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.

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Lucette - posted on 12/11/2012

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Be careful with getting rid of things. Some things you can part with, but you don't want to get rid of your grand children's and great grand children's inheritance just to make a few dollars on kijiji. There are some toys that need to be kept. You get rid of orphan sets.



Same with other belongings, in that you shouldn't part with things that you may need later just to get through a rough patch.



Try to get small things that go with (or can go with) what you already have.

Christine - posted on 12/11/2012

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First I would like to say I'm very sorry that this unfortunate event has happened. Secondly I want to suggest that maybe this is a blessing in disguise, I firmly believe everything happens for a reason - maybe this is a chance to teach your kids the true meaning of Christmas and not focus on the material possessions but just instead enjoy doing things together and giving time instead of gifts. Depending on their age you can do a lot of fun things together that don't cost a lot if anything at all. Play some board games, bake, tell stories, be silly with them. I know without a doubt the very best Christmas I ever had was when my step-mom and I volunteered to shop for adopted families from Children's Hospital, we had 10 families to shop for (not with our money we were helping out a social worker friend and had a long standing relationship with the hospital after my brother was in treatment there) and we fell so far behind on buying gifts, wrapping and organizing what gifts went to which family that we missed the delivery cut off date and had to spend all day Christmas Eve driving around the poorest parts of Los Angeles county delivering these gifts. What I thought was going to be a nightmare ended up being one of the most amazing things I was able to be a part of. To see the looks on these kids faces (not to mention many of them were already terminally ill) was absolutely priceless. These were families that not only couldn't afford Christmas, but by the looks of their living conditions and the things they asked for they couldn't afford much of anything all year round (how many 8 year olds do you know that ask for socks or a jacket?) No amount of money or extravagant gift could have ever replaced that feeling of helping this families that were truly in need. Maybe you can tell your kids this year you are going to give your time for Christmas and next year will be back to normal - it really wont be the end of the world. If they are young enough and you still want them to have things to unwrap then maybe buy some of their favorite treats like a box of cookies or a candy and wrap that up. Even not being in your situation I already plan on wrapping up some of my daughters favorite treats like goldfish crackers and having her open that on Christmas (she's 2) - I plan on doing my best in the future as well to never let the number of presents under the tree define Christmas. I really do hope this helps.

Patricia - posted on 12/11/2012

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Contact the children's schools. They will have organizations that will help you.

Mom - posted on 12/11/2012

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with a simple cake with lighted candles all around.. and lots of love... singing...togethr.

Brandy - posted on 12/11/2012

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I haven't read through all the posts yet but you should check out freecycle.org everything posted if free and you can post wanted things. I have received lots of things from it and have gotten rid of lots of things on it. Also 2nd hand stores are great, even goodwill is a good place to find things. For several years we did 2 nd hand Christmas. This is the first year in a while that we finally had a little more income to actually purchase new presents and we didn't spend much on the kids (4, 2 2 yr olds, and a newborn). We do a lot of shopping at the dollar tree, dollar general, family dollar, and big lots. Also Wal-Mart has layaway until the 14 and Kmart has layaway also but I'm not sure if there is a cut off date.



Good Luck and God Bless

Brandy

Alicia Obungen - posted on 12/11/2012

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your presence is more than enough to show them thier best of christmases. i have been working as DH in HK for 14 years. I left my son when he was 4 years old. i went home for good when he was already in college. My son now has his ownfamily and i have been reaching out many times but my son seem doesn't care. i only have him. i am now 51 y/o and longing for my son attention. i wish i have not left him ever...

nothing can compensate for failure in the home.

Keisha Jody - posted on 12/11/2012

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guess u still have some time if u guys are still working,but the best gift ever is life an having ur family with u.but dont worry god is good an he will supply all wat u need,just trust in him,he lent those kids 2 u 4 a period of time so he will definately take care of them,believe n keep the faith every thing will b ok.

Crystal - posted on 12/11/2012

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yeah dollar store, never leave money in the car/truck/van whatever! always hide in the house, I can give 15 places to hide money looking at a photo of your lets livingroom! if you need idea hit me up!

Ila - posted on 12/11/2012

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I would think about things you and children love to do together, etc. cooking, watching movies, baking or just spending time with them. How old are your children? Have you told your children what happened?

Sharday - posted on 12/11/2012

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I would try shopping at less expensive stores such as dollar stores, dollar general,

Maybe Walmart. Also if u attend church see if they can help or local organizations in your area. Hope it gets better for you?!!

Sheena - posted on 12/11/2012

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So sorry this happened to you! Not sure how old your kiddos are, but how about volunteering to show them there is more to Christmas than just gifts. It will also make them appreciate what they have

Kelly - posted on 12/11/2012

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Contact your local Fire Department / Community Center. Ask them about "toy give away" and anything else they are planning on doing for the community.

