It's a Merry Christmas!

This year is unlike any other for my family. For the first time, I will wake up on Christmas morning to a tree full of presents, a wonderful husband and a great son all at the same time!  We will enjoy this time together and give thanks for Christ's birth as well as each other.

While encouraged by the blessings I have this year, I am reminded of how much my life has changed  in just one year.  If I go as far back as to remember my first Christmas as a divorced mother encountering a Christmas alone with a newly five year old I am brought to tears of gratefulness for God's mercy on our lives.

We were living in an apartment that I had recently emptied in sale to afford the rent.  We didn't have a lot but we had plenty in terms of how bad it could have been. We had been living off of .99 chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, peanut butter sandwiches and milk. By Christmas day, we had been blessed 10-fold by various people and life seemed to be looking up. Although there were presents under the tree for both of us from family and friends, I was unable to do much for my kiddo personally. I remember shopping at the dollar store with $20.  I bought 20 items and wrapped them individually. I will never forget how happy my son was with those presents. He felt overjoyed at the thought of unwrapping so many presents and never once gave thought to worth. It was about the gesture.

As I reflect, I smile and laugh a little. I STILL shop at the dollar store for presents and they STILL make him smile. Although I'm able to afford greater priced items, there will always be a fond connection between us and the dollar store items. They are perfect and enough. Everything else is fluff and a blessing.  That year, the blessing was in the seemingly small stuff and I'm encouraged to always remember that.  Happiness does not require a lot of money...just love.

May the feeling this Christmas be that of love and may we also remember that while presents are fun and make us feel good, they are not the reason for Christmas.  May we reflect on the true meaning for this season and enjoy the gifts of life that God has granted us.

Merry Christmas!

Read: Christmas on a Budget

- Meg

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