I have a large family. 3 parents. 5 siblings. 1 practically-sister-in-law. 1 niece (though any day now it will be 3). 9 grandparents (though I’m only really close to 5 of them). And well, not even going to attempt to count the immediate extended family. A large family can be a blessing, but it does also cause stress too. The holiday season definitely brings out both of those.
I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but this year… well, it’s really been hard knowing that I can’t really do much beyond just being present for Christmas this year. I know gifts aren’t everything. But I like being able to treat my family. Especially my mom and my niece (and yes, soon to be nieces!)*…
It’s just this year, with being unemployed for half of it, I really just can’t budget gifts like I used to. It’s been a huge struggle coming to terms with this. I know my family won’t love me any less. But it’s hard to receive gifts when you feel like you have nothing to give in exchange.
The truth about my situation is that I just had to choose between paying rent on time or buying groceries. I picked rent, and my account still is in the negative because of an automatic bill pay that I forgot about. It absolutely sucks. But you make do. I may not be in the mood particularly for what I’m eating — dry cereal and pasta with oil and parmesan lose their appeal after the third day — but it’s food and I’m hungry, so I eat.
That’s just what you have to do in hard times. You get creative, you make do. I think I found a gift I can make for most of my family that’ll cost me around or under $20 total for all of it. It’s really only my niece I’ll be buying for — and just the 8 year old, the babies won’t notice otherwise. Not to mention, my family knows my situation. They understand. And they honestly just want to spend time with me.
During whatever hard times we have, the first step we have is to assess what we already have or can offer, and we make do with that. So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m making do.
*The twins are technically due in January, but we’re expecting them any day now. And I absolutely cannot wait! Yay babies!