When I was young, I loved Christmas. I was into the “magic” of Christmas. And even after I grew out of the “Santa” stage, I still loved to put on the show for my little brother and help my parents wrap his presents. I grew up where the seasons changed, and I expected at least cold weather and maybe snow on Christmas. We had the big family get together on Christmas Eve (where you dressed up) and sometimes we did the Midnight mass thing. Christmas Day was again with my mom’s big family. So I do have fond memories of the entire Christmas event.
That changed when I was 15. Christmas no longer had that appeal. I just wanted to get it over with.
The birth of Sunshine early one December changed all of that. Suddenly I was “Santa”. I was the one hiding toys around the house, buying separate wrapping paper, waking up at 4 a.m. on Christmas morning.
For the past 6 years, Christmastime had more meaning because of her. I get to celebrate the greatest gift I have ever received in addition to the season.
This year is different.
The last six months haven’t been exactly kind to me and my small family. We are in dire financial straits at the moment. I cannot afford basic medication right now, let alone Christmas gifts. I feel like I’m at the end of my rope with this situation. It is very difficult to be happy and joyful when fighting exhaustion, pain and nausea.
I’m actually quite terrified at our situation. I literally have a negative balance in my bank account. My husband will be wiped out too after we are finally able to pay rent. We are attempting to sell his car. Money I was counting on from short term disability never came through. I was turned down for Medicaid, as was my daughter. We are screwed.
My health isn’t too fantastic right now. I had to go cold turkey off the steroids due to a mix up at the pharmacy. That is probably what is contributing to my emotional state, and to the increased pain and exhaustion. My immune system is shot, the rash on my torso is back. I’m afraid to call my doc because she will want to see me, and it will be a $150 office visit without insurance. I’m considering pushing back my regularly scheduled visit with my rheumatologist anyway, so I can pay for the visit with any money I get for Christmas.
Its bad, really bad.
And I just can’t stand to hear Christmas music proclaiming it to be “the most wonderful time of the year” or “joy to the world”. The Christmas commercials actually repulse me…too much commercialism. Especially the ones for Lexus. Really? There are people out there that give luxury cars for Christmas? Let me meet those people. I have a few stories for them. There are better things to spend your money on than a luxury car for Christmas.
Or the diamond commercials. My engagement ring isn’t diamond. Its alexandrite. Lots of significance there. And all of my jewelry is silver. I’m just not that girl. I don’t like the implication that “your man doesn’t love you unless he gives you jewelry…and it better be a diamond”. Ewww.
And I’m glad I don’t have cable/dish right now. The toy commercials!! Prior to our service being cut off, Sunshine just had to have every single toy she saw. And these ad men know what they are doing. Repetitive commercials during all of the kiddie shows. They make these crap toys look like the best stuff on earth. You know what the best toy is that she has played with since she was 3…and has maintained its durability and appeal? Wooden blocks. She plays with them at least 3-5 times a week. She builds entire galaxies out of blocks and it keeps her happy for hours. Not Barbies, not the latest video gadget (although my Dad’s ipad is a close second), wooden blocks.
I really don’t mean to be a grinch, but with the economy the way it is, there has to be more people out there like me. I can’t afford a birthday present for Sunshine. My parents obviously are going to help, but I want to provide something for her on her birthday as well as for Christmas. And I can’t do that. Nevermind my husband. It is our first married Christmas. And I got nothing.
I am crafty, I can make Christmas presents. But I can’t even afford the supplies to make my own presents at this point. Bah.
I know the positives. I have my vision. I do have food in my pantry (not much, but its there), I have a wonderful husband and he is healthy as well as my daughter. I have good support from my parents (but that is waning). I am alive.
My Christmas wish to the cosmos: if I’m going to be this way, at least give me a way to provide for my family. Amen.