It’s funny how every year Christmas stresses me out on so many levels, financially and emotional, and yet every year things turn out just fine. I don’t know why I don’t remember that from year to year, but come the first of December I start freaking out and I don’t get over it until the holiday is over. I don’t know why I do that to myself; it’s like having a front row seat on the crazy train, really.
But it’s over now, and it was good. The kids were all pleased with their gifts from Santa (a real skateboard for Eli as opposed to a Wal-Mart one, a violin of his own for Sam, and a race track for Owen), they each got a couple of smaller fun things, and some much-needed clothes. We discovered, through Hannah, a delightful second-hand store specializing in babies and kids, so were able to supplement their NEW clothes with some really good quality previously worn ones, and they didn’t know the difference. Oranges and a little candy in their stockings, along with new undies and toothbrushes and body washes and deodorants, and it was good.
God always has a way of reminding me what it is really all about, if I let Him. A friend and I had decided to help out this single mom we know, and we managed to cobble together some small gifts and stocking stuffers for her and her kids, and god, I remember being where she is. It was really humbling for me to remember that, to in an instant be taken back to those times in my life where I literally had nothing and to be slapped in the face with how damn blessed I am now. While it isn’t good to dwell in the past, I need to remember that bit from The Big Book about not shutting the door on it, because I need to remember where I have been-not just in terms of sobriety but in terms of life itself (and of course they are intertwined).
We went to Christmas Eve services and sitting in front of us were the mother, sister, and three-year old daughter of a woman who committed suicide this summer. She was one who was just never able to get the program, and the end result was a family torn apart, literally and figuratively. It broke my heart to see her family at church, because I remember, too, feeling the way she must have felt right before she decided to end it all. So I see these things, these people, and I am reminded that I am right where I need to be in life. I have much to be grateful for that has nothing to do with money or any kind of material item.
Maybe if I am doing what I need to do in life, I will remember all of this next year, before I climb on the crazy train again.