I Am Blessed Anyway... (Long)

Lounge By mim1106 Updated 26 Dec 2009 , 1:05am by Tiffany29

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mim1106 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 2:47pm
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So, I have been down lately because we are barely scraping by right now (I am a full time student, and my husband won't let me get a part time job to help out. He says he wants me focused on school. I want to quit school so I can help out, and he said I couldn't because we need to think about the end result.) While we are scraping by, we are just making it. Some things were said to me about Christmas because I can't afford to get my entire family gifts - family I never see - so I told my husband I am ready to boycott this retail version of Christmas everyone is used to.

I sat my kids down and told them next year we were only getting them one gift, then on Christmas we were going to the VA hospital and volunteering. They seem ok with it. They are 10 and 7. Can't wait to tell the rest of the family my plan *sarcasm*

So, I am going to try and pick myself up out of this funk. Help me out everyone! Tell me what you have been blessed with this year. Nothing monetary or material. I am so tired of everyone around me wanting "things".

Heres mine: I have been blessed because although we are in a recession, my kids have a roof over their heads and clothes. My husband is a great hunter, and we have food on our table. My children are healthy, and are doing great in school.
We are broke, but we are still blessed!!!

28 replies
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ccr03 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 3:20pm
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You know I have never understood spending so much money on Christmas. One of the best gifts we got at kids was a trucker hat and binder that my dad got from his WORK! It was probably some leftovers and that's what we got. We ALWAYS remember that.

Now, I know that each year we were very forunate enough to go back home to Mexico and because of that we didn't have a big 'gift' Christmas. Heck, we still don't. So I guess that's why I don't understand people always asking for stuff and going crazy for things that will be be gone in 1-2 months.

Anyway - I'm so grateful for making it through this year. It's been a rough year emotional and spiritually for my family, and it's AMAZING to say that we are where we are right now! It's the BEST!!!

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tatorchip Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 3:25pm
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I am so blessed that even if dh won't be home for Christmas at least he got a job after being laid off from his other job, he is 56 and not too easy getting a job at that age. We are blessed.
I am blessed that my dd and her family are taking me in to make my Christmas special.
I am blessed to be able to help others all year round.

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TexasSugar Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 3:32pm
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I am blessed that I will get to spend another Christmas with my grandma.

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indydebi Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 3:44pm
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ccr, I've always been of the opinion that those who have it tight at Christmas are better able to appreciate everything "Christmas" more than those who can just spend it willy-nilly.

We've never bought gifts for extended family .... brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews. Our family get together is just that ... a time for family to get together and be with each other. Gifts are bought for the smaller kids, but that's it, and even that is optional.

The best gifts can sometimes not cost anything or much at all. Some examples that we've experienced:

One of my friends saw a cup and saucer at a garage sale and paid a quarter for it. Gave it to me for Christmas. It was stamped "Occupied Japan" and fits in very well with my antique Asian china collection! My favorite gift!

My granddaughter, who is 7, started getting a display Barbie for Christmas when she was 4 (Barbies that are meant to be on a shelf ... not to be played with). In our de-cluttering process, I'm getting rid of all of my Coke collection. But I have a Barbie in a Coke-waitress outfit ... still in the box ... that I'm giving her (checked with daughter to make sure she didn't think it tacky to give a "used" item to granddaughter. Daughter was like "Heck no, it's not tacky!" icon_biggrin.gif )

My youngest daughter found an old snapshot of her brother that has special meaning to her. She went to the drugstore, blew it up to 8x10, put it in a frame and gave it to her brother. He laughed and just loved it! It cost her next to nothing.

One year I found a photo frame that spelled out "sisters" on clearance for $1. Went thru my pictures, found some good ones and filled it with photos of my two daughters and gave it to oldest daughter. It's one of her treasured possessions.

with a little imagination, we've come up with some no/low cost treasures that were worth more than any iPOd or MP3 player could have been. thumbs_up.gif

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ccr03 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 4:02pm
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debi is so right!!

Just this year I sent each of my nephews/niece their own individual Christmas cards (ages 10-2) and a joke has already started that I am mad at the oldest one b/c he hasn't gotten his yet. If you've raised them right, kids understand Christmas is not about all the gifts!

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mim1106 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 4:09pm
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Debi, when my mom was killed, my sister and I went through her spare room closet where she kept all her Coke stuff. I took the the Coke Waitress Barbie!!! I don't collect Coke items, but my mom LOVED them, so I kept it. How funny you had one too.
I was telling my husband that I wished we had started our kids out right 10 years ago to appreciate Christmas for what it really is, and not all about gimme gimme gimme. It took this one experience (me getting put down for not buying my in-laws - inlaws a gift) But what can I do when we barely have enough to feed us?? Oh well. We are doing it right now. Better late than never, right?? My kids are being great about it. They are only getting a few inexpensive things this year, and I told them they will get one thing next year and that's it. My daughter (7) said, OK, mom!

