If you were to enter my house, well, apartment, really, you won't find an enormous live tree, nor will you see much in the way of decorating. No fresh wreaths on the door, and no twinkling lights outside on the porch. Underneath our years-old artificial tree, there will be a little pile of gifts, maybe five or six, set aside for our son.
I can tell you with certainty, that those facts tore me up for quite awhile. I wanted nothing more than to make my home a Christmas haven for my little boy. I wanted this to be the year that we could go out and buy a real tree, so he could experience it's beautiful pine scent fill the air. I wanted to spread out our money throughout the year, so that we could give him a spectacular Christmas.
Now, don't get me wrong. We've decorated a little bit. I have some lights up in our windows, cute little battery powered ones that I found at our local dollar store, as well as some really cute window clings, because my little guy just loves those things, and we always decorate the windows together, it's our thing. But we cannot afford to buy a fresh wreath to put on our front door, nor can we spare the money to light up the outside of our home. It just isn't financially feasible for us.
A lot happened this past year. We had to find a new place to live in a short amount of time, and our car totally just up and died in the middle of an extremely busy highway, on our wedding anniversary, no less. At the time, we didn't even have the funds to purchase a car. Or a bike, really. Anything with wheels, as a matter of fact. But our families were right there for us. My parents spent hours upon hours with us on the side of the road, coming to our rescue when we needed it the most. While my husbands parents helped us get a new car, well used, but you know what I mean.
My husband diligently gets up every morning to go to work, without fail, to make money to keep a roof over our heads, and food on the table. I've never really worried about the whole "clothes on our back thing," for Syrus, at least. Seriously, his grandparents on both sides adore getting him clothes. The husband and I wear what we have. We do scrimp and we do try to save. But it is always always those unexpected things that sneak up on you.
I do my best as a stay-at-home mom to make what little money I can for the family. Since becoming essentially disabled as a teenager, a typical job outside of the house was never something that was in the cards for me. I write, write, and write some more for the various jobs that I have. It isn't a steady paycheck like my husband, but it does help get us by most of the time, paying an odd bill here and there, or putting gas in the tank.
Sometimes, I feel like a complete and utter failure to my family. I want nothing more than to get out there in the world and find a job that offers a steady paycheck so that I could truly support my family, making it a dual income household. As a mom, and I think every parent can relate, you want to give your child everything you didn't have. It's the one constant that never changes from generation to generation. I want that for my son. My husband wants that for our son.
As the holiday season rapidly approached, my heart began to break, as with every paycheck that came and quickly went, thanks to bills and rent, there wasn't much extra to shop with. Sure, I've picked up a few things here and there. I kept telling myself it wasn't enough. I wanted my son to have incredible memories from the holidays, something that he could look back on one day and cherish. I truly thought that he wouldn't.
In my heart, though, I know that he will look back on these days and remember them fondly. For, even though we do not have expendable amounts of money to purchase presents with, we have an infinite amount of love for him, something that could never be bought. While we may have a smaller house than most, it truly is home to us. Is it messy? Sure, sometimes it is. I like to think of it as lived in. There is so much love within those walls, something that could never compare to any material possession. The true reason for the season is love and hope. It's about spreading cheer and sharing joy with one another. Friends and family gather together for a wonderful time, making beautiful memories in the process.
We don't have an abundance of decorations, but instead, a lovely and minimalistic take on holiday decorating. Simple and understated is often the best, after all. Instead of going out and purchasing anything I thought my son would like, I listened throughout the year, paying close attention to the items that he really wanted. Instead of a huge pile of toys that he would likely only play with once, there are toys there that he has been talking about the whole year. Things I know that he will play with over and over again. Oh, and that tree? In all of it's twinkling and shimmering glory, is something that never falters in it's job to spread holiday cheer. It is a silent reminder for me to remember to stand tall and be proud, and to never let anyone or anything dull my sparkle.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday filled with unforgettable memories,
and a whole lot of love.