We've all been through the lean years and the fat years financially. I'll tell you that growing up in Presque Isle, Maine, my parents had more lean years than they care to admit. My Dad was a blue-collar worker through and through, and made little money. And there were many Christmases that my folks struggled to provide for us six kids. But somehow we managed. But there was one Christmas that an unexpected blessing came our way.

I think the year was 1968, and it was certainly a lean year for the Jewell family on Chapman Street. It was Christmas Eve and there wasn't much of anything under the tree. I would have been nine and half years-old, and I had already figured out the whole Santa Claus mystery. And one thing that I knew for sure was that Dad and Mom were stressing over our poverty at Christmas time.

It was early evening on that cold Christmas Eve when there came a knock at the door. Mom opened the door to a smiling priest from our church along with a nun and a helper behind him that walked into our two-bedroom apartment with toys for all of us kids and big box of food. What a wonderful surprise it was for all of us. I'll never forget that as long as I live.

Even through hope and prayer, blessings still catch us off guard, and they always seem come at a time when we need them the most.

We've all heard of seen the stories of a 'Secret Santa' appearing at store, mall, or on the street just randomly handing out large sums of cash to unsuspecting folks. Little blesses my heart more than to see those moments captured, and to see the sincere gratitude of the recipient.

I found this video from a few years back. I'm just really glad that Secret Santa still comes in the Saint Nick of time. You gotta believe...