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LaBellaFlor Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 4:10pm
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I love the fact that my kids have never batted an eye when our finances changed. No more trips, a lot less gifts on the holidays (and we celebrate just about every holiday, except for Halloween and St. Patrick's and not St. Patrick's, cause I just don't share beer with my kids icon_lol.gif). They have never said anything about it. But the biggest blessing we have right now is the fact that if my 3 year old continues to do as well as she is in pre-k, she will be able to go into a regular kindergarten class. She has Down's Syndome and it is a huge accomplishment for her. It also reassured us in the decision we made of me not going back to work when she was born. Trust me, we've gotten some flack for me not working. But me staying at home with her has paid off. YEAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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mim1106 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 4:15pm
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tatorchip - I am so happy your husband found employment after being laid off. I know so many people who aren't doing so well around here finding anything. times are so tough!
LaBella - that's great about your daughter!! I bet you had a LOT to do with her success since you were able to stay home with her and encourage and work with her!!!

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LaBellaFlor Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 4:24pm
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Thank you. It's what I used to do for a living. Working with special needs, as well as "regular" kids with behavior issues. We've never been worried about her development.

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tatorchip Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 5:02pm
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Thank you mim1106. I am praying all the time for all others to be as blessed. BTW ya'll might not know it but ya'll are playing a hugh part in making my Christmas also.

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jonahsmom Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 5:19pm
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This is terrific! I think people tend to put too much emphasis on getting "stuff", too. My mom keeps saying that there's not going to much for gifts this year. For the last 3-4 years I've been telling her we should just get together...don't worry about presents because we don't need them. We just want to be with family!

I'm blessed to have such a great family! Blessed that we caught my cancer recurrence early and that my surgeries, so far, have gone perfectly. I'm blessed to have people that truly care about me and I wouldn't be who I am without them! My family is absolutely the best! They are truly the biggest blessing!

Merry Christmas everybody!

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Ruth0209 Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 5:44pm
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What nice stories. I am blessed this year that my DH got approved for his Social Security Disability in five months. We didn't have to be denied and hire an attorney to appeal, then wait two years to get it like so many people. It's a real relief because now he has a small but permanent income that we know we can count on. It sucks that he's so disabled, but I'm grateful that we have this safety net.

I think children can be very understanding once they're old enough to know it's you buying the gifts and not Santa Claus. Kids are very aware of the struggle in their own family and worry as much as you. They feel good about contributing to helping the family. I think it's all in how you put it to them.

Volunteering somewhere is a wonderful idea. Baking, making homemade ornaments, and watching Christmas movies together can all be fun and memorable things, too, that don't cost much. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and an EASIER 2010!!

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Texas_Rose Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 6:17pm
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We've been broke since I stopped working to stay home with the kids, 5 years ago. The time with them is so special, and I'm so much calmer and so much better as a full-time mom than a retail employee, that it's worth it to me to have less money.

I get really down sometimes though...I feel bad that I can't give my kids as much as some people do. We're lucky this year that December is a three paycheck month, so instead of asking my parents for the money they give us for Christmas a couple days early so I can buy everyone's gifts, we've been able to manage.

Here's what I've been blessed with this year...I broke my leg at the beginning of the year and couldn't even get a doctor to splint it properly because I don't have insurance. It usually takes months to get on the county health plan, but somehow they had openings in appointments and my husband got it all done in two days. One of my mom's students had an extra wheelchair, which she gave to me because I couldn't use crutches or a walker when my leg wasn't splinted. I had my surgery and I can walk again now, and even though I've got to pay $100 a month for the next 4 years, it's really good to be out of the wheelchair and able to walk my kids to school and all that good stuff icon_biggrin.gif

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mkolmar Posted 22 Dec 2009 , 8:25pm
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What wonderful stories and attitudes, so refreshing. I'm very blessed. My DH works his butt off running his own business but he provides well for us. We have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, clothes on our bodies and we are healthy. What more could I ask for than that?
Even though we could buy more for our family we don't do it. We donate like crazy instead. This year we bought food and gift cards for needy families. Toys for Tots is a big deal to us since DH and I both served in the Marines. We try to volunteer at different places. My DH has been fixing computers up and donating to the families with kids in the childrens hopital and to families he finds out that a parent has cancer. (He's only been able to do about 5 this year though since he's been busy working.) Not saying that to brag but to say that we take our kids along with us (ages 9,7,6 and 4). They are young and this really makes their eyes see what is important in life. Not the fancy gifts and how cool people think you are but what is inside your heart. I hope what they see today will shape who they are as people in the future.
So long post short, I'm thankful to just be alive and be happy with my family. We may not be perfect and times may not always be fun and joyous, but we have what's important in life....each other.

