What should I do? PLEASE HELP :(

Terri Lee - posted on 11/30/2012 ( 175 moms have responded )

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Hey moms I need some advice. How can I give my kids the best Christmas if we don't have any money? The money we had saved up someone stole out our truck along with important things we needed- they had broke into it while my fiance was working. Please help thank you.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Rose - posted on 11/30/2012

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How about the gift of memories? Not some worthless trinkets. Spend the day with each other and make your own Christmas tradition up like no presents and do something's together.

Megan - posted on 11/30/2012

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I'm so sorry this has happened to you!! Especially around this time of year! People can be so awful sometimes. :( I'm not sure how old your kids are, but children 8 and up will probably understand if you explain that you're in a bad place this year and Christmas can't be big. My brother and I heard it every year when we were growing up, and we never really minded if there were only a couple of small presents under the tree. Come to think of it, I don't even remember 99.9% of the presents I ever got anyway. That's not what sticks out in my mind. What I DO remember? My mom dancing around the living room with me to our Bing Crosby Christmas album, baking cookies, the smell of scented Christmas candles, and how pretty the tree looked when we finished decorating it. It really is the "little things" that are the most important. The big pricey presents are cool and all, but they don't really mean anything. Give your kids your time, your love, and your attention, and your "poorest" Christmas might turn out to be the one that stands out to them as the most special one they ever had.

Jessica - posted on 11/30/2012

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There is always a way to make Christmas special, think back to growing up...most of us remember the Christmas plays at school and/or churches, stringing popcorn and cranberries, drinking hot cocoa with tons of marshmallows, baking and decorating cookies with mom and dad or grandparents, driving around and looking at Christmas lights, making snowmen and listening to christmas carols....those are the memories most of us hold dear do as many as possible to take away from the "missing presents" on christmas day/ eve



Do you sew? You could go through old clothing and make quilts from t-shirts and jeans

For older children- create a recipe book of family recipes.

For younger children- you could create a "family coloring book" there are several websites and free programs that convert your family pictures into coloring pages

What about "kids coupon books" Coupons they can cash in to parents. For example: stay up an extra 20 minutes, no chores today, clean room pass (mom or dad cleans), choose a special meal for dinner, extra TV/ video game time, etc.

Call local family services center to find out how you can receive Christmas assistance, this works similar to the Angel Trees. Children typically get a toy and cloths.

Or if you belong to a church meet with your pastor/minister privately and explain your circumstances and concerns, they may be able to help.

Good Luck and remember to enjoy the holiday season as a family which is more important than any material gifts!

Mary - posted on 12/01/2012

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My husband and I went through a period of time when we had extreme financial difficulties. During those years, I got pretty creative on making Xmas fun & special so the kiddos had a good time & didn't feel forgotten by Santa. In addition to shopping thrift stores, yard sales & dollar stores, my husband & I also handmade alot of gifts and decorations. We'd make cookies, candies, home-canned sauces, & cakes for gifts to relatives & friends. (This has become a tradition among my sisters & I now.) We made cards & envelopes also.



We didn't have a tree, but I found a potted pine plant at the grocery store that was wilting. I asked the store manager, if I could get a discount on the sickly looking plant & he gave it to me for free. Once I placed it by a window & gave it a good watering, it bounced right back & looked great. The kids & I made paper decorations & popcorn garlands for it. (One year our Xmas tree was a plastic, lighted, tree-shaped lawn decoration I found on clearance sale for 3 dollars. The kids loved it!)



My husband made small hand-held tic-tac-toe games out of scrap 2x4's, marbles & popsicle sticks one year. And his mother, who was very crafty, made little Amish style ragdolls out of scrap material & some leftover polyfiberfil, one year. One year the kids made salt dough ornaments & gave them out as presents to grandparents, teachers, etc. My kids also loved receiving handmade lap blankets & quilts made from old clothes, baby blankets, sheets, etc., for Xmas. They still curl up on the couch & watch TV with them.



Also, neighbor-kids & cousins, donated stuffed animals & hot wheel/matchbox cars, clothes, & such, that they'd outgrown, for my kids' gifts. Sometimes they just need a little cleaning or very minor repair to look new again. My kids remember & talk about those Christmastimes fondly, and still don't have any idea how poor we were at that time.

Carie - posted on 11/30/2012

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I'm so sorry to hear this! I don't know if this will help, but I hope you can get something from it:



Like mentioned before, try Craigslist, thrift stores, Goodwill, churches, dollar stores, etc.



You could also ask friends and family if they could help you out by buying your kids a gift to put under the tree.



Also, there's a great series over on MoneySavingMom(dot)com called "31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash before Christmas". Not all of these ideas will work for you, but you might find an idea or two you could implement.



