Single mom of two 10 and 6 can't afford christmas

Krista - posted on 11/11/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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How do I explain to my children that there might not be a christmas if I can't even convince my mother that I can't afford Christmas this year. Its not that I don't want to but the debts are overwhelming and they keep coming. I left my husbanc and he left me with the debt same as my childrens fathers. One minute I'm figuring it all out and the next I'm not. I don't want to hurt them because I know they are looking forward to Christmas. Anyone have any suggestion that avoid me being the worst parent ever.

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Karen J - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hi! Trust me, you aren't the worst parent ever and you have to believe that you aren't. I've been there as well and it was hard, but when I couldn't afford anything I did the next best thing and took my daughter out sledding and then had some hot chocolate with marshmallows. I made the day fun for her and also made her a homemade coupon for something I knew I could do. You can go to the Salvation Army too. Believe in yourself, there is always something you can do to make your kids have a good Christmas.

April - posted on 11/12/2009

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You're not alone. I don't have a job myself, and can't get anything for my kids. I have signed up for programs through the Salvation Army, their school, and I haven't yet, but there are churches that will "adopt" your family too. And when I do get money, I got to the dollar store, and just get them small toys, all under $20. It will all work out, you'll see. Good luck to you.

C Ann - posted on 11/11/2009

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This may be a good Christmas to focus on something other than material gifts for your children. If you can afford one or two items for them, then you should budget for it. I spend several Christmases making sure my children were more focused on giving to others than receiving. I think moments like this in life are teachable moments that build character not just for the adults but for the children also. However, I agree that they should receive come gifts but explaining the change in circumstance and the reason for the season may make this one of the best Christmases ever for your family.

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Amanda - posted on 12/21/2012

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Hi Krista,

I am not married nor i am single but i do understand where you are coming from. I am in a similar situation as you are in. I have debt over flowing, about to loose the house, lose the only thing that is bringing in income, my kids have gone wild, my boyfriend of 11 years could care less about the kids and how they are feeling. I have no car my oven is broke so that means no ham or turkey just what i can make on top of the stove. I have not even put up a Christmas decoration let alone a tree. Thjs past year is the worst yet. But seeing those that have lost their children this holiday made me me thankful for having mine. Just being able to come home and now that everyone is there made me open my eyes. It has also drawn me closer to God...i find myself talking to him more and more everday. But always remember in your time of need call on the Lord and he always makes a way out of no way. God is a forgiving and merciful God. He is just waiting on us because he has been there all along.

Alice Monterio - posted on 12/19/2012

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Honestly, Christmas is NOT what it appears to be. We don't celebrate it. My son is 11 and he understands that because first of all, it is not really Jesus' birthday. It is derived from pagan traditions. My son and I are going to go to the Mall on the 28th and buy him some clothes and stuff. Please look up the origin of Christmas and the celebratoin of the Saturnalia back in the day and how it was incorporated into the Church. You won't feel so bad after that...trust me. This is a bad time of year and you are made to feel like you have to go into debt to please everyone...don't worry about it. Look up the true origin and if you feel like you dont want to be apart of it, explain why to your children. They will get it. Then something special for them other times. Things that you can afford, and DON'T FEEL GUILTY. Lots of Love, me

D'Etta - posted on 12/07/2012

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I'm in the same situation you are. :) My kids are almost 9 and 7. Instead of focusing on presents this year, we started new traditions. Advent calendars is one, they get a "present" every day counting down to Christmas... but they are little dollar store toys, books, or cookies. On Christmas day we won't be spending all day opening gifts... we'll be out volunteering and giving to others. They'll be feeling good about themselves by the end of the day and won't even notice that they didn't get a million toys that they'll play with a few times and toss aside. Also, kids appreciate home-made gifts from the heart just as we do. Make them a scrapbook of their favorite pictures, or print free coloring pages off the internet and spend the day making pretty pictures to hang in their room.

Ann - posted on 12/05/2012

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It is hard for so many now. Separations, no jobs, medical expenses. All these things are hurting so many of us right now. God will provide. We are scraping now. I remember a few years ago. My husband was out of work. We couldn't even afford fruit. My husband made sure the company gave our turkey box for those laid off, to a family of 9. So, no turkey. No money for presents. We went to church one day, and out of the blue a man gave us a basket with fruit, candy bars, and sodas. There were 5 of each in there. Weirdly, each of us got our favorite fruit, candybar, and soda. LOL... God is good. He takes care of things. I went through the couch, found a few dollars in coins and headed to the dollar tree. Each child got 3 little gifts from there. They didn't mind that under the tree was bare, because they had a present hunt. Not Easter egg. A present scavengar hunt. They loved it. It is not the amount of money you spend on the presents. Its the quality time with each child. Having fun with your kids. I pray your situation gets better. Do not be afraid to ask for help from the organizations listed above. You have no idea the blessing it is for them to give. It is truly better to Give than receive.

