Hatcher’s Stocking II

We went back into the church, where Brittney and Blake would thank all the volunteers and tell the story about how Hatcher’s stocking came about. I knew the story from Brittney, but I had never met Blake, so I got a different perspective from him up there in front of everyone, describing the heartache and despair of holding their firstborn, who was stillborn in November of 2012. Christmas was around the corner, and Hatcher’s stocking was hanging up in preparation for his arrival. But that didn’t happen. How could they ever recover?

They turned this tragedy into a mission to not only help others but try to heal themselves. We know serving others helps take our own pain away, even if just for a while. Through the years, they did a variety of service. But this year, December 2023, was different; it was really special. This year was the start of the annual stocking stuffing. They had put so much time and, thought and care into the beautiful stockings, requested sensory-specific toys, quality toys, and had a volunteer group all eager to assist! The bins were lined up so orderly, and each child and adult volunteer would fill them in a specific order and bring them down to get tagged and put into transport bins. That was my job, tagging the stockings.

Santa would sit there amidst all the commotion, talking to adults but mostly the children. They always had many questions for him, like did you receive my letter, Santa? Tell me about the elves! And the reindeer! Well, that was the perfect in for Santa. You see, this Santa carries a beautifully printed photograph of a reindeer. Dasher was who Santa chose. He made sure he had several copies because there was always a very special child that he will give a picture to. Of course, ALL the children are special, but there is always one or two that tug at his heart. Maybe they ask for something for a sick family member, or maybe they are timid at first and then open up to him, and Santa just feels that instant connection. Whatever it is, it happens every time, sometimes once or twice, or sometimes with many of the children! So he has to be prepared with enough photos.

There were so many volunteers it all went smoothly and there was even hot cocoa and sandwiches for all. But for Santa and I, it was picture time. This is where we have a chance to help a family make memories for years! It’s such an honor, and we stayed laser-focused to accomplish it for them all.

Merry Christmas!

Mrs. Claus

Read hatcher's stocking III