I think I'm back.  I know it wasn't much of a break but it did me good anyway.  This post is just my annual Christmas time post moaning over how poor we are.  This year I've really noticed it's worse than usual though.  The husband is getting two short paydays in Dec.  When he gets these short pays we barely have enough money to pay the bills and feed ourselves.  Can you imagine getting two paychecks like that in Dec?  Yup, that is what we are dealing with this year.

I don't have anywhere to borrow money to tide us over.  Usually I can take some money out of the kid's accounts and then pay it back later but they don't have any money in their accounts.  The son bought a computer and the daughter used her money to pay for her cell phone.  And we only give them each $10 every two weeks for a whooping $5/week allowance.  So it takes ages for them to save any money.  The son, who's 16 really should get a job but he's so shy he just can't get the courage up to do it.  We've encouraged him and encouraged him but he's not budging.

The daughter would get a job if she could but no one hires 14 year olds except for babysitters and we don't know anyone she can babysit for.  Our town is full of retired people so not many kids to babysit in the first place.  I'm out of options.  I've gone to every place I can think of with my resume, again, and no one is hiring.  I've sold off everything that is worth anything so I don't have anything else to sell.

Today I was feeling really horrible about the holiday season and how we were going to manage to get through it.  I had $10 in my purse.  I went by the Santa ringing his bell for donations for the Salvation Army.  I knew the man so I stopped to chat.  I reached into my purse and tossed my last $10 in the pot.  That money wouldn't have made any difference for me so I figured I'd give it to someone else.  We won't starve or lose our house.  We have clothes and loved ones around us.  So in the spirit of the season I gave what I had and I felt great!  The weight lifted off of me and I felt so much better about getting through Christmas.

I could make this into a heartwarming blog post dripping with the sentiment of the season but we all get enough of that at this time of year.  I was just so surprised how good I felt after giving away my last $10.  I've given to charity before and given my time and energy to good causes but never felt that kind of lift before.  Maybe that $10 was weighing heavily on me because it would have to last till the next payday.  That last $10 would have to buy gifts, pay for gas, get baking and craft supplies, a Christmas tree, wrapping paper and candy canes.  When the $10 was gone so went all the expectations.  Now I can relax and enjoy my family even if we don't have all the Christmas stuff we usually do.

I know my teens aren't going to be happy about only getting one gift this year but at least it's the gift they wanted.  Now I'm off to help at the school bake sale.  At least I can still give my time and energy to stuff even if I don't have any money left.


I was broke one Christmas so what I did for presents was to give people some nice possession of mine that I thought they would like. Second-hand but sincere!
Sparkless said…
We bake cookies for family or make something like a personalizes Christmas ornament. If I had anything that I thought someone would love I'd give it to them at Christmas. Great idea.
I found a a tutorial on YouTube that shows you have to make a fabric covered Christmas ornament. When done it looks like it's quilted but no sewing is involved. I'm making a few of those with fabric scraps I have.
Sparkless said…
Sorry about all those typos in that comment.
Erin said…
You are definitely more charitable than I am! I admit I will look for spare change for buckets but wouldn't part with my last $10. I think in part I'm jaded since we have a very large population of addicts here holding signs up at all street corners so I get to where I just don't believe anyone anymore. I will however do service projects and the like happily anytime. I love to do the Christmas Tree Angel program (pick a name off a tree and buy a gift for that needy child) or food drives, and would probably help someone pay for groceries at the store if they didn't have enough but I just don't trust people with plain old cash around here. Hubby is the only one getting a gift so far around here, we don't even have the funds really to go home to MN for the holidays so this Christmas will be interesting, but at least we have "daddy" here for it so that's all I really care about. Deployment is in January so we are just thankful he will get to spend Christmas with us.
Sparkless said…
Erin, I gave it to the Santa for the Salvation Army. I knew the man so I felt safe enough handing over the money.
In years past we've picked a family and then got a grocery basket and left it on their doorstep. Sadly this year we can't afford to do it. We may be able to leave some cookies on a few doorsteps though.

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