Saturday, December 12, 2009

Not Having Christmas!

Seems I have a lot of explaining to do!

The roller coaster I ride called "My Life" always has something new for me. It is never the same ride, always a new hill to climb, then a great thrill around the corner, maybe even some moments of sheer terror, and of course the free fall adrenaline rush of making it over the hill.

There is one big difference in "My Life" present, than in past. All of my past... childhood past, grown up too soon past, tweaker past, victim past... The big difference is I do not want off until the ride is over. I am never really afraid of the next hill. Sometimes I get bored waiting for my next challenge, but I never have that feeling of , "STOOOP THE RIDE, I WANT OFF!"

I don't reflect nearly as much as I used to. In fact, reflecting in the past was more of an obsessive, painful, over analyzing state of mind, always followed by expectations. Now it is more of a brief moment to look at how I have gotten to where I am, what I have learned, followed by hope and goal setting.

All of this being said, I do not have expectations for much, and Christmas is included. It is a good thing, because this year, "My Life" through me a sharp fast turn that left me completely disoriented as I began a loong loon slow climb up my next hill.

Here is a random breakdown of what I see up ahead on my hill. By the time you read this, a few things may already be behind me.

  • lease is up
  • rent is too expensive here
  • health problems
  • no insurance
  • criminal record
  • credit problems
  • children and Christmas time
  • no one will do a 6 mos lease
  • applications for rentals are strict due to increase in evictions
  • student loans not resolved due to "clerical error"
  • one vehicle is broken down
  • 2nd vehicle needs tired
  • moving requires deposit before we get our current deposit back
  • moving 4 days after Christmas
  • eminent bankruptcy
  • garnished tax return (for afore mentioned student loan error)
  • won't finish college as planned
  • year long road trip moved out a year

All of that and we are armed with about a whopping $140.00 to get through a week and a half (food, gas, 2 adults, 3 kids -one in diapers), followed by one more check before Christmas that has to include a moving truck, expenses for 2 weeks and our electric/heating bill and transfer fees. We have gotten each older child one gift, and nothing for the baby yet. We are not decorating, because I cannot forsee moving a 4 bedroom house in one day, with a 2 year old, four days after a Christmas that included decorations. All of this almost sounds devastating in my head as I type it out.

It's not. If you can stand it, my kids are amazing, and they were so scared we weren't going to have ANYwhere to move, that when we found a much smaller place, with no yard, and all we could get is a year lease- they were OVERJOYED that we will still have a HOME. When we explained that they would only get one major gift ($50 each we spent) and a few little things (that I will be getting courtesy of the amazing Jeffco Action Center Santa shop) and that we would have our own little housewarming celebration in January- they said "it's ok," with warm smiles and they meant it.

I do not speak of religion much, because I do not feel it is my place to sway someone who is not looking for new direction in that area. I have come to my own conclusions based on my experiences, my wisdom, history, and how I feel.  I do not believe in the "God" that most do. I have my own system of morality, and basically I equate "God" with good and so everything that IS good is what "God" is to me. My own personal belief is that the idea of religion and faith are strong principles and they work for many people who need them. I believe prayer works because it creates "good" energy. I believe that when people "give it to God" they are surrendering to their inner most powerful good and of course "God"is in all of us because there is good in all of us.

That being said, our family celebrates Christmas not out of Christian beliefs, but in a sense of spiritual coming together of all that is good, to acknowledge the good that is within each of us and to share that good with others, and of course national tradition.

Many of you who have gone back to the beginning of my story, or have been here all along, are familiar with my varied religious upbringing, the lack of "family," and the many confusing Holiday seasons following so much loss. I have had to recreate what many aspects of life mean to me and I choose to define them my own way, filled with love and hope. I do the same for holidays and celebrations. This is after all, "My Life," shouldn't it be the one I create and define instead of the one my nosy neighbor thinks I should have, or my condescending, judgmental grandmother prefers, or that ever annoying seems to know-it-all d*mn talking screen in the living room says it should be?

This year will be just as special as any. I think likely it will be one of the more memorable years. Not because of Bryson's famous stuffing, not because the kids got the newest most expensive high tech gift, and definitely not because of our richly decorated home, filled with people, food, and gifts. Those things just cannot be afforded.

This year will be special because we have each other, because everyone in our family appreciates that, and because we are still filled with love and joy and hope, not expectations.

Perhaps next year will be a different celebration. Who knows, we may be moving at the end of our lease again. Perhaps our planned life trip will beginning to rematerialize.  Whatever happens, our love remains. Ever changing... growing... adapting... but ever present.



  1. And that heart can put that feeling in the air anytime, anywhere! Best wishes to all of you for meaningful moments and lovely laughing in this season!

  2. Our kids have never had big presents. Having each other is far more important - and I think they actually realise that too :)

  3. Your post touches my heart with the various things you wrote here. When I seen the picture of the tree with it crossed out and saying no Christmas, I am reminded of the many Christmas's I've spent with no money for a tree or gifts, let alone food or money to pay the bills. I remember feeling horrible in not being able to provide gifts for my children and yet doing what I could to still make this time of year special for them. I remember the Christmas's that my eldest granddaughter would come and paint a tree for me on the wall. I had no extra money for gifts for any of my kids or her. But, we were together and did what I could to make the time special with them. Now I have also had Christmas's in which I had the extra money and was able to buy gifts for them. I hate that Christmas has turned into what it is today. I hate how it makes many people feel. I hate knowing that many will go without food let alone gifts and then there are those that have too much to know what to do with it all. Most of the people that I know that struggle are hard working people. It's not because they are lazy.

    I am just thankful that you and your family have found a place to move to. I am sorry that you can't take your road trip yet. That whole idea fascinates me and one I wouldn't mind doing myself.

    Regardless of having a tree and all the trimings or not, I think you have the right attitude. And what a lesson you are teaching your children. I know I am thankful that my children learned that Christmas is not about presents or things like that and have become adults that are sensitive to those in need.

    I too, don't like sharing a lot of my views on God/Jesus because then people assume that I fit in the box of religiousness. I respect that everyone believes differently but so often we all judge out of ignorance. I also don't find it my place to sway anyone to believing like me.

    I also wanted to say that I love the banner with changing phrases about what you believe, at the top of your blog.

    I am happy that you are recreating your life to what it is today. I think that is very awesome! Blessings to you and your family. May those dollars stretch for as long as there needed too! XX Lori

  4. Beautiful post! The most important part of celebrating Christmas, or your own beliefs, I think is being together... with loved ones, and you stated that so well here. May your days ahead be filled with the love that you feel this morning. Blessings and peace to you and yours :)

  5. You're awesome! I think you're teaching your children something far more valuable than expensive gifts. I hope that this Christmas is full of all the things you treasure most.
    I'm sorry for your difficulty, but I love that you can find peace in the midst of it. (((hugs)))

  6. Whatever tough time you are going through your kids are there to remind the good of life. I agree with the concept of good/God, I grew up as a catholic but don't fit in any institutionalized religion. I think that religion needs spirituality but spirituality does not need religion. I feel I am spiritual, I feel you are spiritual.

    Lots of love

  7. You never know what a Day holds. Live is always changing, it never stays the same. We are not forced to take the journey...but if we chose to, we shouldn't complain.

    I like your insight and attitude.

    Peace and Love

  8. you have found the true meaning of Christmas. Love, family and holding it all together no matter what.

    you'll do just fine :)

  9. I would echo Fractalmom's sentiments.. the way you describe Christmas is probably how it was meant to be celebrated and reflects the true spirit of Christmas instead of the overzealous spending of money and exchanging of gifts that happens these days.

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