You can also use ebay or Craigslist to sell anything your family isn't using at the moment: clothes the kids have grown out of, clothes your family hasn't worn in a long time, electronics you no longer use, even non-working phones are worth something to somebody. You could also sell any crafts you can make or put out ads to clean other peoples' houses, mow lawns, babysit for parents while they do their Christmas shopping, wrap presents, etc. Any skill you have or chores you can think of could be money in your pocket.



I hope I have given you some idea to help you. Good luck!

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Yashaswini - posted on 01/10/2013

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Well there's no luck to get rich straight away Terri. Do you have a bank card you could use to buy stuff? Because that could be another way to buy stuff for Christmas. So, I hope this comment helps. :)

~Yasha

Shannon - posted on 01/07/2013

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I know this is late, but I was in the same situation this year. So what I did and plan to do next year is make a festive family dinner in Christmas Eve. Afterwards, play board games, video games, whatever your family likes and enjoy the time. Then, on Christmas morning go to your local shelter/soup kitchen and feed the homeless. By doing this, I guarantee your children will understand and realize that even though you had little...you had MORE than most. You had love, laughter, a good meal, and a warm home to enjoy it all in. My children are actually asking to do it next Christmas.

Holly - posted on 01/01/2013

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I am sorry. I hope that your children had a little Christmas. For my family, my DH has been disabled for 2yrs now and I am working on getting to college and looking for a job.
When Christmas was coming around my husband and I were worried on what we could do for Christmas. The year before due to my husband's accident we didn't have a Christmas at all and we didn't want that again.
Luckily money sent from my family my husband and I used it all for our boys. I was so excited to give them a Christmas. Especially our 3 year old who understands Christmas more.

Faith - posted on 01/01/2013

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Amen!!! This year my family agreed no Christmas tree, we gave one gift apiece, we did more prayer and fasting this season. We must remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Rebekah - posted on 01/01/2013

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go out to the park for the day - they will forget all about presents :) - make each other presents - or go to the op shop - they are great!..

Kay - posted on 12/29/2012

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Hopefully, all this will bring us to our knees and to pray to our heavenly Father, created of heaven and earth. I think about how Jesus left a perfect heaven/world and came here into our hard world for me for us. He could have chosen not to die for us so we can have life in Him.

I am working hard on having that thought impact my life. I memorized Eph. 4 17 to 21. Every time my mind goes to earthly things, I replace it with this scripture. It has truly helped me see Jesus more intimately. I would love to see this precious site, where we can talk, become a prayerful place where we can be safe with each other. I have really hard things in my life right now with an x daughter in law and her boyfriend and my grandchildren. I could just cry and blame and kdjaio;tea ;pin. However, I am called to a higher power and to pray for my enemies. I do have peace in the midst of trial.

Love you guys in Christ Jesus and pray for your walks.

Ruth Anne - posted on 12/29/2012

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Terri, I'm glad you were able to find ways to have a wonderful Christmas!

I think it helps to keep in mind when we respond to posts made by people we don't know that we don't know the person's background, mental health history, any abuse or neglect in their background, or what the real situation is that we might not have all the facts about. Yes, sometimes people do need to be told to get up and fight harder, but sometimes a person has been told awful things, has already fought to the point of exhaustion, just plain really does need help, and the last straw can be some stranger becoming one more person telling them to not be lazy or bad, judging them, or that they are moochers or losers.

Of course we can't know all that and aren't responsible for anyone's mental health, but I think that it helps to step back a moment when posting online and notice if our knee-jerk response to post something is based on our own filters of what a person "should" be or do. I know many struggling people, and while some might be motivated by being told to buck up and stop being lazy, some might be devastated and give up completely, withdraw, or become isolated. Some have been already told those things by abusers, have reached out, and that wouldn't be helpful.

Of course we can't guess where a person is coming from, but my point is simply that our own viewpoint is just that...based on our own experiences and our own education and seen through our own filters...mine included, of course. Sheryll, I think it is wonderful that you were able to get up and do what needed to be done, and I am sorry for your loss. To help you understand why I reacted how I did, I have seen many of the struggling people I mentioned being told what you said and giving totally up since they needed a hand up and not to be told once more that they were lazy and trying to get handouts. If your background is such and your temperment and mental health status are such that you can deal with and be motivated by being told basically that you are a lazy butt and wanting handouts (and some are in that situation) this can be motivational, but many people asking for help just plain aren't and it can make things much worse. We aren't mental health professionals on here and we really don't know how fragile a person is, so sometimes a step back can help for us all. I reacted because I have seen so much pain and devastation directly caused by comments such as yours, Sheryll, but whatever someone said to you helped you, and I am glad of that. We all have our viewpoints, right?

The important thing is that Terri figured out what she wanted to know and the family had a good Christmas. I wish you all a great year!

Kay - posted on 12/28/2012

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God bless you and your family Terri Lee Lake. You got a lot, a lot, a lot of comments here. I almost got tired of hearing them all. Hope 2013 is a wonderful year, full of God's unlimited, wonderful blessings.