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Tiffany29 Posted 24 Dec 2009 , 4:00am
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Christmas for us is usually depressing. Dh works in lawn care so in early december he goes on unemployment. He plows snow when we get it. But t doesn't keep him busy all winter. So we struggle at christmas. I quit working about 5yrs ago to stay home with the kids. I am happy that I can be with them.
Kids are very understanding of the situation. My son is 7, and he asked for a nintendo ds and games and other expensive things. We talked to them and explained that they may not get all the things they want due to finances and they are ok with that. My son told me the other day "last year I didn't get what I wanted off my list, but I still got some pretty cool stuff."

Trdaitions are what they'll remember the most, not how much stuff they got. When my kids think of christmas I want them to remember baking cookies while listening to christmas music, helping dad put up lights outside and getting hot chocolate, driving around looking at christmas lights lights, passing out cookies to the neighbors.

Being together is what it's all about, and that is what I am thankful for!
Merry Christmas All!

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indydebi Posted 24 Dec 2009 , 4:11am
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Originally Posted by Tiffany29

Trdaitions are what they'll remember the most, not how much stuff they got. When my kids think of christmas I want them to remember baking cookies while listening to christmas music, helping dad put up lights outside and getting hot chocolate, driving around looking at christmas lights lights, passing out cookies to the neighbors.

totally agree! We didn't have much money growing up, but I remember our parents making footprints in the snow on the front porch that walked up to the window and telling us "Look! Santa has been here looking in the window to see if you're being good!" I remember sitting on the floor around the console TV with a bowl of popcorn, watching Rudolph and The Grinch. And driving around looking at lights was a real special treat! But I can't tell you one toy that I got as a little kid. Not one.

My kids remember making reindeer food and putting it on the lawn (something my grandkids are now doing). They look forward to the special cookies I make only at Christmas time. And hubby and daughter have been exchanging the same can of Spam for close to 10 years! icon_lol.gif

Traditions are passed on and created every year.! That in itself is a great tradition.

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mim1106 Posted 24 Dec 2009 , 11:59am
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That's exactly what I remember about Christmas, Tiffany, my mom baking a million Christmas cookies, listening to Christmas carols! My sister and I split my mom's recipe books and boxes, and I got the one with her Christmas cookies. She called and we were talking about how much Mom loved to bake, and we remembered one specific cookie - the candy cane. I shared the recipe with her, and then emailed my brother's wife with it, and told her to make them for my brother. So, we all got a piece of mom back this Christmas.
And, nope, I couldn't tell you one single toy I got under the tree.
Oh, and now I have one more thing to be thankful for this season! My husband is finally supporting me on my "want" to get back in the military! He retires in 3 years, so he wants to put in for orders hopefully to Alaska, and once we are there, he will drop his papers, and I will transition into work while he relaxes for once! I will finish school first, of course, and enter as a Nurse!

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peg818 Posted 24 Dec 2009 , 12:34pm
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I'm thankful for a healthy family.

Christmas has never been really material here. The boys get one thing that they can't live without the rest are necessities. Christmas has always been when they get the next round of clothes, cause they grew out of what was bought for the start of school. Its time to get the new sneakers cause the old ones are shot.

As far as extended family goes, its baked goods, except for the little ones they get a small present to open (usually no more the $10 a piece)

I just dont believe in spending money you don't have, and when my boys were little we had none. It used to be a big fight between my hubby and i, and the year i made him return an expensive piece of jewelry he bought me i thought we would end up in divorce court (but the mortgage was more important). After nearly 20 years he finally gets it.

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KHalstead Posted 24 Dec 2009 , 1:19pm
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I asked my children what is your favorite CHristmas memory?? They are 10, 7 and 6 yrs. old...........you know we sat and talked for over an hour about our favorite things and not ONE kid mentioned even ONE gift that they have EVER received!!!

The 10 yr. olds fav. thing was that we make Cinnamon rolls Christmas Eve that get popped in the oven as soon as we wake up on Christmas morning (that's the ONLY day of the year we make them from scratch)

The 7 and 6 yr. olds talked about all the different ornaments they remember us making........every year I show my kids 2 or 3 homemade ornament craft ideas and they vote on one to make. Our whole tree is almost completely homemade ornaments. My hope is to fill it to the brim with homemade stuff and be able to let the kids take a good portion of their homemade ornaments with them when they have families of their own.

