Life as a single Mother-Empty nest, Dating, Ex-husband, Best Friends, Full-time Employment, Unemployment, night school...How do these all relate to one another? Come with me:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Blues

The best Christmas of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up with one another.

I have been doing my best to keep from dragging the positivity of this blog down with constant banter on my unemployed status and the frustrations and discouragement that comes with it.

I am a positive, and glass is half full personality type and truly think that a positive attitude can make a huge difference no matter what obstacles you may be facing. Although I get no satisfaction out of others pain, the thought that 'things could be worse' or that 'someone else may be fighting a harder battle' does bring me some comfort in knowing that for every negative I may be facing, there is also a positive that makes me that much richer and happier.

I currently struggle with the guilt, and inferiority of sitting home day after day unable to find work and knowing that I am the sole person responsible to ensure that my children are supported and safe and taken care of. Thank the heavens above that I live in a country that provides for unemployed workers. Even though it adds to my guilt to receive those benefits. It is enough to pay the monthly bills.

But now we are coming into what should be one of the happiest times of year. A time with family, a time for closeness and a time to show those you love- more so than on a regular day- how much you love and appreciate them.

Over the years as a single mother, the holiday have been tight in the pocketbook, but never have I faced a year when I could afford nothing, not even the holiday meal. That is the case this year. It breaks my heart. I have been blessed with the most appreciative and understanding children. Never have they complained when times were tight. The holidays are always full of love and caring. But in a way it makes the guilt that much more difficult to face. Why should they spend a lifetime compromising merely because their mother cannot find work? Cannot afford to give them the Christmas they deserve?

But as I stated, we have always enjoyed the holidays. It is a time that we spend together. We have always found inexpensive or free ways to spend quality time together with each other and with extended family. And that time is priceless. For anyone who may be in a similar situation I have put together a list of some of the ways we have created lasting memories for next to no cost:

  • Decorating the house together while playing and sometimes dancing to Christmas carols.
  • Baking yummy Christmas treats, trying out new recipes and sharing with neighbors.
  • Working at a soup kitchen, sub-for Santa or just helping out an elderly neighbor with snow removal or shopping
  • Popping popcorn and threading strings of popcorn and fresh cranberries for the tree. These can also be hung outside for winter birds to feed on.
  • Snuggling together under a blanket, drinking hot cocoa (spiked with rum for the adults) and watching old classic holiday films.
  • Driving around town viewing holiday lights and decorations- Most cities have lists online of the best houses.
  • Baking and painting salt dough ornaments together and hanging on the tree. 
  • Building a snowman, sledding, or in warmer climates playing a family game of football or baseball 
  • Reading holiday stories or feel-good stories together each one taking a turn to read. Even better if you have a fireplace.
  • Playing old classic games such as Chinese checkers, Old maid, Chess or scrabble together
  • Invite a guest for dinner, a lonely elderly neighbor, an old friend you have lost contact with, or let your children each invite one friend who may need a boost.
  • Passing on old traditions your children that your parents passed on to you- And then create your own.
  • Practice some classic Christmas songs and then go caroling in another neighborhood or a shelter.
  • Throw a Christmas treat party- Invite each guest to bring 20 or 30 of their favorite Christmas treat, heat up some hot cider and share the joy.
  • Take some family photos outside in the weather, or using props such as reindeer antlers, Santa hats or the treats or snowman you have built together. Print out inexpensive copies add a stamp and mail Christmas 'postcards' to friends and family.

Every year we come up with a few new ideas to make the holidays fun and exciting no matter the budget.

If you have any to share. Please comment below.

Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.

Next week is Thanksgiving and I truly have so much to be thankful for! Family, health, great kids and parents, unemployment benefits and a truly happy fulfilled life.
I wish you all the same


  1. Great Ideas, I remeber one year we made cookies as ornaments and spray painted them gold and silver. I hope next year will bring a lot of prosperity and more to be thankfull for

  2. I'm planning on volunteering at a soup kitchen this year. Thanks so much for your post -- it's a great reminder to slow down and enjoy in the coming months.

    Our readers have been posting holiday recipes for a contest on our blog. I hope you won't mind if I post a link to the contest here. Have a wonderful holiday season!

  3. Love this! I know how hard the holidays can be!! Last year my kids and I got poster board, photos and stickers! We made holiday place mats with photos from the year before! Then I ran to office depot and we laminated them and used them at our meal!!!! Praying blessings your way this Christmas!!! PLEASE do not be afraid to let others around you know you need help!! There are angel trees and food pantry's! Its hard! I KNOW!! BUT you can pay it forward one day!!!


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