Thursday, December 13, 2012

On the first day of Christmas....

WOW! It is only twelve days until Christmas I cannot believe that! This week, everyone I see has been asking me, "Are you ready for Christmas?" and I keep saying the same thing... "Um... well that requires purchasing gifts right?" HAHA, yep, it's been that kind of -month, but I am GREAT under pressure so it's all good! I am getting excited about it and because of that I am going to do a "Twelve days of Christmas" themed blog. Yep... you will have something inspiring from me EVERYDAY for the next twelve days... that is my Christmas gift to you. The only twist is that instead of what "someone gave to me" it will be "what I give to you." So... here it goes

**On the first day of Christmas this blogger gives to you... a blog post to share with all your friends**

 A lot of people are struggling this year, many people are barely making ends meet, perhaps without jobs, losing their homes and may not even have a Christmas tree. I think about these people, I hurt for these people and I understand these people... I have been those people. It's harder than hard to have children and wonder if you will be able to give them a proper Christmas. I remember years when I had  to go shopping on Christmas Eve because I had no choice in the matter. I was a hairstylist, so I would work until the very last day hoping to make enough to get the tree, and be able to shop for my kids. I remember the way it felt... the stress it involved and the prayers that I said.

Just a few years ago in fact, I went through the worst one yet... which actually turned out to be the best one in the end. It was year before my oldest daughter Cierra would leave for college, I had just given birth to my youngest daughter Abrielle who has Down syndrome in October, and had split up from my ex husband a few months prior to her birth. I barely had enough money in the bank to cover necessities, much less Christmas presents from "Santa". I asked my ex husband to take the younger ones and allow them to have "Santa" as his house. Unfortunately, we were not on good enough terms at the time to "share" this event for the sake of the kids. I managed to make enough money to purchase a few things for each child, but I will never forget how hopeless and defeated I felt knowing I had four children that I could not give "Christmas" to.

As I tried very hard to find optimism in all of my funk, I was determined to make it a good Christmas for my daughter Cierra and I. I remember waking up on Christmas Eve morning and telling my daughter that we were going shopping. She was confused, because she knew I had no money. I said to her... "I have $100 in the bank and Christmas is about giving, not receiving, homeless people have nobody at Christmas, so let's go find some to give gifts to." We headed out to the local Goodwill and bought coats, scarves, blankets, hats and gloves, then we went to a dollar store to buy toothpaste, tooth brushes, combs, razors shaving cream and deodorant. We made out like banshees for under $100. With the left over money, I treated us to lunch as Five Guys and we called it a day. It was exhilarating and I even began to hum Christmas tunes in my head for the first time that season.

On Christmas morning, I made a simple breakfast and we hit a stretch of road that was typically ridden with homeless people. My initial goal was to actually hand people items and wish them a Merry Christmas, however, we spotted a homeless shelter on our hunt. We pulled in and our vehicle was bombarded with volunteers who quickly unloaded the SUV we were in and took off like bandits. I was a little startled and somewhat disappointed at how they handled everything, but nevertheless, I knew we helped some people that day. We hung around for a while and as we walked around, we mingled a bit with the people who were there to get a hot meal and wished a few a Merry Christmas; and because of that our Christmas was merrier than it would have been, and quite honestly for me... it was one of the best ones ever!

As this season of merriness approached ever so rapidly, don't forget what it is truly about... and that is giving. If you find yourself broke on Christmas Eve, get creative... and give of yourself, teach your kids that you don't have to have money to have a Merry Christmas, and don't beat yourself up because you are not the only one in that position. If you know someone who needs to hear this this season, please share this with them.

Come back tomorrow to see what this blogger has for you on second day of Christmas!