I started to make a post this week about things I wanted for Christmas - material things, like several books I've been wanting to read, a lip gloss set I really love, some new pajamas, etc. But honestly? The only things I'd really love to have this year are not material things or items that family and friends could buy for me.
I'd love for my husband to be able to find gainful employment, preferably like something he had before. The stability of a job and knowledge of upcoming (and continuing) paychecks would help us immensely. It's not like he hasn't been looking and applying because he does, constantly. But perhaps that's not in the cards for us. I keep trusting that God has a plan for this situation even if I can't see it - and I am thankful that his unemployment has given us opportunities we wouldn't have had if he had been working AND that we've gotten to see so much more of him over the last year. He's a lot less stressed, gotten to work on projects around the house and is doing awesome in school. As he likes to say, losing his job is one of the best things that's happened to him.
I want to make sure my kids have a good holiday. We're not rich but I want their Christmas to be full of great things. Not "stuff" like presents, though. Of course I want them to enjoy their presents but I really want them to love the season and embrace what it's all about. I know I can accomplish that by doing the things we do every year, regardless of our financial or life situation - baking Christmas cookies, wrapping presents together, making and putting up our homemade Christmas decorations, spending time with family, helping others, reading the Christmas stories and watching the snow fall. I was a little worried that my son had gotten the "all about the toys" syndrome that seems to creep up on kids as they get older, where they only care about how many toys they're getting...but he's helped me put up almost all the Christmas decorations and keeps talking about the Baby Jesus - plus, it snowed a *tiny* bit today and he was incredibly ecstatic. It's not that I want him to not care about toys, I just want to keep a good balance.
I also want to spend time with my extended family this Christmas - my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, etc. We spent this past Thanksgiving evening at my aunts house eating, playing cards, talking, being silly - it was one of the best Thanksgivings I can remember. I'm a big family person and they mean a lot to me. For the last two years, we've had a Christmas Eve celebration at our house with our extended family and it's been great - I hope we can do it again this year. It's especially important to me because I'm putting back together the "Christmas Book" my mom's family has had since...a long time. I think the first entry is from 1981 or 1982, I'm not sure. My Grandma started it and we all took turns writing in it over the years. After my Grandma died on Christmas morning in 2004, no one really felt like writing in the book. I've kept it and written in it occasionally but never done much else with it. This year, I'm putting it all together nice and tidy and making it like a scrapbook. I'm taking it to whatever family gatherings I go to (or host) and hopefully I can get others to write in it as well.
If I did have to say one material thing that's on my list...a magic money tree wouldn't be bad! ;-)