Holiday Spirit: Tracy Gilmore’s Story

We were incredibly inspired by the wonderful Christmas story, “Shoelaces for Christmas” written by Craig S. Buehner, that we decided to ask our Facebook fans to tell us their own holiday story. We received an incredibly number of wonderful, real-life stories, that touched our hearts and reminded us that despite trying times, the spirit of holidays continues to live 0n our own world, not just in books.

Thank you for everyone who took the time to share all your wonderful stories with us! We wanted to share one story with everyone that we received from Distributor, Tracy Gilmore. Tracy  shared with us her own beautiful story about life’s triumph and struggles, and much like Buenher’s novel, that miracles still do exist. Read Tracy’s entire story below.

We had an idyllic life, my husband and I. We were living on our tiny piece of heaven in the country outside a small town in Texas; raising our children and a small herd of Quarter Horses.  My husband was building beautiful new homes and I was the typical housewife/chauffer/maid/cook… well, maybe not so typical, but that’s another story.

We fell victim to the housing bust, several years after it hit most markets, and our building business tanked.  Things got very hard after that, and our first Christmas after losing the business looked very bleak.  We were quite certain Santa wouldn’t be coming to visit.. or at least not the way our children were used to, for sure.  We sat them down and explained the situation, and they were very gracious and understanding.  We knew they were somewhat disappointed, but covered it well.

The very next day, when we pulled up at the house after picking up the children from school, we saw a small gift bag hanging from the front door handle.  Inside were 5 pre-paid credit cards, containing enough money to make a very nice Christmas morning for our children.  What an incredible blessing that was to us, we were so thankful to that anonymous donor.

The following year, things weren’t any better.  My husband had gone back to trimming houses, the only other trade he knew, but the building industry was no better, and Christmas was again looking bleak.  We had chance to meet a lovely young couple, Terry and Michelle, who had no children.  Through the course of conversation, we learned that Terry’s father knew my husband’s father from way back when they were children.

3 weeks later, they showed up at our house with a full load of gifts for our children.  Terry’s father, when learning how we were struggling to provide a nice Christmas for our family, donated the funds, and Terry and Michelle went on a Christmas shopping trip on our behalf, wrapped all the gifts and delivered them to our home.

We were beside ourselves, of course, with gratitude.  Twice in a row our children had been blessed with a beautiful and memorable Christmas in an incredible and unexpected manner.

Since that time, after being deeply in debt for a decade or so, we have been mindful to pay those blessings forward.  Times haven’t been easy, but we have stayed vigilant for the right moment to express our thanks by being a blessing to another family in need.

Yesterday I touched base a young gal who has been looking at SendOutCards for several months.  I learned that her husband, after being laid off about 4 months ago, finally found a job, just 2 days earlier.  She was so grateful for that, but expressed concern about how she was going to break the news to her 5 young children that Santa wouldn’t be coming to their house.  I offered a couple of solutions, but they sounded hollow and inadequate.

That evening, my husband got home from work and told me that he’d been thinking about the two times we were unexpectedly blessed at Christmas.  He thought it was time to pay that blessing forward, but didn’t know how to find the right family.  His thoughts totally confirmed what I’d already been thinking and I shared the story of my day with him.

I’m excited to be able to say that today I contacted SendOutCards and have an unexpected blessing on its way to North Carolina!  It feels SO good to act on a prompting, and to pay forward the blessings we’ve received.  I look forward to many other opportunities to do this again. — Tracy Gilmore

Thank you, Tracy, for sharing your wonderful story with us! And thank you to everyone who participated in our holiday giveaway!

Happy Holidays!


  7 comments for “Holiday Spirit: Tracy Gilmore’s Story

  1. Pastor Mickey
    January 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    What a blessing for all the families involved. There is a scripture that speaks to this: “It (really) is more blessed to give than to receive. ” Be blessed.

  2. Billie Nigro
    January 11, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Giving, especially anonymously, makes you feel so incredibly good! Your happy “high” stays with you for a really long time……….

  3. January 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Postscript: the day after we submitted this story, we had another opportunity to bless a family in need. Pastor Mickey, you’re indeed correct, it is more blessed to give than receive…

  4. Lisa Schoch
    April 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Tracey, this is the reason I love using SOC myself. Recently I had a young friend lose her rabbit. She’s only 15 and me my senior of 53. She has been going through a lot of struggles, probably even more than any 15-year-old would go through. Long story short, I sent her some “Forget Me Not” seeds in her card, and her mom told me she cried and made the statement, “She really does love me, doesn’t she?” to her mom. It felt so good to fill her heart with caring and love. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. June 10, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Thank you all for taking the time to share your wonderful and inspiring stories! I was blessed as a kid to have witnessed Christmas miracles and I hope when the time comes I will be ready and able to give abundantly. May the Lord bless you all!

  6. Dee Roberts
    July 15, 2013 at 4:52 am

    On January 3rd of this year, I fell …..face down on the patio as I was coming out of our motor home. I was left with a pinched spinal cord (from both the back and the front). With severe complications, I was not able to have surgery until April, but by that time the loss of most of my organs and motor functions were much worse. With my successful surgery behind me, I was released and came home. Only three days later I found myself again in the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack…..only to find out instead that I had a septic blood infection!
    Altogether, I spent 7 weeks in the hospital and rehab. During that time my wonderful sweet husband spent hours answering hundreds of emails and delivering cards to me. Yes, after 4 years of acting on my promptings and sending cards of gratitude, I found myself on the receiving end of Send Out Cards. How wonderful, special and personal every SOC was. As a receipent of all these many cards, I now fully understand what makes SOC so special and stand out above and beyond any other card company available today. Because of my health issues this year, we were unable to go to convention, but be sure we will soon be up and around….In the know and On the go with SOC! God bless all of you as he has blessed us this year.

  7. Eleanor June Griffin
    February 24, 2014 at 9:26 am

    This is so inspiring. I hope to be even more giving!

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