family christmas celebration

(Choreograph/iStockPhoto)

Christmas is a really hard time for a lot of families, especially families that can’t afford to celebrate the way TV, ads, and the people around us tell us we’re supposed to. Last week one Indiana family got an enormous surprise from an unexpected Secret Santa–a 16-year-old girl who decided to spend a whole week’s worth of her wages to make Christmas happen for a little boy she didn’t even know.

According to Good Morning America, 16-year-old Abby Meehan is a cashier at a local supermarket, and she was working a double shift on Christmas Eve when a mother stopped by with a 10-year-old boy.

Meehan was trying to make friendly conversation with the little boy, but she accidentally stuck her foot in her mouth. When she leaned over with a warm, friendly smile and asked, “What is Santa going to bring you for Christmas?” he looked sad and started to cry.

“We had to have a conversation yesterday that Santa is not coming this year,” the boy’s mother explained to Meehan. That must have been a difficult conversation to have. How do you explain not being able to afford Christmas to a child who still believes in Santa? The boy’s mother told Good Morning America that she’s been out of work due to heart problems and just couldn’t afford to buy gifts for her son or his brothers for Christmas this year.

Meehan decided she couldn’t deal with the idea of this little boy not getting anything for Christmas, so she got the mother’s phone number, then called her own father and told him that she was on a mission to make Christmas happen for this kid she just met. After calling his mother to find out what he’d like, she got him some games he wanted, and added some cookies and candy for a treat. Altogether she spent about $75, which is a solid week of earnings for her.

The little boy was astounded when Meehan showed up with his presents.

“You couldn’t imagine the look on his face,” she told Good Morning America. “He was jumping up and down and smiling and we exchanged at least 10 hugs that night.”

Meehan’s parents are extremely proud of their daughter, because that was an amazing thing to do. A week’s worth of wages is a lot to give, especially to someone she didn’t even really know. Meehan’s mother was so impressed with her daughter’s generosity, that she decided to help out, too. She bought some presents for the brothers of the little boy Meehan had met, and she bought the family $200 worth of groceries.

Meehan should feel pretty great about herself for this. Her parents sure feel great about it.