Terri Lee - posted on 12/28/2012

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Thank you everyone. We had managed to make it a wonderful christmas, oh and sheryll how can you judge me if you dont even know me? You know i really dont care what you say bout me. I know i am a good mother and wife and just cause your life sucked dont put your faults and blame on other people. Thank you everyone else.

Tammie - posted on 12/28/2012

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I would go to certain business and explain that your money was stolen and hopefully they would work something out. Go to certain Department stores and explain what happened and to have their name As the Angel on the window, local churches, and even human services at their school that is what it is there for.Don't think of it as a hand-out but as a hand-up. I personally donate when I have the extra income and I love doing it and don't care what child receives the presents as long as their happy.. They have cute recipes to make ornaments and other decorations and have your children give the family one of those. Hope Christmas turns out joyous for you and your family.

Sheryll - posted on 12/24/2012

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Thank You. I was being honest I didn't feel as if it was cruel. I am supportive of women especially young women. I want to see them empowered and educated. Her post was written on 11/30/2012. And she already felt hopeless. Why is that? She had three weeks to do something and yet she was scared and hopeless. She needs tools to prevent it from happening again. Education, change of attitude and motivation. I hope one day she is successful and her beautiful children are inspired by her, truly thank you again.

Sheryll - posted on 12/24/2012

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I have been where this woman is sitting. But it was after my husband committed suicide. I know that some of you feel I am harsh and cruel. I had a person tell me to get off my behind and quit feeling sorry for myself. After my husbands death I was a emotional wreck. A friend of my Husband's told me to get off my butt quit feeling sorry for myself because my children needed me and I was teaching them to behave as I was. He didn't put it so nicely but I am here to tell you he shook my tree. He also saved a emotional wreck unemployed middle aged woman and I put the focus back where it belonged. On myself and my children. To get busy. I picked up trash, mowed lawns, cleaned houses. I cut back and made do and taught my kids a value of a education and strength. She is a very young woman. She has a wonderful life ahead of her if she puts her focus in the right direction. Children come first. And since she is so young I want to see her successful. To see her children educated and healthy. I want to shake her world and I want her to know she can do whatever she sets her mind to and to think outside it. Not just to
get through Christmas. To think of her and her children's future. You might feel as if I am uncaring and cruel. I had some one shake my world and today I have so much gratitude and love for the person who did it. N

Ruth Anne - posted on 12/24/2012

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Thanks, Jana, but my heart is full of peace, love, and I am fine, thanks. I don't see how Sheryll's post was full of any love, but to each her own and I do wish everyone the peace that actually can happen when we don't judge based on things we don't know about others. We all have different paths to walk, and I choose compassion and information to share instead of telling people I don't know who asked for advice censure. But that is my path and not others, and I accept that. have a nice Christmas, everyone.

Kay - posted on 12/24/2012

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I found Sheryl's post to be loving and honest and if minds are open, to teach others about not using and abusing the system. My heart goes out to you Ruth and I will pray, right now that God's love would move through and that you would see his truth. I definitely heart that in Sheryl's post. And we are not to judge.

Ruth Anne - posted on 12/24/2012

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Wow, Sheryll. Nice post. You sit in judgment of her and you have no clue about her life, do you? You have no idea if she has a job, can't work, has no child care, or whatever else her circumstances are. You lost your husband and I am truly sorry for your loss.

She didn't ask you for money, did she? She didn't say she didn't get a job, did she? Wow. You know, she said they saved up and that other things were stolen as well, right? Remind me not to read posts here. I read one and get reminded of how nasty people can be. You got up and went back to work and that is awesome and I know you had to, but one would think that your loss and hard times might have made you a bit sympathetic to hard times. Guess not. I'm not religious, so we don't celebrate Christmas and I won't quote you scriptures, but perhaps some soul-searching on how you feel you know others' motives might be a good thing. My kids are self-sufficient as well and I am as well, but I don't pretend to know about everyone else. I think you are out of line here and need some counseling to help you heal from your resentment and pain.

I am sorry you didn't get help or felt you couldn't accept any if it was offered, but she didn't do anything to you and you have no idea who she is as a person. Wow. Merry Christmas to you, too, and I hope that at some point you can back off preaching to people and look at why you felt the need to be nasty to her. Geez.

