"THE ELEVATOR" E9
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THIS WEEK: GIFTING ! - HOLIDAY OVERLOAD
I may be too late. You may have already spent way over what you planned. And you have just a couple more things you can’t resist picking up. Then again, maybe addressing this to the almost broke will prevent you becoming the completely broke with January wallet hang-over.
I spent most of my early single mother years with little money & lots of dreams; with young children I wanted to make sure their birthday & Christmas wishes came true. As a young mother I did set & stick with a budget, I had to, there was no extra money to be extravagant. For family & friends I did many things to round out/replace bought gifts.
I made things: calendars with all the family & friend’s birthdates & anniversaries on them; baked breads; IOU cards that promised special time alone with each child or “your choice of the dinner menu 2 times a month for a year”; a letter telling them how proud I was of them.
One year between September & November: I signed papers to buy a house & have it renovated, lost my job, had an auto accident that totaled the car & put me in the hospital overnight, had a house break-in with tvs & even the washing machine with water & clothes in it stolen & the renovation was going disastrously (no kitchen sink, walls half finshed & dust covered everything) - I knew there would be no Christmas, not even a small one - no decorations & no gifts. I was too depressed, broke & without hope to have one.
I explained to my 2 boys how things were & that we would: go to Christmas eve service at church, go out to dinner & a movie on Christmas day & they would each get $25 to buy whatever they wanted the day after Christmas. Since everything would be marked down then they would get even more for their money.
I didn’t know how well I had taught them. They understood better than I that it wasn’t the gifts that made things great. It was the planning & being together that was really important. They applauded the plan & were excited. The movie they chose was the first Star Wars. With a little help from church friends & my sons’ attitudes I’ve never forgotten that Xmas.
An added, unexpected bonus that year was learning how to accept help. My sons told friends at our UU church about our plan. On Xmas eve several of the parents brought a spaghetti dinner to our house & presented us with a tree, decorations & presents. I never would have asked. I learned the art of gratitude & the specialness of the relationship that exists in receiving so that others can give.
So, find someone with an unvoiced need & give a little. Then get out pen & paper or use your computer & tell your kids (siblings, parents, etc.) how much you love them, how much they mean to you & how proud of them you are. You don’t have to skip all presents, you just have to make sure the most important one - YOU - is given as well.
At my floor again. Going now. Bye. Marta
Please forward/share this to others you know so they’ll grow right along with you.
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