Saying this holiday season has been a rough one is an understatement. We've been hit by one thing after another these last few months. Personally, I remain unemployed and without unemployment insurance (twice appealed and denied). My folks have spent their bottom dollar renovating the rental home so new tenants could move in, so things have been tight for them as well. In the last three months we have had appliance trouble—first replacing the washer's sensor lever, followed by replacing the heating element for the dryer. What seemed to be the last straw came on Christmas Eve when the oven died in the middle of baking two pies. How on Earth would be prepare a meal the next day?
If ever a time existed when we had to put into practice the rhetoric of "true holiday spirit", this has definitely been it. We have our health; we have each other. In everything we've struggled through, we've done it as a family. The kids got a fewer gifts, but more thought went into what was purchased. Watching their excitement as they unwrapped their treasures warmed hearts and brought smiles.
Thankfully, with the help and generosity of a nearby friend, we were able to bake what needed baking. The bird and the pig were given the barbeque treatment Christmas morning, and the entire meal was warmed a-la-leftovers one plate at a time. Bellies filled and gifts opened, we count ourselves fortunate for what we do have, not for what we might be missing out on. My kids are preparing to spend the remainder of the holiday with their mom. While tough on all three of us, I'm greatful to have had time with them this week and look forward to spending New Year's Eve with them as well.