Sheryll - posted on 12/24/2012

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Terri unless you have a emotional or physical problem I would have hoped you got out and got a job if you were capable. You had more than enough time. If you aren't capable of working then Division Of Social Services can provide a list of agency's to help. If you already had a job you or your boyfriend could have gotten a extra job and had enough money by Christmas.
And all those people making this only about Faith and the meaning of what Christmas is about it is about giving. And giving to your children and others is very important. I have yet to see a mother who is having a hard time not worry about her children ,and what she can give them to make it better for them and that is Christmas also. This is what Mothering is about.
I would like to say more Terri as a parent I believe education is a gift that continues to give to you and your children. Instead of marriage I would be tackling education and a job then marriage later. I don't know to be it sounded like you were asking for a handout instead of a hand up. Teaching yourself and your children to be self sufficient is very important. That way you won't have to rely on others or be in a position that makes you defendant.
I lost my husband and had children at home. We had a business which without him there was no business, I went back to work two days after his funeral. I cleaned houses, picked up trash, mowed lawns anything to make money. I had a house payment, kids, no insurance and no help. So I couldn't sit at home and wait for the world to come to me. I have raised self sufficient adults. One in college. All with great jobs and they work hard. No one gets a free ride someone always pays for it. If your able get off your behind and get busy.

Tammie - posted on 12/23/2012

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Dianne Greenrainey if you can't get them to listen you could always pull a video up on youtube.com search the " true meaning of Cristmas" " Jesus birthday" etc

Dianne - posted on 12/22/2012

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Reading the scriptures to the children is an excellent idea and i believe i will try to do this starting this year as long as i can get them to listen, thanks

Kay - posted on 12/22/2012

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Tammie Parrott Right on. Help these children understand the importance of the birth of Jesus.
For mom, draw close to him yourself. Memorize Eph. 4 17-21. Go over and over and over it in your mind. Don't just cain it, live it and have it at the center of your every thought. That is what Christmas is about. It's funny, my husband and I are at the end of our child rearing This is the first year we have not had a house full. Scripture alone through the Holy Spirit gives our excitement in this Christmas alive and wonderful. We are already enjoying the season.

Tammie - posted on 12/21/2012

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Christ = Messiah, Savior, Child of the living God... mas = an assembly; crowd of people.
CHRISTmas is not about presents, trees, gifts and lights. Its about celebrating the life of our living Savior. Read Luke chapter 2 with your children and explain the real meaning of Christmas... Make it one they will never forget...!!!!!!!

PageePoo - posted on 12/21/2012

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Make them a scavenger hunt around your place and in the end it can lead up to the presents. Depending how old the kids are check craigslist in your area they will have alot of used toys like lego barbies, ect. Also dollerama or any dollerstore has pretty good things. You can find the same chocolate bars there like smarties , areos, kit kats, for like 4 for $1. They have these cool rubbery squishy balls, sometimes they have foam footballs, cute pencil cases, ect. Its not all about the gifts its about the experience / spending time woth family. Also to make it more fun maybe try and trick them by putting a small thing in a huge box and add alot of rocks to add weight soo u can maybe have a guess what it is contest. Salvation army will have lots of toys there and they may give you some toys to help you out for free. Try explaining to salvation army what happend and they can probebly work something out. Hope you figure something out merry x-mas

Natasha - posted on 12/21/2012

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Merry Christmas to you....and your Family
What a terrible thing to happen to you an your family ,but God works in mysterious ways....Christmas is a day made to be with Family ...we place so much on presents an litte on what really matters.. I know that its hard to have no money ..but if you really think about it the things we.buy do we really need it?
How about a trip to the lake or doing some fun things together as a family an making some good simple food ....

Claudia - posted on 12/18/2012

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You are not alone, you have each other. Im glad you are gonna find a good other good ways to enjoy the holidays together

Amy - posted on 12/18/2012

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I am making gifts this year out of things that I am recycling from my home. I did a Google search for cheap homemade gifts. We are also without a car so we can't travel to visit our other family members like we do every year around the holidays so instead we are having some fun activities and family time at home.

Diana - posted on 12/18/2012

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I read more of the posts & saw that your children are 2 & 4. In a way you are kind of lucky that they are so young because to them the best part of Christmas is shredding the wrapping paper. At their ages their is nothing like tearing into paper. They could care less what is inside so whether it is homemade, something from the bottom of their toy box that they've forgotten about (especially the 2-yr-old), a Dollar Store item, a second-hand gift from a second-hand store or a cousin or neighbor, it doesn't matter as long as they get to open something. And if you combine some "creative gifting" with a note from Santa and a fun scavenger hunt or game they will think it is the best Christmas ever.

Maxine - posted on 12/18/2012

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I have not read all the posts, but do you have insurance on your truck? If you do your insurance company can reace what was stolen, I think. It's a little late in the game but if you have time you can make home made stuff.

Elizabeth - posted on 12/16/2012

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Dollar tree has some good thinks like coloring books and crayons. You can go to thrift stores and get some things that are really nice there to.

Connie - posted on 12/16/2012

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Try "Toys For Tots" which is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps. Also try "Freecycle.org" where people offer or ask for gently used toys and clothes for FREE! A small, inexpensive handmade item might mean more than something store bought. My mother used to make paint from flour, water and food coloring.

