Friday, December 30: FINAL GIFT OF THE YEAR!

by Giver Girl on December 31, 2011

Sorry for the ALL CAPS, folks.  But we’re excited.  We really are.  As I sit here typing on New Year’s Eve (yes, we’re a day late with our post, what else is new), Giver Boy at my side and helping us collect our thoughts, we can’t quite believe that, by God’s grace, we’ve made it all the way from January to December, all the way through an entire year, giving all along the way.  Keeping our word and sticking to our New Year’s resolution.  It’s a first for us both.

So, as to why we’ve been so silent, skipping the past two Fridays’ posts: the holidays have been crazy for the Giver family!  Lots of planning and packing and wrapping and driving, driving, driving.  Not to mention we just got a dog, a lifestyle change to which we have taken some time to adjust.  All the while, though, we’ve been brainstorming and throwing out ideas for our last few gifts of the year.

Just over a week ago I read this article online about the Kmart “layaway angel” phenomenon (you’ve probably heard about it, but in case not–it seems to have started earlier this month in Michigan; the “angels” started coming into Kmart stores to pay off the layaway accounts of perfect strangers, just in time for Christmas).  I immediately ran into the living room to tell Giver Boy about it, my face flushed with certainty that we’d found the perfect way to end our year of giving.  He agreed.  It was then just a matter of locating the nearest Kmart store.

Would you believe there aren’t any within a half-hour’s drive of our house?  I was initially crestfallen, and even more so when I called one of the stores, 45 minutes away, and found out that no, you can’t make layaway payments over the phone.  Grrr.

Well, we had the idea, anyway.  We’d somehow make it happen when the time was right.

And we didn’t have to wait long–the time came during the first out-of-state stay of our holiday travels, when we remembered there’s a Kmart store just a half-mile from my mother’s house in Jersey.  Long story short (wandering around the store, waiting in a very long line, trying our best to look “anonymous”), with three weeks’ worth of $52, we were able to pay off not one but two layaway accounts, both filled with toys, clothes, pajamas, winter coats, even underwear.  My favorite part of the experience was when we finally approached the counter.  We’d wrung our hands worrying over the exact wording we’d use to explain what we wanted to do.  Turns out that was completely unnecessary.  The exchange went a little something like this:

Kmart associate: “Hi.”
Us: “Hello.”
Kmart associate: “You making a payment, or picking up?”
Giver Boy: (takes deep breath) “Um, neither.  So, we’re a part of this project…”
Kmart associate: (interrupting prepared speech) “Are you layaway angels?”
Us: “Yes.”
Kmart associate: “Hold on, let me see what we have.”

Turns out there’d been angels in line all morning.

Realizing this Kmart thing has nothing to do with us personally, I have to say that we felt exceptionally personalized warm-and-fuzzies at the thought that 2011 was seeming to end for the whole country in much the same manner that it started, hopefully and expectantly, for the two of us.  We never would have anticipated that, twelve months ago.  Then again, there’s a lot that’s happened during this journey that we never would have anticipated.

We can’t wait to see where 2012 will take us.

But as for 52times52, the 2011 edition–that, friends, is a wrap.

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