When the Michaud family made the phone call, the mother on the other line tearfully said she was planning on re-gifting her children’s old toys in hopes that the kids forgot the items were already theirs.
The call was to tell that local mom that thanks to the Michaud family’s annual “Christmas Angels” concert in Pocatello, she would have new toys to put under the tree for her children.
That was back in 2009, the third year of “Christmas Angels,” an event that has brought Christmas joy to numerous local families in need.
The yearly holiday concert, orchestrated by the Michaud family, has a unique admission price: a new unwrapped children’s toy or money to help local families have a happy Christmas.
The Michauds’ 13th annual “Christmas Angels” concert is set for 7 p.m. Monday at Calvary Alliance Church, 800 Marinus Lane in Pocatello.
The Michauds find those in need through word of mouth, speaking to people from various avenues including other churches and schools. Kathy Michaud of Pocatello said donations to the event go to hundreds of local residents in need every year, including the aforementioned case of the mother who was going to re-gift her children’s own toys.
“She was literally pulling out old toys of her kids and cleaning them off to rewrap them so there was something under the tree,” Michaud said. “And as she was crying (she) just said, ‘I didn’t know how we were going to have Christmas.’”
Kathy Michaud as well as four of her children and nine of her grandchildren, many of whom have lived in Pocatello, will sing at Monday’s concert. One of her sons, Stephen Michaud, will perform his original pop songs.
There was concern about whether the concert would take place this year because of the poor health of some family members, including Stephen.
The 32-year-old has been recovering from an early October intensive appendectomy after his appendix ruptured. Prior to that, he had gallbladder surgery last year.
Kathy said Stephen, who currently resides in Hurricane, Utah, has not completely regained his energy, but he is flying into Pocatello the day before the concert.
Stephen’s sister Tiffany has her own health issues. The 30-year-old Idaho Falls woman had kidney surgery in early September and will undergo bladder surgery a day after the Christmas concert.
“Everybody’s health was a little bit weird,” Kathy said. “But we’re going to do it, come heck or high water.”
The donation-generating event is music-oriented because the Michauds are a musical family, dating back to Kathy’s parents and grandparents.
“The one thing my kids can do is they all can sing and so we decided this is what we wanted to do,” Kathy said. “Instead of worrying about making your own list, it’s more about coming together and doing something bigger than yourself. And so for us, it’s kind of what we look forward to doing all year and no matter what the hurdle.”
On top of gathering gifts to be placed under the Christmas trees of local families in need, Kathy and the rest of her family provide a night of music for those who gather at Calvary Alliance Church every year.
“It just takes away any differences, any worries, any struggles,” Kathy said of music. “Something that has you bogged down for the day, you start singing the most beautiful song and you come together and you work on harmonies. I just think it makes you so much stronger and unified. Music is just something that touches everybody.... I can’t even imagine life without music.”