If your kids are old enough to understand your situation, try volunteering at a food pantry, homeless shelter, park and forest perserve programs, nursing homes. Talk about how important it is to contribute to enriching our environment. Recycle more than you throw out, repurpose things. "Coupons" for outings such as a park outing, a lake outing, a picnic, or some other activity that they enjoy. Have a movie night at home with popcorn and omg candy as an occasional treat, star gazing and pickout constellations, a day free from chores, hiking, crafting. Even a 2 or 3 year old can stand on a stool or chair to watch while you cook and maybe add an ingredient or two, under strict supervision and assistance of course. They will be so proud that they helped. I did this with my sons from the time they were little, all the way through high school, taking turns making a whole meal for the family. There are so many things that kids would enjoy doing with the family.

Look online for "free kids fun" or "low cost kids fun." Parenting Magazine online has a host of ideas of things to do with your kids. Let each one take a turn in choosing which activity they would like to do. These things don't have to be done every week, maybe just once or twice per month. It will give them something to look forward to.

Rebecca - posted on 12/13/2012

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Hello Terri,

I understand about finaincal troubles around Christmas. You can still give your kids a Christmas, its about spending time together as a family. They wont care what you get them as long as you are together. There are places within most communites that can help, dollar store items, make things your self for them. It also depends on their ages. If they are older you can explain to them what happend, if they are younger, kids usually dont care what is under the tree. The thing to remember right now is that you have each other and thats the most important thing of all. :) Hope this finds you well and puts your mind at ease. PS- those who feel the need to express their beleifs here instead of anwering your question/concern, I would ignore. Take what you need and leave the rest!

Shauna - posted on 12/13/2012

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Lauren,

You're right about not everyone believing in the same thing and that not judging people by their religion. But you sound like you spend Christmas as a time to make yourself look good. You keep talking about how we should treat Christmas a time for giving back to others and I understand that you want to help others but you ask for all these things and then you talk about giving tem away. What you do with your presents is your business but we really don't care what you do with them. I honestly think that you are trying to make yourself look good its almost pathetic. If you really wanted to give back and share the kindness then why ak for anything at all. Why have people waste money on you so that you can give it away. Maybe its because you can't afford to buy the presents yourself. It sounds like you are like some of us other moms that really can't afford Christmas so why don't you quit judging everyone when they start talking about trying to give their kids a good Christmas and their religion.

Terri Lee - posted on 12/13/2012

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Wow moms please dont get mad at each other we all have different beliefs.

Ashley - posted on 12/13/2012

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Random Acts of Christmas" - Every year, people exclaim how they would like to help those that are in need at Christmas. Every year most of us fail to because of cynicism, or just we don't know how or who really needs help.



Well, a friend of mine at work is involved in a website called "Random Acts of Christmas". It is a website setup to provide people that have a Christmas need to ask for it, and for those that have the ability to provide those gifts and be a 'Santa'.



Please take 2 minutes, look at the website, and see if you don't become a believer. Read the stories and if you have a need ask, if you see a need you can fill then be a 'Santa'. Please repost, email, and spread the word of this site as you deem appropriate.



This is what Christmas is supposed to be about.



The workshop Santa never told you about...

www.reddit.com

reddit: the front page of the internet

Lauren - posted on 12/13/2012

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Jana, I am agnostic. Don't be confused, I didn't say atheist, I said agnostic! What that means is that I'm spiritual, I believe in the possibility of a higher power, I believe in evil & demons, not so sure about heaven & hell & most definitely do not give credentials or preferential treatment to any religion. You can choose Christianity & whole heartedly believe in it, you're no more special or deserving of special treatment than the person next to you that believes in Allah & practices Muslim, or believes in Buddha & is Buddhist or celebrates Hanukah or Kwanzaa! Everyone has a right to enjoy their own beliefs & for me personally, I could never be the judge to say who's personal beliefs are more valid than any others. Therefore I won't acknowledge any one religion more so than the others.



Christmas to me is an extension of Thanksgiving. After we get done being thankful for all that we have, it's time to give some of what we have to others to make their lives a bit brighter. This year I adopted a family. I'm taking 1/5th of my holiday spending money (which I'm pretty poor so that's only $100) & giving it to the family to buy her twin girls Christmas gifts. Then I asked my Mom & Step Mom to give me gift cards this year to different stores (my mom always gives me a $100 kohls card & my step mom always gives me a $100 mall card). This year I asked for Walmart or Target or Kmart, & I asked for it this weeked so I can bring my adopted family $300 in gift cards for Christmas shopping for her girls. What are you doing to illustrate the true meaning of Christmas, which I believe to be selfless giving?



Other than choosing to make her holiday happy, I try to do other things through our the day, like paying for the coffee of the person behind me in the drive thru & tipping the employee $3 for a $2 coffee. I'm also sending some cards my kids will make to a 11 yr old girl I'm following on FB that has a rare blood disorder, her family lost their home from medical bills, I donate when I can, but I know she will appreciate pictures from those thinking about her from across the Country, plus I'm sending her Oligo vitamins from the company I work for. They are the most strong vitamins out there, recommended by doctors to boost the immune system of critically I'll people. They're $29. I have two bottles to send her.



