Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We Need A little Christmas

I recently went to a fundraising event in our area. One that raises money for Christmas gifts for children. It surprised me who was there. Mostly families that looked like they could use a hand. Ones, like us, who are strapped for every dime. The cashing-in-bottles-for-extra-cash type. All of us donating some of that extra cash, to buy a coloring book or some matchbox cars for an area youth.

With times as tough as they are for the majority of us, I can only imagine the numbers of applicants requesting help from this program.

Then there are the "too proud to ask for help", types. The coupon clippers. The sales flyer shoppers. The bottle collectors.

That's the rest of us!

Yet we scrounge enough to buy a package of PlayDough at our local dollar tree.. Jeans marked down at Walmart...plan a "handmade" holiday.

I like to think that this teaches my children humility. The value of a buck. That it is better to give than to receive.

I am reminded of a story.

My then 13-year-old asked me,  "Mom, are we poor?"

"No honey. We are thrifty. I am teaching you to appreciate what you have. Building character," I said. 

I remember being proud of my answer. Knowing that I said just the "right" thing.

She responded,  "Yeah, that's what all the poor mothers say!"

So again this year, I plan my handmade holiday. Clip my coupons. Shop the sales racks. Cash in our bottles.

I know that we are "poor".

But, that's OK.

I have a roof over my head. Food in my belly. Beautiful, thoughtful, and kind children (really!). And a husband who adores me.

That is the magic of the season.  

And that's exactly what all the poor mothers say!   


Andrew Scott Turner said...

Your husband DOES adore you, and all that you do.

Look at that beautiful smiling baby. That's cause he loves and appreciates his mommy.

justlori2day said...

As a child I grew up rather fortunate. As an adult this has caused problems. Because I cannot rationally and effectively deal with the shortfalls.

I watched my dad go to Mexico for two weeks (coming back this week), only to leave next week for the Southern part of the country for 5 months.

All the time my brother's family and mine struggle to pay medical bills, and are scrounging for grocery and gas money.

Several years ago we told our dad that we needed him to cut the cord - mostly because when he gave us money, there were strings attached - and allow us to be self sufficient adults. We are both married with families, and need to take ownership for it on our own.

Its not that I wish I could take it back and still have his support. I feel strongly that we both sudder because we were not raised to understand the need to earn what we got, pinch pennies and struggle a little.

Being thrifty is a good moral to teach our kids. It WILL make them stronger adults. And hopefully they won't be forced to struggle as we do.

justlori2day said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
justlori2day said...

I meant to say suffer not sudder. Also, unlike many snowbirds, my dad is only 61.

Corrine said...

I do hope they struggle. Just a little as adults. I truely feel that this gives them appreciation for all things.
You can't write a good story for yourself, or your family, without something to tell.

Heather said...

We went to Breakfast with Santa too. I am so glad they are finally at an age where they understand that we didn't go JUST to see Santa, though it was a nice bonus. They understand that we went to help those whose circumstances we might be just one paycheck lost, to being one day. Its a lesson in humility and generosity. Thats something this town has A LOT of. Most of us might come from little more than nothing. But, we'll all share what we have. I hope that my kids can appreciate that as they get older instead of hating small town life.