Photo: Courtesy of Pawinee Yongsatirachot
Pawinee Yongsatirachot of Peoria, Illinois, surrounded by her bounty.
Last December O rediscovered that the true magic of the season is in giving when we wrapped a whopping 852 packages and sent them to the 12 winners of our second Holiday Give-O-Way. Each winner—chosen randomly by computer from more than 2.1 million entries—received the full December "O List" and a sampling from Oprah's final "Favorite Things" episode (among the treasures: a cashmere throw, Tory Burch flats, an iPad, and a Sony HDTV).
Our gifts inspired disbelief, joy, and tears. "I didn't believe it until the FedEx man came to the door," recalls Metima Kirkland, 43, a mom from West Bloomfield, Michigan. "Then I started screaming at him." Cathy Malorzo, 63, a retired nurse in Dallas, wept, certain her oldest son—a dentist who died in 2009 from cancer—had "staged an intervention" to cheer her up. "The real blessing of this," Malorzo says, "has been seeing my daughter-in-law, Emily, smile."
At an upcoming family dinner, she'll regift Emily a mini-camcorder, among other items. Tim Fitzgerald, meanwhile, a 40-year-old social-work student in Orlando, took a friend who was down on her luck to the Nike Store to spend his $400 gift certificate.
Malorzo says her husband never understood why the "Favorite Things" audience always got so excited. "Women do Christmas," she says she told him. "We save the money, buy the gifts, wrap the gifts, cook the food, bring the family together. This happens in every culture, whatever you celebrate. No wonder those women cried! I once said to my son, 'I want Christmas to come to me.' Well, this year it did, in a Texas downpour via FedEx."
The winners of our 2010 12-Day Holiday Give-O-Way are: Nancy Butterly, Zachary Carnley, Jennifer Fisher-Roser, Timothy Fitzgerald, Hollyana Frost, Metima Kirkland, Catherine Malorzo, Elva Rogers, Debbie Smith, Angel White, Jane Yoder, and Pawinee Yongsatirachot. Read the official rules.