Lastly, I enjoy the wonder my kids experience decorating the house & Christmas tree & writing letters to Santa & tracking him Christmas night at NORAD online. My kids' father who lives in Miami & hasn't seen them since last Christmas is flying in midnight on Christmas Eve so we're going to place him in a giant box & let the kids rip it open at 6 AM. I'm going to video tape it. They'll be so overjoyed. I enjoy baking with them & listening to their little minds try to work out the logistics of how he gets around the whole world to everyone in one night. I only have a year or two left before they stop believing. I think there's nothing wrong with Santa & I love my kids fascination with him. My kids will be helping me deliver the gift cards to the adopted family & making the cards for the sick girl. They are still learning about my idea of Christmas, giving to others selflessly, under standing that no matter how bad your life may be, there's always someone out there whos got it worse.

Lucette - posted on 12/13/2012

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Parents often want to know what the kids are getting so that there are no duplicates. Also, the things that they really want the kid to have, they don't care who gets it but want to be sure that it is gotten. If you are not getting it, they probably want to have enough time to get it themselves before the stores run out.



I usually told my brother what I was getting his daughter ahead of time just so that he would know and not accidentally buy it himself. This year I said that I wanted to get her a game and he made a suggestion but I did not have to get it. A person has veto power. This time I decided to take his advice.



The thing is that suggestions are mere guidelines - a general idea what the kid might be interested in - you still have the final decision if you make it early enough. If the little girl is into hockey, her interests would be different than if she was taking ballet. Ok, many kids can't afford to do either, but the point is not all girls enjoy the same things. Not all boys enjoy the same things.



Also, not all parents can have a bunch of activities - they are exhausted after work. To go to the kids museum or the science museum or the hay ride you need a car. To go to a movie, you have buy a drink and popcorn for everyone to share and make sure that the chocolate bars you bought at the store look the same as the ones the theatre sells and that they don't really see the jellybeans you keep handing the kids.



You can do crafts, or bake or go tobogganing, but you may not be able to do a lot of it. Parents don't have the energy they did as kids. Baking requires that you have all the ingredients.



A grandparent may be able to take a kid on an outing or give an outing as a gift.

Lucette - posted on 12/13/2012

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Saint Nicholas - Santa Claus - Claus being a short form of Nicholas. Chris Kringle came from a garbled version of the German "Chirst Child" and some believed that baby Jesus left the presents instead of Santa Claus. And a lump of coal would be much more of a punishment for a husband who did not enjoy BBQing.



I think that the original post was from someone who honestly expected to spend more on Christmas than they were able to and wonders what they can do now that Plan A did not pan out. On the other hand, it could have been a Circle generated post to get us to start a discussion on how to celebrate Xmas if we don't have much money - promoting the idea that we can have a good Christmas no matter what happens.



We are all going to have a different idea about religion and God.



I tended to put the cheaper stuff in the stockings and take credit for the more expensive stuff any way and I think that we should all be doing that. The toy you bought off of kijiji and the stuff from the dollar shop and the candy went in the stocking. When they got older, I went through the dvd bin to pick out DVDs for the stocking.



This year, I picked up some cheap avenger's cups for the future grandchild (my sons and niece are not presently dating so will take a while). The 20 year old expressed an interest in the cups so next time I went to SS I picked up a few more and actually got one more for the grandchild that wasn't available the previous time. He also has a couple dish clothes for his stocking and some candy. Gave him his ketchup and plates early. That was before the washer broke which put a bit of a damper in my Xmas shopping. Did manage to get his set of Red versus Blue before that happened. His grandmother got him an advent calendar but in November. I was going to get the 20 year old one closer to December, but that did not work out this year.



We should all make a vow that Santa isn't the one who brings the big stuff. That the kids actually have to fall asleep before they wake up to open their stockings. And the stockings are to hold them over until the rest of the family is around. Something to entertain them until the rest of the gifts are open.



You get a sock big enough to put everything in it and, when they get older, just put things along the length of the sock so the deeper they go the more they find until they get to the toe.



And we all make mistakes too. I remember one year my eldest wanted "life savers" and I could not figure it out for the life of me why he was so interested in this candy, but I got the fanciest package of them in book form that I could find. It turns out that what he wanted was a star wars style light saver.

Kay - posted on 12/12/2012

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Lauren,

Please tell me about your God. Tell me about Jesus and what you think about His word.

After that I can better respond to your post. I would like to hear what you honestly believe Christmas is about J

Lauren - posted on 12/12/2012

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Jana, you do realize Dec 25th was not Christ's actual birthday correct? You said a lot about Santa detracting from the religious aspect & how it's something we created to distract us from it. The truth is that Christ's so-called birthday is actually something created in 350 AD to help Pagan Romans convert to Christianity & still keep their Winter Solstice Festival where they ate, drank & exchanged gifts to celebrate the end of the Harvest. The Bible never does indicate Christ's birth, but many scholars believe it to be in September because of the descriptions in the Bible which seem to be peek Harvest.