People who have everything monetary that they want are usually not happy people.........but people who have great times and love within their family are almost ALWAYS happy!

edited to add: My 10 yr. old came up with a great idea , I gave my kids (3 of them) each $5.00 to buy gifts for their other siblings.......now mind you $15.00 doesn't seem like much but it really is a lot to us right now!! That gives them ONLY $2.50 to spend on each person and it was really difficult to find gifts that cheap that weren't going to break as soon as you open them.
So my 10 yr. old bought a necklace and bracelet making kit at the $ store for $5.00 and he made everyone in our whole family a bracelet or necklace! I thought, you're brilliant!! So from now on, they will be given a couple bucks each and the rules will be that they can't buy anything premade...........everything has to be homemade by the person giving the gift! As a parrent those are always your favorite gifts anyhow ( I still have a macaroni necklace my 10 yr. old gave me when he was 2 in daycare) and I quickly realized that even my other children saw how special it was that their brother took the time to "make" something for them, from his heart. Each one was different and unique and made thinking of the recipient!

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Tiffany29 Posted 24 Dec 2009 , 2:01pm
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Debi, The reindeer story is so cute!
We are lucky enough to actually see deer in our yard all year long. We have Athin wooded area behind our house. On Christmad eve about 3yrs ago we were getting into our car to go somewhere and between my house and the neighbors there were 8 deer.
We always tell our kids that when they see them, that santa is checking on them.

Khalsted, I would much rather have a homemade gift. It's much more personal and makes it much more special!
My mother used to keep ornaments I made and put them on the tree every year (sometimes as a teen I thought it was silly) and now I am glad she did. I now keep my kids ornaments and all the christmas stuff that my son has made in school and hang it up around the house.

Off topic for a sec, I am making each of them a time capsule to give to them on their 18 b-day. It will have things like, their fav teddy bear, their outfit I brought them home in, their first pair of shoes, something special from school, just lil stuff like that.

Ok back on topic, Merry Christmas! I gotta get busy. Mom is coming over to bake cookies and all the good Christmas movies are on.

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indydebi Posted 24 Dec 2009 , 2:13pm
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another family tradition is tracking santa on the NORAD radar. Here's the thread I started with the link: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6661540.html#6661540

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Carson Posted 24 Dec 2009 , 3:54pm
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My 6 year old is so cute, we were having supper at Great Grandma's house last week, and Grandma makes some yummy stuff! Anyways, she tells Great Grandma that all she needs from her for Christmas is food...a nice big helping of potatoes and chicken (every white meat is considered chicken to my kids.) And not to forget her delicious carrot recipe...which is just carrots with a butt load of butter on them icon_lol.gif (which I never do for obvious health reasons!)

I didn't really cut back a whole lot this year, but its in my plans for next year. I am definitely a bargain shopper and only buy deals. My real problem is my Mother - who spends so much on my kids its ridiculous! I try to tell her to stop but the woman is relentless.

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mim1106 Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 4:36pm
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So, I have the best husband in the world!!! He MADE my gift this year. Wanna guess what it is?? I thought not, so I will tell you. A caddy wampus cake stand!! He is SO wonderful!! His friend already had the wood, so it cost him a couple bucks for the pipes.

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suz3 Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 5:32pm
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I am blessed this Christmas. I have everything I need and could have anything I "want" but I find that as I get older it is easier to do without most of those "wants". My daughter got a job in 3 months after being layed off for the 2nd time in a year. She was a stay at home mom until her son graduated from high school so she has little experience. I mostly got my granddaughters (12 and 13) clothes. They both need and want them. A few little extras. I had them make cookies with me to give an older couple in their neighborhood that has been very good to them. We also had a picture that I took of them framed to go with the cookies. I want to do more volunteer stuff with them but their stepmonster often grounds them from me so it is hard to make plans. I hope in the new year this problem is resolved.

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sherrycanary62 Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 6:36pm
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I am blessed because my husband too found a job after being on the injured list for 2 and half years and even though I was laid off in August I am blessed because my old boss is working very hard to add my position back on.

I am blessed because my 5 children are all happy healthy and on their way to being very productive young adults

I am blessed because in 2010 I will become a first time grandmother (its a boy!!)

I am blessed in getting to know my oldest brother who was gone from home by the time I was 9. We have found alot of common ground as middle agers.

I am blessed because I am blessed because I am blessed.

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indydebi Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 9:37pm
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Have to share my wonderful blessing and the best Christmas gift a mom could get!

My son and his girlfriend went to Florida to spend the holiday with her family. He called us to day to tell us he was "officially" engaged!!!! icon_biggrin.gif He proposed at Disney.

Best Christmas gift ever! thumbs_up.gif

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suz3 Posted 25 Dec 2009 , 10:43pm
post #28 of 29

Congrats. That is a wonderful Christmas gift.

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Tiffany29 Posted 26 Dec 2009 , 1:05am
post #29 of 29

Congrats Debi!

Hope everyone had a great christmas!

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