Christmas Eve 2001, 12:06 am.

My father's voice reached me in the kitchen at the other end of the house. "Lisa, could you come into our room for a second?"

I turned off the double boiler, ran through the hallway, and bounded onto their bed. My kitten licked the chocolate, still soft, inadvertently left on my hands from making Christmas candy.

"I know Christmas is not until tomorrow - but we wanted to give this to you tonight." He hands me a simple piece of 8.5" x 11" computer paper with these words on it:

Dear Lisa,

From this day forward, on Christmas Day, you will find an envelope resting in the branches of the Christmas Tree. Inside the envelope will be a money order that you will use as a donation to the charity of your choice. We feel that you are provided nearly all you need or desire throughout the year. We feel this is the most appropriate and special gift we can give to you. You have proven over the years that you care more about those in need than you do of yourself. However, this gift does come with one string attached. That is, the donation must be made anonymously. May God guide you as you choose the deserving charity.

Truly with all our love,

Mom & Dad

I truly could not be more blessed.