Don't be shy and explain your situation. Just do it ASAP. Toy give away in our area is scheduled for this Saturday.

Good Luck!

P.S. jsyk best Christmas gift for your kids is seeing their Mother happy.

Joni - posted on 12/11/2012

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Toys for tots. Local churches.

What I always try to do instead of trying to save money I save gifts. We try to buy things all year long then at christmas we buy the new coolest toy that they think they have to have.

Good luck. God bless your familey.

Christine - posted on 12/11/2012

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Not sure where you live, but most cities have places that will have a Christmas get together for families in need where they give out presents to the kids. Check with you local municipal building.

Kysa - posted on 12/11/2012

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Ms. Lake, I see that its been several days since your first post, have you had any luck? I do not wish to provide personal information to the world at large, but if there is some way for you to contact me directly, i may be able to help with a small toy for each of your children.

Tara - posted on 12/11/2012

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Why don't you take this opportunity to teach them the real value of Christmas? The joy of getting rather than giving, get together and help your children make presents for you and your relatives with relatively cheap items, whether it is Christmas ornaments out of popsicle sticks or whatever. Volunteer during the Christmas season, to let them see how giving makes other people happy. Research what people used to get for christmas and do an old fashioned Christmas. I actually got a great idea from a magazine once, I limit my son's presents to 3, and this goes with the 3 gifts each of the 3 kings gave (you don't have to use that story if it doesn't match your religion) 3 gifts, 1 is something you need, 1 is something you want, 1 is something the whole family can do together. Then for every present he gets, he has to donate one of his other toys, because I always remind him there is always someone out there that needs something more than you.

Erika - posted on 12/11/2012

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We have had help from church, the local police department, the school my children go to, and even very kind people on craigslist. I would recommend the Salvation Army or contacting your local Toys For Tots coordinator. Although registration for that ends in October. You can also contact your local department of social services and ask about an angel tree fund or stocking fund. If that doesn't help call the newspaper or local TV station. They can usually point you in the right direction. Most of all, believe in the Christmas Spirit because people really do care and will do what they can for those that are less fortunate. I, too, have a hard time providing an extravagant Christmas for my kids but God has always come through to make a decent holiday for my babies.

Jane - posted on 12/11/2012

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I sell older things to a children's consignment shop and use their credit to buy things. It's never anything big...but the things are new to them and they get excited. Maybe there are some older things you can get rid of this way. God Bless....as I know its very difficult.

Andrea - posted on 12/11/2012

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There are a few charities that may be able to supply a small gift (St Vincent de Paul or Salvation Army i have heard of). Christmas is not about what children receive when small......it's the memories you create for them. Can you do something special like teaching them to make snow angels or sledding.....baking Xmas cookies that they decorate .....or pitching a tent where u can all go inside and sing christmas carols when it's dark and the stars are out for them to see. I once pitched a dome tent in my lounge one night after hubby left for work (after moving all the furniture onto one side) as the rain outside was too heavy for my kids to camp. Along with their little neighbour friends there were 13 kids in a 4man tent eating baked beans on toast, singing ging gang gooly and watching DVDs all laughing and giggling. My eldest son is now 31yrs old and still laughs with the same family and friends about it whenever they recall it. Toys break but memories last forever.

[deleted account]

Check Freecycle.com



Search your area, city, you would be amazed at what people give away.



Will pray for you and your family.

God bless you.

Lindsey - posted on 12/10/2012

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Contact your local Department of Health and Welfare, or whatever the equivalent is where you are. They should be able to, if not directly help you, point you towards some resources in your community.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/10/2012

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***MoD Warning***



I have already had to delete 2 personal attacks. Ladies, please remember people do come to this site asking for genuine help. Please think about the context of your statements. If this continues, the thread will be closed down.



~MoD Little Miss~

Diane - posted on 12/10/2012

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www.freecycle.org

freecycle is a board that people use to "upcycle" stuff. you can post a "want" or put stuff up as "offer". everything is free.

Diane - posted on 12/10/2012

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yahoo has a group called "freecycle" that seems to run in most areas. (if not in yours, im sure you can find one in yours on the net...or even craigslist) freecycle is a board that people use to "upcycle" stuff. you can post a "want" or put stuff up as "offer". everything is free.

[deleted account]

I donate plasma when I am really hard up for cash. You can go twice a week. Merry Christmas and I hope things start turning around for you.

Tor Akil - posted on 12/10/2012

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So sorry, that was a horrible thing for someone to do to you. Well, as I remember, the best thing about christmas with my parents was spending time. Doing christmas things together is what I remember most. Not the toys. One christmas I did not get anything (my grades were really bad). But I remember doing arts and crafts with my mom, and watching christmas movies with my parents. Check the local catholic charities, sometimes they have toy giveaways. You might see a blessing or two. Kids are amazing, they can be happy with a very simple present often times.

