Sadly, I am not really into the whole holiday thing this year. How sad right? Yeah, I know but it’s the truth. As a child holidays were not much of a big event and we never got much either which for me was ok because I’ve always been more a giver than a receiver. But as a child it hurts when your surrounded by friends who would be out showing off all their gifted goodies while you were lucky to get anything at all.
When I started my own family I vowed I would never let my children feel left out as my siblings and I used to feel. As the years passed it became all about the decorations, the baking, the books, the movies, the music and of course watching the excitement in my children’s eyes as they open their gifts on that most awaited Christmas morning. Or the famous Christmas dinner that followed later in the evening after a day of watching everyone play with all their new stuff.
For years, I looked forward to the year-end months that brought all the holiday ; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year with so much anticipation and excitement. I would make my list and go shop for our children and the rest of the family. It was so much fun, and I loved coming home and wrapping all the gifts and how amazing the tree looked when it was all there. Not to mention how fun it was to wait until my kids were sleeping on Christmas Eve to bring out all the present. To wake in the morning with the amazed look that they were on the nice list and Santa had actually read there christmas lists. This was what is was about for me , spending time with family and watching my children glow with happiness. This in some way made up for my emptiness as a child.
But as the years have passed and times have changed it’s hard for me to find the motivation for celebrating the holiday’s I once had. When we made the decision for me to quit my job to stay home with my very special child we did not think of the impact it would have on all aspects of our lives in the distant future. My husband had just been layed off from his job of over ten years and we were adjusting to his new 50% pay cut at his new job, I had at that point become the bread-winner and then my income was gone. So we had to learn to live with a total 70% income reduction. The loss of both of our vehicles because we could no longer afford them. The loss of our home which destroyed the rest of our dreams and the disbelief that after having owned two other properties before this one that this was really happening to us. It has been the hardest years of my life.
We are barely making it with the little income we have and the notion of buying gifts is depressing. How? With what? Not to mention coming up with the money for Gabriel’s safety patrol field trip. How did I go from being the one that would help everyone to the one who needs help. And the sad part is when you need help there really is no one there to help.
So I am not looking forward to the holidays this year, I’m hoping they just fly by and I don’t have to deal with it. I have to put up a tree and some decorations because the kids are driving me insane asking when we are decorating. We usually have it all up at the beginning of November so this is very stressful to them. I am trying though, I told them we are going to make some handmade decorations as we do every year and still bake a ton of cookies to give to teachers, friends and family. But I have no desire to do it, I will be in auto pilot for most of the month.
I used to tell my hubby “it’s just money, whats the big deal” when he would become upset with me for spending so much helping others. I could just not stand to see someone going without if I could help. But now I see the importance of money; I know the holidays are about being thankful and spending time with your loved ones but you need money to even accomplish that.
I look forward to better times and I am saying prayers for the many families struggling as we are. I will be giving thanks to all the Christmas Angels out there that will be responsible for the smiles on many children’s faces this holiday season.