Having worked at Edgewood for 13 years, Eddie has seen 13 holiday seasons, which is a really special time at Edgewood. So many of the Edgewood children and families have never had the full holiday experience, so when he saw the kids open their gifts, it was something really special. In these children’s lives, and in general for many families, the holidays can be a painful time. People may not have everything they need; some parents may not be able to provide their children with the kind of holiday they want.
“I used to play Santa every year for the kids living at Edgewood. I’d be dressed up, we’d have other staff dressed as elves, and I’d have a bag and beard and everything,” Eddie remembers. “And we would go into the cottages and have a big party and give the kids their gifts.”
Years later, one boy came back to visit Eddie, and he said, “You know, Eddie, I knew that you were Santa, but I never told the other kids. I didn’t want to ruin it for them.”
The thing that really struck Eddie was when the boy told him that Edgewood really changed Christmas for him. He learned about the tradition and about giving, and how it’s just as much fun to give as to receive. Every year he was here, he hoped he wouldn’t get discharged before Christmas, because he didn’t want to miss an Edgewood holiday.
“It really made an impact on me,” Eddie shared. “For this boy who came back, it showed to me that we really did make a difference with all that giving, and the love that was given to him. Now Christmas is one of his favorite times of year because of the way he learned to appreciate Christmas-time at Edgewood. That really sunk in.”