The holidays have always been hard for me. I eat up the Christmas movies where a rich man always falls in love with the woman and turns her life upside down with joy and family. The reality is a very different picture, and I must admit to finding it hard to celebrate the joy of the season and the true reason for the season. Instead I get consumed at times with the things I don’t have, the things I long to have. This has been especially true since I became a single parent. The pressure is just overwhelming at times.
But this year has been different for a lot of reasons. For the first time, we are traveling over the holidays so I did not put up a single decoration – not a thing! The only acknowledgment to Christmas at home was digging out the stockings so we would have at least one thing that was familiar. This took a great deal of pressure off. We did not attend any holiday parties. I did not watch with longing the care that couples take of each other. We packed up our stuff and hit the road. (Stockings secretly stored away.)
We are also living very frugally due to limited income. Not only did I have to say no to a lot of material things, I just didn’t have any option but to say no. (To be honest, that made it a lot easier. Being broke has really been a blessing in that sense.) Instead, I have been watching for months now for freebies and no minimum purchase required coupons for things that I could gift the kids. I scored some really cool things that filled the stockings: homemade soap samples that smell divine, leather bound notebooks for scribbling dreams and even some cologne samples for my boys. It does not matter that they were all free.
I have a lot more time on my hands and a lot more time focused on my kids. I really, really know them. This made the little bit of money I did have to spend much more effective. I was really able to seek out things I knew the kids not only needed but also really wanted. And last night proved that as we celebrated Christmas together at my grandmother’s house.
It was like a Little House on the Prairie Christmas…instead of oranges and shiny pennies. My children received towels, combs and hand written promises of ice cream cones. They squealed with delight. Truly!
What I want you to know…is you are enough, it is enough. Our kids want our attention, our love and to know we are listening. You are enough. Whatever you have done or not done, it is enough. Spend the holiday looking into your children’s eyes, playing card games and listing to them talk and laugh. I promise the memories of that time together and the attention will last far longer and be much more pleasant than anything you might purchase them.
Merry Christmas to all. And a special prayer for the other single mom’s out there. May your heart be filled with the joy and laughter from your children. May your eyes dance with glee at their antics and squeals. You are enough.