It seems that winter holidays are stressful for many people. It has been hard for me to enjoy them, at least the idea of them, for the past few years. You see, my family it making ends meet, but it is hard for us sometimes. We were fine for most of my childhood, at least the parts I can remember, but the recession hit us too. We’ve made ends meet thus far, and have gotten used to the idea that we have to be more careful with our money. Or at least, most of us have.
My dad has problems with the idea that we are tight, if we are not making enough to be comfortable, he isn’t happy. When we are comfortable, he likes to spend it on fancy vacations and things we (the girls) don’t want or need, like jewelry or fancy clothes. The truth is, the three of us girls have a kind of unspoken truce that when we are comfortable again, we do not want to spend our money on frivolous things. Maybe a few more vacations, but we are fine with how we are living now. We don’t need spectacular things, we are happy going to Ross and Walmart, places that are reasonably affordable.
It is harder during the holidays though, because all my mom wants to do is give me and my sister gifts that she knows we would like, but we don’t want anything specific. We want books and pajamas and maybe some clothes, things we can use and enjoy for a long time. We feel bad asking for anything else. Our mom makes the holiday special even though we are tight, and she knows us better than we know ourselves, so it is always special.
Something I don’t understand is why people are always trying to get more money, more fancy things. I am going to school to be a teacher, and I always hear that “teachers don’t make much money” or “teachers make a living wage”, but you know what, in my first year of teaching alone, I will make more than my mom makes to take care a family of four, plus three pets, right now. I know it might change as I start a family of my own and stuff, but I would give anything for my family to just be comfortable. I don’t want to be rich, I just want to not have to worry about can I afford a new jacket or something else I need.
The nicest people I meet, are those who have also had their families go through times where money was tight. They give a little wherever they can and it warms my heart to see others who do this too. We are thankful for what we have, and give what we can whether it be some change or a snack or just saying thank you.