This is the time of year that children look forward too. It starts with Halloween and escalates to Christmas.
Some people start saving for Christmas the day after Christmas so that they do not have to worry about buying gifts. Some people shop sales all year long. Some people don't worry about it at all because money is never a worry. Others have to wait until that very last paycheck right before Christmas Eve to get their gifts. There are even folks that habitually do not pay any of their bills in December just so they have enough money to buy presents and dinner for Christmas.
I'm the kind of person that dreads November and December. We count every single penny each and every day here in our house. I could count on one hand the number of years in my adult life that the holidays were not riddled with anxiety, stress and fear. Now last year was a better year for us for the holidays. My husband's work was steady and the bills were paid and we were able to shop for presents over a period of a few weeks. We were able to buy food for both Thanksgiving and Christmas without not paying a utility bill in order to do it. This year? Let us just say that the bills are piling up, my rent is due tomorrow, our health insurance payment is a month late and no we do not have one single gift purchased. My daughter wants to know when we are going shoe shopping for her Christmas dance outfit and my son would like to go to the movies. They don't realize that the bank account has maybe $200 in it and I'm really not sure when we will have any more than that. It is very easy to feel sad, disgusted and speak in a rather snippy tone these days.
I try and sit down and look around and see that even with everything I just mentioned I really am blessed. I have a roof over my head (granted I do not own that roof but at least there is a roof), we have heat, electricity, some food, cell phones, cable TV, a puppy, and the kids are healthy. Sure our cars are old and need repairs but they run and we at least have cars. We live in a safe neighborhood and my kids go to a safe school. My son's biggest worry is if the puppy will pull the tree down and what if she barks at Santa and he gets scared and leaves without giving him presents. LOL! My daughter is worried she won't be able to find shoes we can afford that will fit her for the Christmas dance in 9 days (no she doesn't own any dress shoes that she could wear so actually the shoes are kind of a must since she needs them for her chorus concert too).
I have been a lot worse off. A lot! There are folks who are not as fortunate as I am. November and December is much more stressful for them than for us. There is a certain uber-cool Pittsburgh gal who does some really great things for families here every year about this time. Each and every year she gives families in need something to smile about. So if you are in a position where you can spare some money to help out a mother and her children this year then please head over here and you can donate online. If you live here in Pittsburgh and you want to give a new, unwrapped gift to help the children who live in the domestic violence shelter you can head over to Cafe Solstice, Planet Smoothie, or X Shadyside Health and Fitness and drop them off.
Here's hoping your Holiday is fabulous!