Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Now that Halloween's over ..

 Our own little pumpkin family

.. it's time to start putting up Christmas stuff at Wal*Mart!  It never fails, no matter what retail establishment I've ever worked at, Christmas gets crammed down your throat right off the bat (no pun intended).  Don't get me wrong, I love my job at Wal*Mart .. out of all the jobs I've ever had, this is the one place I really enjoy working at.  I've done the Mall thing, Department store thing, even the furniture store thing .. at one point in my life, I dumped it all to go into the fast food thing just to get away from the retail thing.

My problem stems from the fact that Christmas has become so commercial.  You go into debt to celebrate, you compete with the Joneses to have a better Christmas than them, you celebrate the seven deadly sins on a day that's meant to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour .. hypocrites.  It should be a time of selflessness and caring, to help your fellow brethren, to give of yourself instead of giving 'things' .. if you have the means, to help those less fortunate, to show love and compassion, appreciate and accept.
We're not very traditional when it comes right down to it, other than preparing the meal, Richard for his own personal reasons and I've become pretty jaded due to working in retail for over 20+ years so, I hate the shopping aspect of it.  A few years back, I did decorate our tree all Goth just 'cause it ties in with what we enjoy.  Felt coffins, wooden crosses, Halloweeny things, lots of black and red .. made me feel good!  When we lived in Holland, their Christmas is celebrated on the 25th and 26th.  Ours in America is the 24th and 25th so, we'd put our days together and celebrated 3 days instead of 2.  It was just a good excuse to enjoy the excess.  Three days of pressies, cheer, tasty dinners and treats was nice ..

Last Christmas was one I'll never forget for as long as I live.  Surviving on my paycheck alone put us in a state of minimal spending.  At least our bills were paid, our dogs were fed and cared for, we had food in the house but, nothing extra to spare.  I've had to resort to asking my Mom for money many times during the year and I was damned if I was going to continue to do so.  We went rummaging in our spare room and found Christmas cards I'd bought on clearance at Wal*Mart and used them.  Richard belonged to a music club that had offered him a free CD and we used that for a gift.  Dollar General became my holiday friend so I could buy trinkets for family and friends.  One thing I couldn't afford .. Christmas dinner.

Turkey's were cheap but, not cheap enough .. ham the same way.  When you think about it, you could probably afford a Christmas dinner for around $30-$35 .. and we didn't have it to spare.  It sucked .. and so did Thanksgiving before that for we couldn't afford that either.  It was really depressing, it got me down so low .. I did alot of crying behind the scenes.  When those dinners were such a tradition for all your life, not affording to make one yourself makes you feel left out when you hear others talking about theirs.  Sure, I could go to my Mom's house and have dinner but, it's not the same as your own .. in your home .. loving to cook so much.

At work, they put Thanksgiving and Christmas food boxes together for those employees less fortunate.  I'd brought in cans of corn and peas to divide up among the boxes during Thanksgiving time .. the more those boxes became full, the more I was hoping one would become mine.  It never did, neither time.  It broke my heart to be so needy and not be worthy of it.

One evening, after I'd come home from work, I'd been sitting at the computer playing around when all of a sudden, there was a knock on the door.  The dogs started barking something awful!  Richard wasn't all too enthused to go answer the door so, I got up and cracked open the door.  Right there, on our doorstep, was a box.  Not just an ordinary box, a box wrapped like a gift.  I stepped out to retrieve it and saw a car with their lights on in our driveway.  I couldn't see who it was, didn't recognise the vehicle as it pulled out. 

I brought that pretty box in and hollered for Richard to help me with it, it was so heavy.  Inside I found a treasure .. Christmas dinner in a box!  Turkey, red potatoes, desserts, you name it, it was there.  I come to find out later that the girls I work with in the Bakery talked about it and a few of them put some $$ together and came up with dinner for us.  That moment put things into perspective.  I needed to have more faith and not be so selfish, there are others out there that need it more than I .. God provides when needed.  The girls who donated to give me a Christmas dinner that year could've used that money more than I and they decided to use it on me.  I love my girls, they give me hope on a daily basis.

Let's see what this holiday season brings us, shall we?

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