I find it funny when people get so worked up that man made Santa is detracting from celebrating Christ's birth since really a man made holiday purported to celebrate Christ's birth is actually covering up what is really a Pagan Winter Solstice Harvest Festival.

Ronda - posted on 12/12/2012

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Love, being there, baking something special, reading the Christmas Story from the Bible. We are facing the same thing, but due to a fire in my store. ~hug~ God Bless

Kay - posted on 12/12/2012

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I think this is worth reading about no money and special christmas.



7 Mini-Challenges



You can work on these things without your children. Then, you can begin to involve them. And here are 7 small challenges you can do with your kids to restore the reason for the season:



Mini-challenge #1: Even if it’s handmade, set up a manger scene as your first Christmas decoration. Do it together.



Santa Claus may dominate Christmas morning, but he does not have time on his side. The Christmas season is around 30 days long, beginning for many the weekend after Thanksgiving. One Christian mom remembers about her childhood: “Mom and I set out the manger, which we called a ‘creche,’ the Sunday after each Thanksgiving. For me, it was always the start of festivities, so it was exciting. I can remember handling each of those little pieces, and while the presents and the tree seemed far off, that babe in the manger was huge to me…because he was first.” Having Jesus start off the holidays will set the tone for the rest of the holidays. Create your manger scene one day at a time by following our Advent Activity Schedule.



Mini-Challenge #2: Have your kids take part in the church Christmas Pageant.



Most churches understand busy schedules and now hold Christmas pageants that require only one or two rehearsals—that often take place during Sunday school. The tone-deaf are always welcome! Pageants have one perk that has to do with why kids adore dress-ups: What kids can dress up as, they can become for a short while. Whether a child is a shepherd or a wise man or an angel or a lowing cattle, he will usually remember being close to the manger and being part of the birth of Christ. He may have precious memories into adulthood, and he won’t recall whether the production was semi-professional or foghorn central. If you’re in charge of the church pageant this year, be sure to check out our 7 Christmas Pageant Tips (if you can believe it, we produce a great show with only *1 rehearsal*).



Mini-Challenge #3: Help your kids participate in some sort of charity during the holidays.



Charity is the only way a child develops a heart for giving; it doesn’t come naturally to them. Most churches send kids to carol at nursing homes, or they visit hospitals or shut-ins, or serve food at a shelter. What’s more: Kids need charities that aren’t all about baking and collecting money. Their giving will do much more to their hearts if it involves face-to-face contact with someone they can cause to feel better. That way kids can see actual smiles of gratitude. Resolve to check at church and even friends’ churches so your kids can look a needy person in the face, help him or her feel joy, then see that radiant smile. If you need more inspiration, be sure to check out our 100 simple service projects.



Mini-Challenge #4: Don’t give in to your kids’ desires to go to the mall while you Christmas shop.



The appetites for want and covetousness are hard for us adults to handle; how much more our kids? Malls serve only to intensify the want they experience from television. This might mean that your kids don’t get to sit on Santa’s knee this year (it also means you don’t get a migraine while waiting in line). Minimize Santa in pre-Christmas discussions. As Christians, we probably feel that it’s an exercise in futility to talk down Santa. That’s fine; but we don’t have to talk him up.



Drop your kids at a neighbor’s house or at a church charity function or pageant rehearsal to do your shopping. Or tag team it with another mom, offering to watch her kids during her mall trip if she reciprocates.



Challenge #5: Establish the notion early on that “asking” is not “getting.”



For many grandparents today, the gift giving expectations of young parents and their younger children have grown appalling. “My daughter sends me links and makes me tell her exactly what I’ve chosen. If I get something she didn’t request, she fumes! There’s no surprises allowed, no choices; the gifts have nothing to do with me picking something and thereby giving a part of myself in my gift. I feel a battered wallet.”



Somewhere along the line, it has become acceptable to think that a parent having to return a duplicate or unwanted gift is more offensive than telling others what to buy for us and pouting if it’s something else. We teach our kids not to slurp soup, burp at the table, leave a toilet unflushed, or use offensive language. And yet somehow the faux pas of dictating what others will buy us or our kids has gotten as big as the Reptile that Ate New York. There was a time when, if you weren’t grateful for a gift you opened, you were sent to your room, or worse, your mother made you walk it next door and give it to your best friend.



The real downside is that if you have a demanding Christmas list, your children will have demanding Christmas lists. When funds are too tight, it’s all too tempting to consider rude and/or irresponsible ways to pay for the contents. Teach kids early that it’s fine to ask for something, but go out of your way not to set any expectations. If your kids are offended by what they didn’t get on Christmas morning, become extremely offended at their offended-ness. Threaten to take things back to the store. The sooner kids learn that not all demands are met, the sooner they will quit thinking of the holiday as a self-aggrandizing, wish-list-fulfilment fest.



