The start of the week before Christmas

Ahhhhhh here we are at the beginning of another fabulous week! And not just any week but the week before Christmas.

I’m sure most folks have done their shopping, got things in order and are ready for the holiday. For me, yeah, I am still behind! But that’s OK by me because I am at peace with it. Finally. It seems after all these years it took me having a child and being laid off from my job to realize other  things that are more important.

I quit the black Friday shopping about 20 years ago. If I couldn’t find what I needed for family and friends then it wasn’t necessary. Over 15 years ago I realized it didn’t matter if I bought presents or made them. If the recipient wanted something I couldn’t afford and was upset about it, then I didn’t need to be doing something for them. After losing family and friends my circle shrank even more. I always made sure the children in my life, and ones I didn’t know, had Christmas because I love seeing the beauty of Christmas magic through a child’s eyes.

When my son was born I wasn’t working. His first Christmas he was only 3 months old and well, there isn’t a lot a 3 month old needs as far as toys! For his second Christmas, and him being the first and only grandchild in both families, it was a bit of overkill. He had so much that he literally couldn’t play with everything. It seemed to happen the next year too.

By his 3rd Christmas, his father and I were no longer together so I think we both tried to make up in some way for us not all being together. (For the record, we swap Christmas eve each year so that he gets to be with both families on Christmas day. Yes, it can be challenging but this way he gets to be with both of us.)

Last year I scaled back a bit and he was just as happy. After all, he gets two Christmases and he is not wanting for anything. This year I have scaled back even further. I also realized I was letting Santa get too much credit for all the hard work I put into each gift for him. I did this with his birthday and it seemed to work out well. He gets so much from friends and family so I no longer worry he will feel like he is “missing out.”

Plus, I am teaching him the joy of giving to others as well as spending time with family and friends.

It’s been a rough year for me financially and I really don’t want to loose the little ground I have gained on a bunch of toys that will be set aside or forgotten because there is an abundance from everyone else.I have been blessed with wonderful friends and family who help me out too, but I do want to be able to provide for him myself.

Part of me providing is teaching him how material things aren’t what is important but that the love and time spent with friends and family is. It isn’t an easy task when every paper, commercial and store has “Toys that You Need” splattered across every surface that you can see. He loves to say, “I want that!” with every commercial or circular sent in the mail. So I asked him what he really wanted. If he could have just 3 things what he would really want. I told him to think about it and get back with me. That boy continues to amaze me. He wanted his Pops in heaven, his Jethro dog, also in heaven and maybe some toys that Santa or mommy thinks he would like. Let’s say it together now, “Ahhhhhhhh!”

Of course within the next hour when he was watching television he said, “This toy could be one of the ones you get for me mommy!” about 15 times! But still. I think he’s understanding you can’t always buy the gifts he “thinks” he wants. He is understanding that people, and animals, are more important than all of the material items he can get. Don’t get me wrong, he is a 5 year old boy and loves his toys, but he loves his family and friends too. He will chose people over things most of the time.

So I am not sweating the small stuff this year. I know that my friends and family understand my financial challenges. I am hoping to spend time and good meals with them. Those important things. Not to say I won’t give and receive a few gifts, but I am looking forward to the time with them. Not what I get or give.

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday.

Don’t knock yourself out or go into debt this season. Enjoy those you love if you can, and if not, plan for before or after, just get together!

Keep Hope Alive!



One thought on “The start of the week before Christmas

  1. For a long time, sometimes have we have gotten older we spurge a bit,; Me, my mama and sister ( since she was little) made a pact: We all buy each other with monetary reason one store bought gift if we can, we work all year on a gift we have homemade ( some of the most treasured gifts I’ve ever gotten and still have), and we each give a set amount to one another’s charity or cause of choice. After my parents divorced my mother didn’t have a lot of money, and wouldn’t allow my other set of grandparents to buy me “tons” of toys. A gift could be my Nonna teaching me to play piano, or gymnastic lessons through the year. One of my presents from my mother each year was a homemade coupon book that promised me one matinee movie each month on Sunday. My uncles Charlie and Tim would had even less money than we did would save up and go to one of the now gone dollar stores and buy me a couple of things. Tim is not much older than me and we would make each other Christmas cards, Charlie..who wasn’t much older than me either…always bought me something or would save all year and give the money to my mom to buy me something extra and to also buy herself something from me. We did not have much, but to me I had it all; I had my Mama, my nonna, my grandma who would cook and that was our present, and my uncles I loved dearly. My uncle Tim…still has every Christmas card I’ve ever made him, and vice versa, and in Charlie’s things I received when he passed was every homemade present I had given him. Christmas is about love and making the people you love feel special. May this Christmas be a very special one for you.

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