Every year the stress is there of finding those perfect gifts for those I love. Most everyone I know has everything that they NEED, so what is left is their want list, which is subject to change with every flip of the Sunday paper inserts for what is on sale. Or a walk through the local mall.
Most years I manage to find the funds without taking out a loan, to purchase what everyone WANTS. But this year it will be a lean Christmas, at least as far as money is concerned. Funny thing, it seems to be going around. When one woman will spray others with pepper spray to get the item she is wanting to purchase on Black Friday, or two grown men will come to blows over a Barbie Doll (happened here at Walmart in Cincinnati), that tells me that it is more than just getting the must haves. This seems more and more to be about money. People are strapped and some flat out broke this holiday season. Nothing puts stress on a person and a fight between folks like money…or rather the lack of it.
On Thanksgiving my brother, his amazing girlfriend (my future sister-in-law), Angie, and my brother’s kids were here for dinner, along with my dad. After dinner my son and his fiance and my future granddaughter came over, and my daughter. Later my other brother arrived with his wife and one of their kids. Sitting there in the living room with all of these various folks, sharing memories and laughs, I realized that it wasn’t about the traditional meal of turkey and fixings at all. Thanksgiving was about taking time out of our busy lives to come together and be a family and share time and ourselves with the people we love. It would not have mattered if we had spaghetti or turkey, what mattered was it was a day to enjoy being together.
I am a very blessed woman, I have a very good relationship with my siblings, their significant others, and the rest of my family. I have extremely fond memories of a childhood that while perhaps lean on money, was abundant in love and laughter. You can buy a lot of things with money, but you cannot run down to Macy’s and purchase what I have…a somewhat dysfunctional, crazy, fun, and LOVING family. Not for one minute have I ever doubted that my parents love me, or my siblings. I might never have made “Mom Of The Year” but I am pretty certain my children know that while I fell short in many areas as a parent, I love them more than life itself.
My ex-husband and I never bought each other things for Christmas, we felt we had everything we needed and when we wanted something we went out and got it. Well as soon as the funds were available. All I ever really wanted from him was to know I was loved, to live without doubt, to have a stocking full of reassurance that no one held his heart but me. Sadly, that is the one gift I never was given. If what he says is true, he never loved me when he married me and didn’t want to marry me. But it would be the one I treasured most had I received it.
This year, we are way lean in the Diva Den when it comes to money to buy things. But one thing we are so very wealthy in is love for each other. Not a day goes by in this house that there is not laughter. I tweeted this morning that I am truly happy, and I am. Recently I viewed a video by someone from my past where she said no one is really happy, just satisfied. That made me sad for her,that she has never really been happy, making it impossible for her to accept that others could really be happy. I wake every day, granted slower some than others, but I smile each morning, because I am beyond satisfied, I am HAPPY! Every day one of us if not each of us women still says “gosh I love this house”. We are happy here! Yes it is a great house, but more than the home it is the 3 households that melted and became one big happy family, where all 5 of us are unique, rub each other the wrong way at times, but we love each other.
I don’t want anything this year that can be purchased in a store. I want those things no one can buy for me. TIME spent making memories with the people I love. Cooking together, going to the museum, Festival of Lights (one year me, parents, sibs and offspring rode the train there singing Christmas carols off key, out of tune, and had a blast), church, throwing darts at the bar, snuggled in bed watching TV…whatever the activity, I want the gift that cannot be returned and is gone once it is given except for the warm place in the heart that lives forever as a memory, TIME. It is way more precious to me and far more appreciated, because when it comes to time with those important to me, there is never enough.