Diane - posted on 12/10/2012

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String pop corn, make decorations out of scrap paper. Use their imagination. They will love doing things with you. That is the important part. Get creative. Go to church and sing with them. Most churches have giving trees for children. walk or drive around a different neighborhood to see decorations. Go to the mall and wish for something for someone less fortunate than you. Make cookies and show them that is giving is better than receiving. give them to a senior neighbor. There are so many things that you can do. It is not just about what you get, it is about what you do with them.

Desirae - posted on 12/10/2012

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Toysfortots.org they will help by giving you 2 toys per child. Then be honest with your children about your situation. You and your family can have a giving Christmas and go volunteer at a homeless shelter or food pantry. By doing that everyone will be more grateful for what they do have. Don't let the holiday commercials make you feel guilty about not giving your children a bunch of stuff they will be bored with in 2 weeks.

Tanya - posted on 12/10/2012

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Oh my;(shame man.what about going to church(they have sometimes like fest there for everyone that wants to attend(sometimes,depends on the church(they give u something small for the kids.a good idea wuld be also to tell the kids,what has happend,the little fellows are usualy so bright(make it like your familyselution).wish a lovely selution will come your way for u and kids,regards tanya

Danielle - posted on 12/09/2012

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What are the ages? If they are young not to big of a deal they like little things. I have found some great diy, easy and cheap to make toys on interest, not all small either. Like a kids play kitchen. I've seen local churches that help, as well as google local organizations that do donations. Ive even seen people post up on craigslist. Our truck was hit also. They got my husbands wallet and medical stuff from him breaking his back in an accident. I couldn't imagine thisnclose to Christmas. Best wishes.

Lucette - posted on 12/09/2012

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If you have any money at all, the dollar shop will give you at least something to put under the tree. Think creatively about play value - not just the conventional way of playing with it but unconventional as well. Could the baby t-shirt double as a dress for the doll and stuff like that. They usually have kiddie dishes if you look through them. Dog clothes can be worn by teddy bears as well.



They usually have jewlery and cute containers and if a hair thing has things hanging from it, it could be a balerina tutu for a doll. They have stickers there as well.



Hampers have food but no toys or chocolate (unless one lucks out, but don't count on that). You can take the chocolate bar apart into pieces and serve it like horderves (sp?). Note that hampers won't contain eggs or milk or butter but may contain stuff that need you to add that to make it taste good. So use your limited food budget for those items.



Next year you got to try to get things here and there through-out the year and look through clearances frequently. That way it isn't as bad if something like this would happen again so close to Xmas that one doesn't have time to recover.



You can use old magazines as wrapping paper or to cut into strips to be attached as circles and made into a chain to put around the tree.



Get the tree out, put it up, watch xmas cartoons on TV together. Xmas lights always make things look magical.

Stephanie - posted on 12/09/2012

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First of all Im so sorry that this happened to you and yours. There are some options, but you have to act fast. Salvation Army has a sign up sheet, give your local a call. Also, Toys for Tots? I have never gone through them for presents but its worth looking into. I have also heard that Nights of Columbus help with children's gifts. Good Luck, I hope it works out.

Samantha - posted on 12/09/2012

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Kids don't need all the shiny new stuff in the commercials. One or two heartfelt gifts, maybe handmade or second-hand, will be more than enough to make them happy. I always got a mountain of gifts on Christmas from my emotionally abusive but financially supportive parents....I remember a handful of things from over the years at best, most of them videos that I watched a lot.

Pat - posted on 12/09/2012

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Do Christmas-y things with them. If they are little, let them frost graham crackers and put all the sprinkles they want on them; if they're older, make gingerbread men or stars, and let them do the decorating.



Make potato-stamp wrapping paper for wrapping home-make presents. Let them pick the Christmas meal, and let them help make it. Let them loose in the dollar store with a dollar for each person on their list. Teach them that giving is more blessed than receiving.



Dim the lights on Christmas Eve and read the Nativity story from the Bible as a reminder that Christmas is a celebration of Christ's birthday.



And don't let them see you down. They'll remember aromas and hugs and smiles better than their present, trust me. Don't say it's a bad Christmas. If they're disappointed, remind them that it's been a tough year for lots of people, and that Santa does his best for everyone.



I was taking to my Mom about our best Easter ever, the Easter when she make us three little girls matching lavender dresses, and she told me HER memory---they were so broke we didn't have hole-free underwear, and she and Dad, after long discussion, got a Sears credit card. They bought us each a pair of socks and a pair of panties, and Mom got a length of lavender fabric. She worked at night to surprise us with our beautiful dresses. We felt like princesses, and I never knew about the tears and the midnight sewing.

