When we were younger we were poor. I never would have known it because I was as happy as could be. I do remember times when we wanted to order take out pizza or go get a cheeseburger and mom and dad said that we could not afford it but overall I never remember feeling deprived. I have wonderful memories with my mom and dad. I can remember sitting in the floor with my dad as we made roads out of books and pushed cars on top of them. I remember laying on the back of the couch on my back as my dad laid on the cushions while we ate ice cream and watched television. I remember staying up all night with my mama on more that one occasion to wait on my dad to get home, who worked third shift. I remember walking around a track behind a store for exercise and then going to the store to get a Little Debbie cake afterward. I remember that stuff. But my mama told me something today I do not remember.
She and I were discussing how I could not decide what to get my boys for Christmas. My middle son, wants a ride on tractor toy. He has not asked for not one thing other than that and I really want to get it for him. He would be so tickled. My oldest son of course now wants a ride on toy of his own too. Only he wants a police car. No big deal right? Ah no! That is going to be a grand total of $500 for these two toys. My husband and I discussed getting one ride on toy that was not what either of them had asked for so that we can hope (yes hope, because I know they will fight over it) they will ride it together. But then I think that my oldest has been asking questions about if Santa is real, so I am thinking that this could be my last year with the magic in regards to him. So I want it to be good! Do you know what I mean?
But my mama told me today of a time when we were little that they were having such a hard time financially that they did not think that we were going to have Christmas. But someone they knew recognized that my mom and dad were struggling and they offered some used, very nice & clean, but used, toys to them for free. They of course were happy to have them and so that year Santa brought us used toys. I never knew that, remembered that and quite honest, I felt bad for my mom and dad. I now know the heart ache that comes from wanting to be able to give your kids the things they ask for but not be able to afford them. I can not imagine that pain that we inflicted on our parents when we whined about not being able to afford something we wanted.
So as I sit here listening, I hear thoughts in my head of, "You can't afford that." "They will be disappointed if you don't get them this." "Everyone else is getting their kids that." But then I hear what my mama told me. They will probably never remember this Christmas specifically. As long as we celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, Jesus, and love on one another, who cares what toys are or are not under the tree. I mean really. Christmas will be here next year!
Listen. Write about what you hear, right now