You know what those are? Stockings. You know what they are full of? Presents. Junk we don’t really need. You know what you need to fill them? Money.
I both love and hate Christmas. What a stressful time. It makes me feel overwhelmed, stressed, annoyed, warm, fuzzy, guilty, like making a difference, and selfish.
Why do I feel overwhelmed, stressed and annoyed? Christmas SHOPPING. I always worry if people will like what I am getting them, Christmas shoppers are equally stressed and RUDE which makes me even more stressed (okay and a bit rude) and the obvious. Money. No matter how much money you have (Unless you are Bill Gates) you never, ever, ever, have enough for Christmas. Truth is, if you have more money, your kids want better stuff. The only solution here is a secret bank account. Don’t let your kids know you can buy them shit. (Genius, right?) No but seriously, we budget, we stick pretty close, and no matter how much you save, make, have, borrow, whatever, you always stress a bit about money at Christmas, right? Why? We ALL say it’s the thought that counts..but is it really?
For me it is. I get my kicks out of being around people I love eating really good food and just talking. Why does it take a day like Christmas to eat too much and talk a lot with coolers and wine and just each other? You know? That is my favourite, though. I mean, there are always things I want, and certainly things I need, but I could do without the gift part. I just like seeing everyone happy, excited, having fun, just because it’s some day on a calendar.
The guilt and selfishness comes from complaining about money, and knowing that I have way more than some people. Some people don’t have any food on Christmas, or most other days, and they sure as hell don’t get presents. So this year I am starting my preaching early.
Instead of presents, maybe ask your friends to donate to the food bank, or the Lighthouse. There are always people who need help. Not only for Christmas either. For birthdays, get together with your friends and get them to bring a non-perishable food item instead of a gift, or even a few old articles of clothing they don’t wear but never bother to get rid of. DO something. If we ALL do something, we can really make other people have better lives.
If you don’t have extra money or stuff, volunteer. Give up some time. If you don’t have time, surely you have some shoes you don’t wear or a can of soup you will never use cause you bought it for some recipe that you were gunna make but then you realized it called for shrimp and you hate shrimp.. right? It isn’t hard. I am not asking you to rally the troops and donate all your pay-cheques for the month (though, if you could it would be pretty phenomenal) just what you can spare.
Visit the links to the Food Bank website and the Lighthouse website to get more ideas of what they need, and how you can help. Go make a difference, because if it was you, and who knows, one day it could be, wouldn’t you want someone to care enough to help you out? I would. I did. I wouldn’t have been able to take care of my son if people hadn’t helped me out.
You can make a difference. So do it.