Isabell - posted on 12/03/2012

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Oh please don't think you're the worst patent! I'm in the same situation. You're not alone. My husband was beating me i had to pick up and leave him. Now I'm a single mother of 3 and I'm 28. My mother usually makes Christmas dinner but this year she won't be around. My children and I lost our home and vehicle to Sandy... I love at the Jersey shore. Its such a struggle. Fema won't help because i didn't have flood insurance. U finally rented a ROOM from a college kid which definitely makes me feel like a bad mother. I found an old Christmas tree in their attic so i took that down but can't even afford decorations. My oldest one says "Mom, it's okay if we don't have presents. I don't care about presents. As long add we have a Christmas tree and Christmas Dinner... I'm happy" which was do sweet of her, she's 12. But now its a matter of even being able to afford decorations and dinner.



I know how you're feeling. Don't ever think you're a bad mother. If you're struggling and still trying your damnest... You're a damn good mother in my book!

Twanda - posted on 11/15/2009

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We as parents put more stress into Christmas than the kids, because when all the presents are open they only play with one or two things and the other stuff collects dust and never gets played with... Talk to your children and tell them they can have one small toy that they really want and work on that then pray and thank God on Christmas day for blessing you with your children being with you.

Brittney - posted on 11/15/2009

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there are many organizations that help kids for x-mas, just call your local dfacs office, i totally understand

Rebekah - posted on 11/15/2009

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There are lots and lots of programs that you can become involved in. Stop in at the Salvation Army or United Way. Also, remember that you are not a bad parent by what you can or can't give them. It's about love and gratitude for the things and people you do have.

Tia - posted on 11/14/2009

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I sent you a privates message so I wont post what I said, just remeber that I would help you out if i knew where you lived I even got brand new toys my daughter never touched so let me know and they'll be on their way. take care and good luck

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your not a worst parent ever. what you have just said says to me that you love your kids to bits and you also want them to have a great christmas ever well if you can't afford anything than make something for them they will love it more than anything becuase it's comes from the heart. chistmas is not about how much you spend on your kids or how many presants you get them christmas is all about family and being with your family at christmas. the greatest gift you can ever give is love

BRITTNE - posted on 11/13/2009

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HEY KRISTA ! MY NAME IS BRITTNE & I'AM ALSO A SINGLE MOTHER OF TWO SO I CAN UNDERSTAND EXACTLY WHERE YOUR COMING FROM WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING ENDS MEET ,& TRYING YOUR HARDEST NOT TO DISAPPOINT THE KIDS SO I HAVE A FEW TIPS/SUGGESTIONS THAT ARE HOPEFULLY GOING TO BE OF HELP TO YOU AS WELL AS USEFUL I'M NOT EXACTLY SURE WHERE YOU RESIDE BUT I'AM LOCATED IN LOS ANGELES & EVERY HOLIDAY OUT HERE THERE ARE LOCAL CHURCHES, SHELTERS,PARKS,RADIO STATIONS ,ETC. THAT GIVE AWAY LOTS OF THINGS SUCH AS CLOTHING,TOYS ,FOOD ,EVEN MONEY TO THOSE THAT ARE LESS FORTUNATE SO MAYBE YOU COULD CHECK IN YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY AS TO WHERE & WHO MAYBE BE GIVING OUT SOME OF THESE ITEMS YOU CAN EVEN TRY TO GO TO THE LOCAL LIBRARY ....MY SECOND SUGGESTION WOULD BE TO SIT DOWN AN EXPLAIN TO THE KIDS HOW CHRISTMAS IS ACTUALLY A TIME OF GIVING & NOT SO MUCH OF AS RECEIVING THINGS LET THEM KNOW HOW FORTUNATE THEY ARE TO JUST HAVE A MOTHER THAT IS STRIVING TO TAKE CARE OF THEM THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER KIDS OUT THERE THAT DON'T HAVE MOTHERS THAT CARE ABOUT THER WELL -BEING ! AS LONG AS YOU ALL HAVE EACH OTHER THAT'S WHAT REALLY MATTERS ! THEY'LL UNDERSTAND ...I WISH YOU THE BEST OF LUCK !!!

Barbi - posted on 11/13/2009

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You still have time,check with local churches and the Salvation Army. There are plenty of programs out there. If you are working then put aside a gift a week for each child for Christmas and they should be happy. The gifts don't have to be extravagant for your children to be pleased. In the future, I suggest opening a Christmas account and putting away $10 a week so you will have the funds for the holidays.

