After His Mother’s Passing, Man Finally Learns Why She Disappeared Every Christmas Eve

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To those who celebrate Christmas, do you remember how you would spend Christmas Eve when you were a child? Were there family dinners, or visits by grandparents bringing more gifts for you to open? Maybe you spent your nights wide awake, unable to sleep due to excitement, trying to hear Santa upon your roof to deliver his presents?

One man spent his childhood celebrating Christmas Eve a little differently, as he had to watch his mother leave every December 24 for reasons unknown. Well, that is, until she passed, when all her secrets came to light.

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Christmas Is Best Spent With Loved Ones

As holiday tunes play on the radio and Christmas trees go up around the world, friends and families begin planning who will host this year’s dinners, parties, and get-togethers.

A family in the background spending time together, a Christmas tree in the foreground.
Pexels /
Pexels /

These celebrations often mean a lot to children specifically, so caught up in Christmas magic and able to express their excitement for the holiday in a warm, cheerful environment.

Every Family Celebrates Differently

Everyone has unique holiday traditions, though some are a little stranger than others.

A child standing next a wall in their home, looking at their Christmas tree.
Unsplash / Thandy Yung
Unsplash / Thandy Yung

One man recently recalled a tradition of sorts that left him rather confused as a child. His mother would vanish every Christmas Eve and be back by Christmas morning. He only came to learn why after her passing.

John Dorroh Grew Up In Illinois

He vividly remembers how his mom, Sue, would leave home every Christmas Eve for a few hours, taking her car and driving off somewhere mysterious while telling him she had some things to take care of.

A snowy town street lit up at night.
Unsplash / Josh Hild
Unsplash / Josh Hild

He was always confused by this behavior, especially considering she was always the type to buy presents early and spend as much time with him as possible, so traditional excuses for her disappearance held no water.

She Would Never Tell Him Where She Went

It wasn’t until decades later (after Sue passed away in 1990) that he learned the truth of what she was up to.

A scattered stack of beige paper and a mechanical pencil, one sheet having
Unsplash / Towfiqu barbhuiya
Unsplash / Towfiqu barbhuiya

The means through which he found out were equally as mysterious as the disappearances themselves, as he received a letter in the mail from a stranger who only called himself Robert.

Robert Claimed To Have Worked With Sue

The two appeared to be pretty good friends, so much so that Sue partook in an extremely generous act of kindness towards Robert’s family every single year on, you guessed it, Christmas Eve.

Assorted Christmas presents under a tree.
Pexels / Deena
Pexels / Deena

“Dear Johnny, I just wanted you to know how much my family and I appreciate what your mother has done for us for all of these years,” the letter began.

John Never Could Have Guessed She Was Doing This

“Every year on Christmas Eve day your mom comes to my house dress [sic] like Mrs. Claus and gives my kids a Christmas that we can’t afford to give them. She has given them shoes, shirts, jeans, toys, and candy.”

A Santa Claus leaving presents under someone's tree.
Pexels / cottonbro studio
Pexels / cottonbro studio

She apparently did this every single year until she passed, not missing a single Christmas Eve with Robert’s family.

Sue Had A Huge Impact

“I know your heart is heavy and that you are missing Miss Sue. We do, too. We loved her and just wanted you to know what she has done for us. Love, Robert and Nellie and the kids.”

A closeup of a woman holding both of her hands over the center of her chest.
Unsplash / Giulia Bertelli
Unsplash / Giulia Bertelli

This reveal after decades of mystery for John is not only a relief, but it’s also incredibly heartwarming. Sue was a truly beautiful soul to have kept up with this tradition.

Just One Night Made All The Difference

What Sue did was such a thoughtful, caring way to help not only a family in need but someone she considered a friend.

Christmas presents under a tree.
Pexels / Inga Seliverstova
Pexels / Inga Seliverstova

She could have gone a much easier route and simply donated some presents to them, but she went the extra mile to fill Robert’s children’s lives with magic and wonder, making Christmas something they could look forward to every year.

She Moved In Secret

She kept her arrangement with Robert hidden, even from her own son! This isn’t something she wanted to be praised for; it was done simply out of the goodness of her own heart.

A woman hiding half of her face behind a scarf.
Unsplash / Alexandru Zdrobău
Unsplash / Alexandru Zdrobău

She expected nothing in return either, instead finding joy in helping provide for a family in need.

There Is Always Time For Kindness

Many of us lead busy lives, juggling work, families, friends, finances, and numerous other things to ensure we stay grounded. It may not seem like there’s enough time in the day to do everything we want, especially when it comes to things like volunteering and giving back to our community.

A toddler opening up a Christmas present.
Pexels / Евгения
Pexels / Евгения

Sue’s story proves that for the right cause, there is always time.

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Daniel Mitchell-Benoit

Dan is a content writer with three years of experience under their belt, having mostly covered viral media but now shifting toward spirituality and astrology. He’s a strong believer in using one’s beliefs as a means of self-improvement and being in touch with whatever messages the universe has to offer.

He can’t wait to share his insights with a[…]