Mini-Challenge #6: Play Christian carols in your house and in the car.



We’ve been lured into a spider web with the thought that songs like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” are adorable, and therefore it’s fine to yield to them. They make Jesus yield on his own birthday. So much beautiful music that has stood the test of time and was created long before Christmas music production became such a huge money maker. The real Christmas songs–Silent Night, Joy to the World, and O Come, All Ye Faithful–are so powerful, they can bring tears to the eyes of believers when sung. The Holy Spirit was present in their creation, and he’ll be present when they are sung, explained, or enjoyed by a family trimming a tree. They will tell your kids the story of Christmas over and over if your own words aren’t sufficing.



If you’ve committed yourself to the 3 pre-challenges for parents and 6 mini-challenges involving your kids, this 7th is one you deserve and can appreciate:



Mini-Challenge #7: Don’t feel any guilt about enjoying Christmas morning.



Some Christians report feeling enough guilt on Christmas morning that they’re tempted to look away when kids tear at wrapping paper. They want to feel Jesus beside them, but fat ole Santa seems to be swallowing the whole room.



What Jesus objects to is families going into debt for what distracts from him in the first place. He objects to so much focus on gifts that there’s no focus on grace. If you’ve heeded the challenges so far, you’ve made the entire month about him. You have practiced ways to keep your gift giving economical, environmentally friendly, and as free from covetousness and greed as possible.



It is for you to appreciate, then, that our Heavenly Father is not at all adverse to a party. Jesus’ first miracle was at a party (John 2:1-11). Revelation 19 promises that believers will become the bride of Christ and they’re invited to the bangin’-est party in the history of mankind. Psalms encourage us to dance and sing and play instruments to worship. Nobody can put on a better party than God, and he gave man a love of celebration as part of his primary essence.



Our job is to make the Father, Son and Holy Spirit our guests of honor throughout the holiday season, and if we’ve done so, there’s no problem in enjoying a great celebration on Christmas Day. And you’ll have the best chance of getting the best gift of all for your kids—memories of Jesus being the center of attention throughout a beautiful holiday season.



Ready for Another Mom Challenge?…



Did you know our Mom Challenge is an ongoing series? If you’d like to be alerted to when the next “edition” gets released, please become our fan on Facebook and start following us on Pinterest.









Share and Enjoy

Heather - posted on 12/12/2012

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I used to be a volunteer for the Salvation Army at Christmas. I can tell you they will never close their lists and will do their best to provide you with gifts that match your children's ages. I'm afraid I don't think they will be able to give as much as someone posted on here as we have so many families in similar if not worse conditions than you but they will always try to help provide something as the thought of children going without at Christmas would break anyone's heart. Also try social services or home start as these people should be able to help.



Hope you get something sorted & have a very happy Christmas xx

Kay - posted on 12/11/2012

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Alicia

My heart goes out to you. Do not give up hope. I will pray that your son miss and get in touch with mother.

Lauren - posted on 12/11/2012

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I would help, but I already adopted a family this year, plus I've got two kids, three step kids & my daughters bday on the 26th. In our state we have Toys For Tots which donates to families in need. I went there one year I was unemployed. The dollar store has great gifts too. I buy yo-yo's or nail polish or toy hand cuffs even when I have money. It helps "look" like there's a lot of gifts. Lastly check with your local charity. The year I was unemployed I gave a church my kids' sizes & they gave me a wrapped beautiful outfit, very expensive. Also the family I adopted just flat out asked for help on FB so ask family & friends. They can't help if you don't ask!

Amanda - posted on 12/11/2012

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I posted a blog on "Adding A Touch of Christmas Magic" to Christmas by simply sneaking into your child's room and hanging pretend snowflakes or candy canes from the ceiling with fishing wire and foam adhesive on Christmas Eve. My daughter and her friends LOVED this and it cost very little. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!!!



Here is the link to the entire blog: http://excited2learn.com/blog/adding-a-t...

Cathy - posted on 12/11/2012

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Hav e a day on just doing things with the kids. Play games, watch movies, bake cookies, make crafts, stuff like that.

Also, I believe in being honest with my child. Let them know about the theft but stress that the most important thing about Christmas is being with the ones you love.

Let them know how lucky you feel to be their parents and how much you truly love them.

Tonja - posted on 12/11/2012

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Hi Terri,



That is a tough situation and I can sympathize with you as a mother because I have six of my own. I have found over the years that my children were very understanding when I told the truth about difficult situations and would express that as much as I want to provide an amazing Christmas for them this year I'm not in a position to do so until after Christmas because of what has happened. Usually the kids are very supportive.



Just talk to your kids in love and explain everything to them that has happened. I don't know your situation, but are you in a position to possibly get at least one gift a piece for each child?

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