint Hill woman says. “I know when I go home I have food and I have heat. We’re good”

In the Mint Hill home where she sits, the tree is lit, the stockings are hung, all ready for Christmas morning. The people inside are working now to also make that true for a neighbor family in need.

“To know that there won’t be a child that’s disappointed,” she says. “You keep the magic of Christmas.”

But her family’s endeavor is such a secret, they don’t want us revealing their identities. We found them on social media, where they were working to gather gifts for a family they’ve never met.

They say it all started last year, when they were tired of their yearly $25 gift exchange.

“I never really liked it,” another family member says. “It was the most stressful gift that I bought all seasons long.”

So now, moms, dads, uncles and cousins all pool that money together.

“For a family that’s not going to have a Christmas, $400-500 can go a long way,” she says.

This, their second year, has meant other donations – a local photographer, a restaurant, a senior citizen center all among those chipping in.

“For local businesses that can afford to donate other things, it just becomes magical,” she says. “Just magical.”

And that $25 each now together serves an invaluable memory for a family whose names they don’t even know. The family doesn’t know who it is they’re sponsoring – both years they’ve connected with the families through their local school. They drop off the gifts at a neutral spot one morning before Christmas, then the other family picks them up, at night.

Now, as this family prepares to sit around their tree this December 25, a mom’s heart will be, in part, around another.

“It’s changed not only Christmas for me,” she says.”It’s really changed my life.”

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