Friday, December 14, 2007

HO Ho ho...

I really do love the Holidays, but I am not feeling the Christmas spirit yet. We put up and decorated the tree, I pulled out my treasured Santas (Santa here was carved by my dad and painted by my Step-mom) and set them on the cupboard, I've been baking a few things here and there, but it feels forced.
A few Christmas songs have wound their way into my head and like a broken record they play: "I'm dreamin' of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know...." repeat endlessly because that's the only line I can remember from that particular song. I'll switch to something different, but after doing some sort of mindless chore like folding laundry, it will inevitably pop back into my head and I'm stuck with the endless one-liner. Which is sort of funny considering I am Deaf and shouldn't have music stuck in my head anyway.
Has anyone noticed a recurring theme in all the advertising for the Holidays this year? It's the word "wish". Grant a wish, What they're wishing for, what do you wish? Blahblahblah, wishwishwish. I'm getting real sick of that word and it isn't helping my Christmas spirit!
Maybe it is because we can't afford to do any sort of shopping and I have to go to the food store on a very tight budget. Not that we spent gobs of money on presents in the past, but there was usually an average of $25 per person spent plus a couple of homemade gifts and the baked goods. Maybe it's because I wish I could buy more fabric to make things. Or I wish I could buy more ingredients to bake things. Or I wish we didn't have to worry about money.
This year, I have dreaded giving Mom-in-law a Christmas list for the girls because I know that I can't really reciprocate on the gift giving. When we got together for Thanksgiving, I handed over the demanded list and left out anything for Hubby and I. Mom-in-law didn't like that and wanted to know what we wanted. Then Sis-in-law wanted to know what the girls wanted, too.
I know that they are aware that Hubby hasn't worked in a few months and I am sure they are sensitive to the fact that we don't have much to give by way of gifts, but it still makes it hard just the same. The Holidays are supposed to be about giving and spending time with each other and taking a moment to celebrate Jesus' birthday, I know all this, but that sense of dread keeps creeping back. It puts a damper on my Christmas spirit and I am trying to get out of this funk by making things. Small felt elf shoe ornaments that I plan to give to each household, so I can't put a picture here or I'll spoil the surprise. Peppermint cream candies and fudge. A few cookies.
I am trying to stay upbeat and positive for Hubby, encouraging him with words of love and kindness, telling him that someone will hire him soon. I tell him to keep the faith in God and that there must be a reason for all this, a lesson to be learned. My own faith is starting to waver and I am getting tired. I really do hope someone hires Hubby soon, tomorrow would be nice. A phone call from someone telling him he got the job. Something steady with a good health insurance plan. I'm tired of holding my breath every time one of the girls fall down and bump their head, or one of us gets sick and I pray it doesn't go beyond a cold and a cough.
I don't mean to sound like a moaning myrtle, but this is my journal, yes? If I can't be honest with myself then I'm not doing any justice to myself. I hope the Holidays will bring you all happiness and togetherness and lots of food to eat and lots of merry-making. I hope it comes to us, too.


Jonny's Mommy said...

Our Christmas plans seem to be going along the same pattern right now and we have similar concerns with money, although we both have a job. I hope your hubby finds a job soon. Keep your chin up..but not too high because someone might punch it, thinking you're asking for a smack. Just kidding!

LaRonda said...

Ah, Jenny...

I have been in this place before. I recall one year when we lived in a tiny pink cottage, isolated in the lovely hills of Fairfax, CA, north of San Francisco.

Both my husband and I were without work and living on the generosity of my husband's aunt who was letting us stay rent-free until we found work.

It was Christmas time and we had very little to spend on our son, each other or family. That year, I was blessed with a few unpainted ceramics and paint my grandmother was getting rid of. I purchased 3 paint brushes from a yard sale and a package of magnets. I got busy painting and made magnets for everyone in my family that year.

As for my then 3 yr. old son, he wanted one specific toy, so we got it for him and 2 small dollar store toys to fill his stocking.

We had no money for a tree that year, but we had an old tomato wire that when turned upside down, made the shape of a tree. I happened to have some fake pine garland and wrapped it around the wire to make our tree.

Decorations for the tree were homemade and sparse, but we went on leaf walks together and picked up pine cones and other pretties from nature's bounty to add to our little tree.

That x-mas eve, I cried because I had nothing to give to my husband, nor he to me. But I was graced with creativity and an idea at the last minute.

I saw an old cardboard box bottom from a case of soup we had purchased. It had 8 small circles cut into it. I took it out of the package and then rummaged through some old photos of my husband and I. I found 8 different snapshots of the two of us kissing over time.

I place each photo behind the cardboard circles and painted the front of it, taking care to write a note in calligraphy about our kiss.

That morning, I placed it up against our little tree next to my son's 1 present, and a mysterious card in an envelope that had appeared there overnight.

The card was from my husband who had written how much he loved me and that his gift was an afternoon of "time to myself." As a new mom, I sorely needed this. He had assured me that he would take care of our son all day so that I could get away and do whatever I wanted - window shop, nature walk, hot bath, whatever...

We both had tears that day, especially watching our son's eyes light up at getting the one toy he had especially wanted. The other 2 small gifts in his stocking went practically unnoticed. He had received what he had wished for and his heart was full.

My husband and I sat back and thought for a long time that day at home much we had, in the past, needlessly spent on each other and on family for Christmas, when in reality, it's truly the thought that counts.

You have inspired me to no end, this year, Jenny, by sharing your heartfelt stories of being a deaf mom and wife. You are a domestic goddess in my book, with a heart of gold. You are incredibly thrifty, and tremendously creative. You have been able to put life in perspective over time and have highlighted the true spirit of family all year long. You are a role model to me and many other moms out there. While I absolutely understand where your spirit is at right now, know that your spirit is one of the most authentic, sincere and beautiful souls on earth.

It's the simple Christmases and birthday that mean the most to your family in the end. They get to look back and see how much love was there and how creative you were to bring the holiday spirit in their lives.

Keep your chin up, dear one. Your life is good.

~ LaRonda

Karen said...

LaRonda, I'm in awe of the beautiful comment filled with support. I'm wishing you both a heart-filled Christmas this year.

Jenny, may your family get through this rough spot with good news of a job soon.

jenny said...

Jonny's mommy-- Welcome! Thank you, we are keeping our fingers crossed and hope something comes along for Hubby soon!

Laronda-- Your beautiful comment made both Hubby and I cry and at the same time, lifted our spirits. Thank you for sharing your story not just to me but to my other readers. I am so happy that you and your husband and son are now doing great and I pray that Hubby will find a job soon. Our life IS good and thank you for the reminder. xo

Karen-- Laronda's post IS beautiful, isnt it?? Thanks for the Holiday wishes and I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

Sparx said...

Wow, thirding the comments on LaRonda's comment - really amazing and uplifting.

She's right though, you are an inspiration - I love that you thrift shop and I'm in awe of all your preserves and cooking, you're such a a great Mum and obviously a wonderful woman and wife as well.

Mostly, I want to pass on to you my own belief which is that everything happens for a reason. Don't let your faith waver, in whatever you believe. Sometimes it's not obvious at the moment, but there's a reason hubby isn't working and that's because the right thing is coming along soon. Enjoy the time you have together while he's not working - one day you'll look back on it fondly.

big love.