Robin - posted on 12/09/2012

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Hi Terri Lee,



I am sorry about your situation; I have been in your position many times and I'm sure many people understand how you feel. I raised 4 children and there were many Christmas seasons when I was sad that I couldn't provide them a Christmas filled with magic and wonder. However, I did the best I could and for the most part, I believe my children had a pretty happy childhood and don't feel deprived.



I just wanted to share with you what my eldest daughter told me: Once, after she was already an adult, we were planning what time and in what way our families would celebrate Christmas together, and I was lamenting the fact that I hadn't provided them with 'perfect' Christmases. Then she told me her fondest memory.



We had three children at the time and were really strapped. The youngest was almost one year old and we were living with another family, renting a couple of rooms in their home and I felt really down about the season, because we were so broke. What I was able to do was fill their stockings with little trinkets and lots of fruit and a little candy with a banana peeking out of each one. When the children awoke on Christmas morning, the two older ones (ages 4 and 5) helped the little one up and they went into the living room and opened their stockings and helped her of course.



This was her fondest memory; go figure!



Its not about the presents, its about the spirit of the season.



Have a great Christmas and love those babies!

Shauna - posted on 12/09/2012

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Helen,

you are extremely rude. I am sure that there isn't anything that terri wouldn't sell either to give her kids a good christmas, but you still need to have things in your home and elsewhere for your kids as well. just because someone is on welfare doesn't mean that their children will be on welfare. It's not rude to tell someone to sell things, but maybe all they have are things they need, they may not have all the extra junk that many other people do. Showing a child to tke responsibilty isn't going to help her save money. it isn't her fault that her money got stolen out of her truck nor is it her kids fault. Maybe you should just keep your comments to yourself.

Helen - posted on 12/09/2012

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Having pride means you try to do things on your own without being a parasite. You think its rude to tell someone to sell things? OMG



If you REALLY love your kids and REALLY want to do for them.



1. Show them to take responsibility. Children of parents on welfare most always grow up to be on welfare. There are scientific studies do some research.



2. There isn't ANYTHING I own, besides my body, that I wouldn't sell for my child. How bout you?

LeAnn - posted on 12/09/2012

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Homemade gifts are the best we do one bought gift, then the rest is homemade let the kids be involved and they will appreciate it so much more. Then in the years to come continue this and the love and value of Christmas will never leave there hearts...

Alison - posted on 12/08/2012

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That's very rude of Helen Helen to say what she said. Sometimes bad things happen. Clearly you have to much pride . Needing assistance or help because someone gets in a bind is not asking for a hand out. Getting a payday loan isn't the most brilliant idea either. Your comment was rude. Terri I agree with most on here clearly you had something bad happen and yes Christmas isn't all about spoiling our children with gifts that half the time end up being wasteful anyway. Talking to local charities and telling them of your situation I agree with and dollar store can be a great place too. Best of luck and sorry this happened to you.

Molly - posted on 12/08/2012

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you should make something from the heart go on pintrest you"ll find great stuff to make right in the comfort of your own home at a very cheap and low price!

i always find cool DIY's to do for my kids and great snacks so check it out

Here's the link http://pinterest.com

Crystal - posted on 12/08/2012

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I am a single mother of 2 little ones and not sure how I am going to do "Santa" this year but maybe try Craigslist under free stuff it is used but the kids won't care :) good luck and hope you have a very merry Christmas

Kay - posted on 12/08/2012

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LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the deer poop idea. I think I will try something edible, instead of grass. Like wheat grass.

Tiffiny - posted on 12/08/2012

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for a gift for ur children google toys for tots and you can request a toy for ur child that way they will get a gift for under the tree.... but there are a ton of free fun things that u can do over christmas break..... go driving after dark to see all the christmas lights, bake cookies, sing carols, make homemade decorations, arts and crafts paintings , make a reindeer out construction paper and pin the tail on the reindeer, after it snows take a spray bottle of water and add food coloring to it and "paint" the snow , just a few ideas .... hope it helps ♥ and merry christmas

Roya - posted on 12/08/2012

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Christmas isn't about "stuff". The sooner children realize that, the better. Make it about service! Make it about baking together! Make it about making goodies for the neighbors and distributing them together! Go to a movie and have a special meal that everyone prepares together! Please don't get caught up in the material things of the world.

Melinda - posted on 12/08/2012

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Check with your local freecycle groups. Some people clear out toys from last year or only a couple of years old around the holidays. Also, check with thrift stores or secondhand stores. There's still enough time to make presents too. Handmade presents will be remembered much longer than any store bought gift anyhow.

Helen - posted on 12/08/2012

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Sell some of your stuff and don't look for hand outs. That's what I am doing. or get a payday loan

Susan - posted on 12/08/2012

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Often schools are aware of charitable organizations that can helpful. This can also be a great opportunity to teach your children that Christmas is not about gifts. As a previous poster said, give them the gift of memories.

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