I got this in an e-mail today and really derived some comfort and satisfaction from this message.
I've been doing very well with my budget until just the past payday. I am skimming by until Friday (payday) and still have to get the kids some presents. I know this is not a unique problem as I've seen from reading other journals. I'm refusing to add any more than I have to on my credit cards.
I spent today wracking my brain trying to think of things to get my three that won't push me into debt. Of course, putting $500 into my car has not helped. Then I opened my e-mail and read this.
My children are basically grown and understand the financial situation in our household. They definitely got far too much when there dad and I were together. I went into serious credit card debt to try and keep their lives the same after the separation. I then cut up the credit cards, and we began to live a frugal but comfortable lifestyle.
They get plenty for Christmas. My mother, in-laws and even their dad (surprise, surprise) come through at Christmas which has always taken the pressure off of me. I felt bad at first but kids adapt and can understand. Of course, they weren't babies when we separated.
All in all, I think my three have actually benefitted from not having everything handed to them. They have all had to work for the extras that they want and have learned to save and budget and wait...no instant gratification.
I remember many Easters where I would have to wait until the day after when things were half off to get them their baskets. It actually became quite an exciting thing for them. I would come home from work with a huge shopping bag with plush animals and Easter goodies. They would be waiting anxiously at the door for me. We still joke about that.
So, I am shooting prayers to God right now to lead me to the perfect things for each one.....He will.....and am enjoying the warm glow of mytree.....and thinking of some time and talent that I can donate generously to spread the reason for the season.............chris