Single mothers wish for happiness

A great many of the letters sent to Globe Santa each year are from single mothers facing hardships that are both emotionally draining and financially debilitating.

In the face of different challenges, they have a single purpose: they want their children to be happy at Christmas.

“My son is almost 2 years old, and he’s at the age where he is aware of what’s going on around him,” wrote a single mother from a community north of Boston.

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“I can’t stand the thought of him waking up on Christmas morning and not having anything for him to open. I know he’s not old enough to blame me, but I feel like a disappointment,” her letter continued.

The woman readily admits that she made some poor choices before her son was born, but she has been a loving and responsible parent since her life changed nearly two years ago with the arrival of her first child, she said in her letter.

Despite her best efforts, she is just getting by, and she said she breathes a sigh of relief every month after making sure their bills are paid and they still have a warm place to live and enough food to eat.

“I was hoping that at least for Christmas, the world could be put on hold and we could just enjoy spending time together as a family and embrace the holiday magic,” she wrote. “But now I’m afraid I won’t even be able to give him that. Please help him believe that holiday miracles exist. Help me believe. Thank you, and Merry Christmas.”

Meanwhile, a single mother from Dorchester wrote to Globe Santa on behalf of her three sons, ages 10, 6, and 4.

She is a hard-working woman in a low-paying job, she said, and it has been all she can do to keep up with expenses.

In fact, she recently had to arrange for a special payment plan with her electric provider to keep the heat and lights on in their apartment.

Her three boys, she wrote, are the inspiration that keeps her going.

“I am the mother of three of the most amazing boys that you could ever meet,” she wrote. “They truly are the reason I live and breathe.”

She went on to say that in the past, she was able to use lay-a-way plans to be sure she had at least one gift for each boy, but this year she has been unable to set aside even a few dollars a week.

As most mothers would be, she is heartbroken over the thought of seeing sad faces on Christmas morning.

“They do not ask for much, but this year I am not even sure what they will receive,” her letter concluded. “They have been so good. Thank you for thinking about us.”

These two families will join more than 25,000 others in receiving a visit from Globe Santa this holiday season so that their children will have presents to open on Christmas morning.

For more than half a century, the Globe Santa fund drive has delivered gifts to children in families that celebrate Christmas in the Santa Claus tradition.

Thanks to the generosity of thousands of individuals and groups that contribute to the fund drive, every Eastern Massachusetts family asking for a visit from Globe Santa will be included on his list.

Visit to learn more about the history of Globe Santa, upcoming events, or to make a donation.