Nick Varano (left), owner of North End restaurants Strega and Nick Varano’s Famous Deli, and former New England Patriots offensive tackle Max Lane helped Globe Santa with his fund Wednesday at South Station.
Nick Varano (left), owner of North End restaurants Strega and Nick Varano’s Famous Deli, and former New England Patriots offensive tackle Max Lane helped Globe Santa with his fund Wednesday at South Station.
Mary O’Connor for The Boston Globe

For a single mother who wrote to Globe Santa this year, the blessings of a loving family have been felt even more deeply as she has worked to overcome a serious illness.

She wants her children — who so often have been the source of her strength — to experience the wonder of finding presents from Santa Claus on Christmas morning.

But without help, she is afraid they’ll miss out on that magical moment.

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“It’s hard for me to explain how deserving of a good Christmas my children are,” wrote the mother from north of Boston. “We are making it, together. But surviving is different than thriving.”

Her 6-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son have come to understand that their mother’s cerebral palsy makes it impossible for her to do many of the things other parents do, and thus far they also seem blissfully unaware that they don’t have as much, materially, as most of their friends.

“I see the clothes the other students getting on and off the bus are wearing, and I feel insecure about the old clothes my kids have,” the woman wrote. “They’re growing so fast I feel like I can’t keep up with them.”

She recently completed a course of study online and hopes that it will lead to steady employment. However, her condition puts some limits on what she can pursue. She is unable to drive, and using the mouse and keyboard on a computer are somewhat cumbersome tasks, she wrote.

Her son and daughter are especially close, her letter continued, and despite the difficult changes they have endured over the last few years, they are “happy children.”

“I am asking for your help in changing our holiday into a remarkably special holiday,” she wrote. “Please, help me put permanent smiles on the two most important faces in my life.”

These two children will join tens of thousands others on Globe Santa’s list this year, receiving gifts thanks to the overwhelming generosity of individuals and groups.

For the last several years, more than $1 million has been raised annually in support of Globe Santa. For the last half-century, the Globe Santa effort has helped make children’s dreams come true in families throughout Eastern Massachusetts that celebrate Christmas in the Santa Claus tradition, but cannot afford gifts.

The Boston Globe pays all of the administrative costs associated with the fund drive, so every dollar donated is used to buy and deliver toys, books, and other gifts.

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