Doing the Best We Can With What We've Got
Here we are again smack dab in the middle of another holiday season. Trees are going up and homes are being decked with lights and decorations. People around you are making their plans with family and friends to attend and host holiday parties. They're shopping for gifts for their loved ones and generally speaking, having a jolly old time just as you and your family did not so long ago. But I have a feeling the last thing you want to do at this point is celebrate a festive holiday. Regardless of where you are in the process of dealing with your husband's/exe's legal issues/incarceration, celebrating the holidays is not exactly at the top of your list. Your finances are already strained to their limits, (and beyond), and you are likely down to your last nerve. You'll be pushing it to get a holiday meal on the table let alone gifts under the tree for your kids. You're already carrying a very heavy load and the added pressure to "perform" for the holidays will only bring additional stress and that's the last thing you need. So I suggest that you give yourself permission to do as much as you can but go no further. While it's important for children to celebrate Christmas in the traditional ways, (it's a time of great expectations for young children), you also need to keep up your reserves because the holidays will come and go and the financial and emotional toll this time of year brings can be devastating for you. The best gift you can give your children this year is to go easy on yourself and not get bogged down in a depression that will take weeks to recover from. So maybe this is the year to begin some new holiday traditions with your family that aren't quite as taxing as those of Christmas's past. Instead of putting up a tree, (too darn expensive!), get the the kids together and build a gingerbread house. Or bake some cookies and get the kids involved in decorating them. Watch favorite holiday movies together. Go to an evening caroling service at a local church. That always fills me up with the spirit of Christmas. Leave behind the traditional hustle and bustle of the season and utilize this holiday to lower your expectations and count your blessings. I know it may not seem like it and it took me a very long time to realize this but there are still some silver linings to be found in the old and tattered pockets of our lives. So don't shy away from experiencing this holiday season. Life is different now and as such so is the way you celebrate this holiday with your family. And really, it's the memories you create together as a family that your children will look back upon with fondness and not what gifts they did or didn't get. The truth is that you are the most precious gift of all to your children, and they know it.