Christmas is a time to relax with family and enjoy the holiday warmth. It is not a time for running errands and doing chores— things John Dorroh’s mother seemed greatly concerned with.
Ever since John was a little boy, his mother seemed to dash out of the door on Christmas Eve day.
Grabbing her coat, a shopping bag of stuff, and her wallet, she would speedily race away, not to be seen for the next three hours. Year and year again, this pattern emerged, and John couldn’t figure it out.
When John asked his dad, the man said she might be out shopping— but the boy knew that wasn’t the case.
Mom always started her holiday shopping in August, being finished no later than Thanksgiving each year.
“Well, maybe she forgot something,” John’s dad suggested, which seemed reasonable to the boy at the time. And so, that was the excuse they accepted, although it was odd that she’d forget three hours’ worth of things every single year.
Whenever the family asked John’s mother where she’d been, she replied in vague answers and mumbles. With the bustle of the holiday season, the mystery was soon forgotten— until, much like clockwork, it would happen again the next year.
As the years went on and John’s mother grew older, she eventually passed away. Only then, decades later, would her secret finally be revealed.
Shortly after his mother’s passing, John received a letter from a man named Robert.
Robert used to work with John’s mother, and he held the answer to the secret she’d been keeping. It turned out Sue Dorroh wasn’t just an amazing mother— she was a bona fide Mrs. Claus!
The letter read as follows:
“Dear Johnny, I just wanted you to know how much my family and I appreciate what your mother has done for us for all of these years. Every year on Christmas Eve day your mom comes to my house dressed like Mrs. Claus and gives my kids a Christmas that we can’t afford to give them. She has given them shoes, shirts, jeans, toys, and candy.”
“I know your heart is heavy and that you are missing Miss Sue. We do, too. We loved her and just wanted you to know what she has done for us. Love, Robert and Nellie and the kids.”
After all those years, John had finally discovered his mother’s secret.
The sweet woman had dedicated three hours of every Christmas Eve to create joy in the lives of a family who needed it.
Unlike most people these days, Sue felt no need to be praised for her actions or to make her good deeds known. The smiles of joy on the children’s faces had always been payment enough for her. Although Sue had preferred to keep her actions private, John recently shared the good deed in his short story “Mom’s Secret Mission”, published in the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Christmas.
Hear his story below!
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