Zonia - posted on 11/13/2009

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I have been there with my five kids when they were small. Just think and use your instinct of motherhood. children normally likes to unwrapped gifts even if you wrap a used toy they love to unwrapped gift. Try to make just some adjustment unto toys they have been put aside for a time. Exam. paint different color, wrap a cloth around just be creative use your motherhood instinct, look for it you will find it. Pray every night for support and have faith do not weak in believing.

Tanya - posted on 11/13/2009

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the newspaper in my old town did something for kids that the parents couldn't afford christmas.. was called Santas girls or something like that..

Joyce - posted on 11/13/2009

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yes im also goin through the same thing n what im doin is each pay week i gobuy soaething small 4 each child n at the end place it in box n wrapp it up n they r jst as happee n surpised :)

Katherine - posted on 11/12/2009

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I know exactly how you feel ... last year my children's father and I sperated and I was not able to provide a gift filled Christmas for my children but the joy of being together and having a few presents under the tree was good enough ! This year its the same story I was laid off from my job in March and still have yet to find a full time job so I started putting money aside and picking up gifts in August (both my boys birthdays are in Nov and Dec) so they could have a Christmas ... were there is a will there is a way and at the end of the day the excitment from a new toy fades after a couple days the love of a mother never goes away !

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2009

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Join Freecycle.Com. You'd be amazed at the great things people are giving away that you can re-purpose for Christmas gifts. I am a new single parent of a 14 yr old boy and 3 yr old girl. Thier dad quit his job and took off to hook up with an ex-stripper girlfriend of 2 months from 15 years ago. I have gotten some videos and Playhut tunnels from Freecyclers as gifts for my 3 yr old this Christmas. It's ok to ask for stuff there too.

Shannon - posted on 11/12/2009

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My stepdad wrks for a Catholic church here and every holiday they and all Catholic churchs help out those in need. Thanksgiving and Christmas they will give out turkeys and some side dishes. At Christams time they will help with gifts. I know that some other churches also will. Along with some community charities. Look in your phone book and look for charities or Urban League, maybe even Red Cross. I have been in your position myself and my children definetly wont be getting what the rest of the children in our community wil be getting but they wil be happy. Give your children credit its not about what you give its about their mommy giving it to them. They loves us.

Krista - posted on 11/12/2009

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I guess its more my daughter she has given up soccer this year, her birthday its around christmas so its not just christmas. She gave me her check list today and I didn't have the heart to break it to her. I will try my best to make to make something happen that is for sure what is the question. I won't do charity because i know there is more needed children out there then mine that is for sure but its the mistakes that i have made along the way and always swore I wouldn't let it effect them and here it is affecting them. Her fathers just came back in the picture after 6yrs and doesn't pay child support and I'm too proud to say anything. I don't want to look weak.

D'Etta - posted on 11/12/2009

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Hi sweetie. Don't worry, kids are often the most understanding. Usually it's the parents and family members that make a big deal out of Christmas. Just make sure you tell them, we don't have a lot of money so we can only get little presents this year. Gift cards or cash might help put the fun back in, if they're allowed to choose what they want. I can't afford much this year either. I'm only doing the stockings, and one present from Santa and one from me for each of my kids. There are a lot of organizations out there to help children during the Christmas time though. You should look up ones in your area. Start with Angel Tree, Salvation Army, and Toys for Tots.

Jessica - posted on 11/12/2009

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WHat about going to one of your local churchs and asking for help? The Salvation Army has helped me in the past.

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I know what your going through and there are a lot of places out there that can help you get things for your children for the holidays. The Salvation army is another one..they are awesome and sometimes have sponsors that will sponsor families..we had them at our home two years ago they brought boxes of food, presents and even Santa came..I know there has to be a way! Put it in God's hands..he will come through for you all..best of luck to you.

Sue - posted on 11/11/2009

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what about second hand stores? Some times things still have tags on them. I too am overwhelmed by debt. I just pray i can get thru sometimes. I'd send a present to a child in need if we had a mailing list. that would be great.

Karmen - posted on 11/11/2009

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I know it must be hard but you will make it through. Sign up your children for toys for tots or Blue Santa or something like that. That is a way that they can get some presents. Also if you are able to, buy a little something everytime you get paid even if it is just something small...they will appreciate it in the long run.

Karmen - posted on 11/11/2009

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I know it must be hard but you will make it through. Sign up your children for toys for tots or Blue Santa or something like that. That is a way that they can get some presents. Also if you are able to, buy a little something everytime you get paid even if it is just something small...they will appreciate it in the long run.

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