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Grandparents often have a very special relationship with their grandchildren.

They are notorious for spoiling the youngsters: treating them to ice cream, taking them to ball games or movies, lending a sympathetic ear, and, quite simply, showering them with love, affection, and wisdom.

But for grandparents who are thrust back into the role of parents, their duties include instilling discipline, enforcing the rules, and, of course, paying the bills to feed, clothe, and shelter the children, who now depend on them for stability and security.

It’s a lot to ask, especially as many grandparents have already retired and live on a limited budget.

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So as the Christmas season arrives and pressure mounts to add gifts to the equation, they reach out to Globe Santa for assistance.

“My granddaughter has brought me great joy, but I am on a fixed income and struggling to make ends meet,” one such grandmother wrote in a letter to Globe Santa.

“This will be my sixth Christmas with my granddaughter and I want her to have the special day that she deserves.”

The senior citizen and her 10-year-old granddaughter share a cramped Dorchester apartment. And while they may not have much in the form of material things, the bond between them is priceless.

“My granddaughter loves to read and write and she is doing very good in school. She loves to dance and she also excels in arts and crafts,” the grandmother wrote.

“She says when she grows up she wants to run her own business and take care of her nana.”

The girl’s parents “were not able to provide a safe and loving home,” her grandmother’s letter said, but “I refuse to allow my granddaughter to end up in the foster care system; I will do everything in my power to make sure she is safe and loved.”

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The thought of such a compassionate and determined child suffering through a dreary holiday was too much for her grandmother to bear, so she swallowed her pride and decided to ask for some assistance.

“My granddaughter has endured pain and suffering,” she wrote.

“I feel that without Globe Santa’s help, she might face another sad day.”

The girl and her grandmother need not worry. They are on Globe Santa’s list and will be among the tens of thousands of families who receive gifts from the fund drive.

They will share a more joyful Christmas thanks to the thousands of individuals and groups that donate to the annual campaign, many of whom have made giving to Globe Santa part of their own holiday tradition.

For the grandmother who wants to see her 10-year-old granddaughter enjoy the thrill of finding presents on Christmas morning, her gratitude was already evident.

“I would appreciate any help that Globe Santa can provide,” her letter concluded. “Thank you in advance for your consideration.”

Please consider giving by mail, phone, or on line at globesanta.org.


Christopher Tangney can be reached at ctangney22@hotmail.com.