I've bought two $1.99? wreaths and supplies (which added up lol) to "make' my father wreaths for his doors, with the two wreath holders I found for $1. each. I want the world outside to think yes, it is festive there.
M is creating felt ornaments to put on a cooler (which I finally figured out is a type of horse blanket, not a food/beverage cooler oy), to decorate not Chance, but Echo now for the Christmas horse show coming up this weekend. (Wow, Sh okayed this, but M is all excited.)
I took hot apple cider in to M this morning, and when she was finished dressing and came out of her room, she went right to the advent calendar for her daily chocolate surprise:) lol She told me that this weekend while she's away, I could open the Advent calendar doors in the card Beth sent. She doesn't know yet who she has for "Secret Snowflake" in her class, and has the silver glittler glue sticks bought for the gift she'll make for her dance troupe "Chinese auction" gift sharing.
Lovely treats, yet I worry, we have a few things to have gifts for, will her teachers be okay with homemade sugar cookies or such? (I'm sure they will be.) Can I decorate pillow cases with fabric paint and nice stamps, or? (Do I have the TIME?! lol) Budgeting every few dollars UGH. It will get better, it will, it has to (and I have taken steps towards that just taking time, albeit having child support on time would help, too).
I come out of the grocery store, with my dad's items I've put on my credit card, or out of "the" mall, with new flannel pants for him, on sale!, as he only has one pair of workable long pants right now, on another credit card, returning the too-wide slippers, and Salvation Army is there. I perhaps smile, perhaps nod, perhaps ignore them, and I wish I could spare something for them, too. Daggone it, I didn't know they worked weekdays, too. Part of me wonders if they think we're all spending money left and right with tons to spare but we're just not seeing the needs of the people they serve and assist with, that we're greedy and certainly we could spare a few more dollars. Sometimes I want to scream "this whole grocery cart is for charity" if one considers family charity. Then again, it's not, really, it's a loan to Dad. I pick up little thingshere and there for him, like the wreaths, or a box of Christmas cards cuz he wants to send out a few, or socks, just because, and I underestimate what I spend on the groceries and supplies, and not as if I'll charge him the interest, either, so he doesn't really pay back everything, and that's okay. But at that moment in time, I'm struggling financially, scrapping. I can't do much more. Especially not every time I'm in and out of a store. I hate that.
Sometimes I'll have PetsMart or CVS or Giant other stores that ask, add $1. to my bill for charity, or heck, sometimes even $5. just not $5. lately.
There's a family close to a coworker whose entire home just burned down in a fire, who needs a bit more help. There is a box in the lobby, collecting outwear, for local shelters. I can help there, I do believe M will no longer wear an outgrown coat. The main charity drive is going on, also. I'm pleased we have a local "drive" again this year. It's important, I do believe, not only for those who receive, but for those who give.
Christmas lights, Chanukkah lights (I actually really like the blue and white combinations), the parties (none we've attended yet), the real joy in Christmas, Captain playing in a box, Indie curling up in the dark green cooler (blanket), the studio who took their photos asking if I want greeting cards. (Um, sorry, I love greeting cards, I love photos, I love my cats, and my child, but I find I never get around to mailing ANY cards. Even the intended ones.) Wreaths and ornaments, the red wooden "cranberry" beads, the green fuzzy garland that's so fun for kitties to play with, the Gaelic Santa Claus. First Advent was last week and we missed it, being at the Oireachtas. Trees there which many used for photo ops:)
What child with a Christmas tree, even one colored himself on a paper taped to a wall, cuz not everyone can afford a Christmas tree, what child with a stocking, even one pulled from her foot, doesn't want something for Christmas? Expects the lights to turn on, food on the table, warm clothing, or, if s/he doesn't expect it, deserves it, anyway? So many places have Toys for Tots. (Do we have something GOOD, looking new, to give? I don't think so, but will check........)
I am blessed:) I'm stretched, I sure could use that child support check due December 1st (I thought it'd arrived last week, I was excited, but the handwriting was from elsewhere, a scary elsewhere, I decided the suspense was harmful enough so I opened it up and it was a copy of part of what I should have gotten with a bad notice I got recently, so nothing new at least). I can give M hot apple cider, and oatmeal, and a piece of chocolate, for breakfast and send her with lunch, and a jacket. Even if I got it on clearance last Spring. And shoes. Etc. I have a job, we've been rather healthy mostly, really.
We have each other:) Talking with a coworker this a.m., he says he's just thankful to be seen and heard each and every day. He's survived two tours with the Navy Reserves, and is being called back, with a granted delay, heading out again in January, not sure if he wants to reup in March or not. Uncle Billy's not home, not even his remains. Too many aren't "home." Even "sharing" the Christmas itself, it means she also has her father in her life in his fashion, and Si has BEEN home from the hospital and will be there, and I'll see M, too, cuz spending Christmas with ones child, it's special. Met a helpful coworker over the past 2 days while in training, one of those who is genuinely good inside. We were talking, and I mentioned that I understood how he was handling something at work, as life's too short. He shared a poem he'd written. We have similar approaches to life -- treasure what we have that actually matters. He also focuses a touch more on health, I focus a touch more on trying to maintain peace, and both are good.
So, what does matter? And, is there $1. to spare? Just $1.? I've mentioned The Giving Tree before, and I'm going to do so again. There are many who help out in all sorts of ways in this world, in their own little corner. Bless you:) There are some who can help only with their time, not with money. Bless you:) There are some who struggle and yet, in other ways, can assist, with an outgrown but washed and good condition coat to give, or homework assistance, or through their place of worship or through a variety of ways. Heck, just treating the person ringing up your items as another human being helps the world be a brighter, more humane place. I hope I never get too rushed to see others as unique human beings.
There are many hurting financially in this world right now, some hurting in other ways as well, perhaps even due partially to their finances. If you feel that you can spare $1., and are willing to trust a fellow J-Lander do-gooder, please check out The Giving Tree. The Giving Tree Ang has posted her personal address on her private website, saying that she is willing to collect money to send on to one of the families having an really hard time. I will not repost Ang's address here, publically. Ang is at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you her e-mail address. Will $1. plus $1. plus $1. add up? It won't get compound interest, but it will add up in simple addition:) and could make the difference in milk or water for a family, or something larger.
Those of you who are Christians, please consider what you or someone else would find most important this season. Can you lend that smile and human interaction? I am certainly feeling blessed, in advance, for those who will visit my father starting next week. I can only do so much there myself, and his world is expanded greatly at having others come, anyway. Can you pause and not yell, can you stop for a moment and wonder at the little white lights outside, maybe get excited with a child at the first flurries of snow (we had some last night! okay, it did NOT stick but). Play with the dog, or the cats, or the children, or, even with other adults.
Take a moment to close your eyes, feel the spirit and peace and love of Christ, the rest and hope He wishes to give you, share with you. :)
If you then feel called to share that feeling with another, sharing some part of yourself, or something monetary or material, a $1. here or there, as you are able to, please do.
Have a blessed, peaceful and most joyous of Advents:) Oh, dag, I think Charlie Brown's Christmas is coming on right now! Now THAT is a classic, and also "gets" it:) Even if my version of Snoopy wants a walk first.