Sunday, October 12, 2008

When you need money for Christmas

I know what it's like to have a couple kids, a lot of bills and no money during Christmas season. I remember one year that I took a job cleaning offices at night during the month of November just so I can have just a few dollars to buy Christmas gifts for my kids. It was a hard job, and it was even harder spending that time away from my kids in the evenings. I only did it a few weeks, that was all I could take.

I began to realize that although I wanted to provide wrapped gifts under a tree for my kids on Christmas morning, what they really needed was for me to be there with them, as much as I could. Christmas is only one day after all. And I was sacrificing our live's for the sake of that one day. I quit, and it felt good. We made do that year, and you know what? It was just fine, the kids were just fine, and they even had a few gifts. I couldn't give them much, but other people came through to help us out.

But if you do have some extra time and the family life would not suffer, perhaps you could take a seasonal job to pick up some extra cash. Just be careful not to put this before the quality time with family though. Not for the sake of buying Christmas gifts. If you have to do it to have a roof over your head or food to eat, that's a different story, but don't do it to buy gifts. Your time together is the best gift you can give.

We have to realize there may be times when we simply can't do it all ourselves and we can use a little help. I imagine there will be a lot of people in that boat this year. And there will be people around who are willing and able to help out.

At my place of employment, as a group we contribute a lot of money especially during Christmas to sponsor needy families, and we love it. It is a passion that we have, and we can do so much more because it is a group effort, and we plan and raise funds for it all year long. There are many such places, and if you are in need you could probably find something in your area.

Some other places to check out are churches. Many of them have outreach programs to provide food and even gifts to those in need. Many local government agencies also have programs for families who qualify.

Do an internet search on "financial help for Christmas" to see what's out there in your area.

As with all good things, there will be those out there abusing it. I have witnessed people who have really learned the ropes so well, that they are on lists to receive gifts from many different directions. And they end up getting way more than their share. This is wrong and those who do this should realize that this is no longer need but greed, and that they are possibly causing someone else who really does need the help to miss out. So if you need the help, by all means take it, but if you don't, please be mindful that you may be depriving someone else of the help they really do need in a very rough time.

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