Thursday, 20 December 2012

Blog 57 - It's Christmas Time

I love the real reason for Christmas - the birth of Jesus. I have my nativity scene out on display all year round - Jesus is at the centre of my faith. And I hang on to that when I am bombarded with all the secular and materialistic messages that come through the tv everyday telling you to spend, spend, spend up big to have the perfect Christmas. Gifts, gifts, gifts, food, food, food. I don't want Christmas to put my family into chronic debt so I find that I have to try to tune out to this bombardment though at times it is hard to do so. Who wouldn't want to have a $1000 diamond ring under the Christmas tree or to eat a turducken for Christmas lunch?!

Christmas can be depressing. Lack of money and missing passed on family members makes it a difficult time of year. This year I have made a concerted effort to focus my mind on what I have, not what I haven't got.

My joy this Christmas season has come to me by....
  • Watching the children put up the Christmas tree, singing and twirling and covering themselves in tinsel, choosing which ornaments to put on the tree and looking at the special ones with their names on them.
  • Visiting homes lit up with thousands of lights and colours which paint their faces with magical wonderment.
  • Seeing the children participating in our church's Christmas Carols concert as angels.
  • Watching Jessica's face light up when she sees Santa Claus.
  • Listening to them counting down the days with growing excitement.... these simple things bring great joy and a smile to my face. No amount of money can buy these heart gifts.

Buying the Gifts

As I've already said, we don't have a lot of money. We basically live from pay to pay. With me working part-time and Joe being the carer, taking the children to all their freequent hospital appointments and Jess to her weekly therapies, means we do not earn much. But we do have plenty of love. Christmas is hard...and I commiserate with all other people on limited incomes. 
Before children it was fantastic to be able to buy lots of presents and spend our money on frivolous things..but not now. It has become...a limit spent on each child's gifts, re-gifting for relatives and friends, buying things on sale, making things, and a semi-bare pantry and fridge.
The Children's Gifts
This year Melissa and Nick have been very well prepared with their Christmas lists. They first wrote their letter to Santa, which were posted in our local mailbox. Next they meticulously went through the toy catalogues which are put in our letter box, choosing what they want.  (They get a present from Santa and some presents from us).
A list was devised, numbered in the order of their favourites, with prices and the stores they were at! They were told that they would not get everything on their lists and if we couldn't get their requests we would buy them gift cards so they could buy something of their own choice. I was actually quite impressed by their lists as it made it very easy for us to work out equal spending and we didn't have to go store to store hunting for their requests. I am not a window shopper or a browser - I shop like a man (sorry if I offend) - I go straight to the store and buy the item.

I had planned to buy the kids' presents with cash I had saved over time but with a few bills lately to pay I had dug into that jar... which meant we didn't quite have enough, so I was looking at using the dreaded credit card. But my God does supply my needs as it is written in the Bible, as a lovely angel delivered some money to us that day - perfect amount and perfect timing.

Jess on the other hand has no concept of Christmas presents. She adores Santa - but he MUST be called Santa Claus! Jess gets so excited when she sees Santa in person or on tv. She doesn't have a long list of desired toys - infact she has no list. She has not been hooked into this world's materialistic drive. She has named her baby doll Jesus and has been carrying her doll around. Her heart is in the right place. Last year Jess was happy with the first present she opened - she didn't want to open any others and I am guessing this year won't be too different. She has a lot to teach the rest of us.

4 sleeps till Christmas

© 2012 by Jenny Woolsey
No part of this blog may be reproduced without prior permission

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