Black Friday has come and gone, and my credit card has seen more daylight lately than some equatorial tribes. This year has been interesting and I try not to panic when I notice the subtle changes in my workplace. They cut back on hours, the holiday rush is not so savage, but my hopes remain high that we can recover the real meaning of Christmas amidst the negativity.
For some of us, it has been easier than others. I have had to struggle to clothe, feed and make a loving home for my children and I. Their dad is somewhere working under the table. That’s alright, we have adjusted to this. I think I have it easier than some. I’m working at a job that is fulfilling my families needs. I am grateful. The main industry in the state has changed drastically in the last twenty years. In fact, I’m not really sure what it is anymore. That guy bagging your groceries may be missing three fingers because he is an out of work logger. We survive harsh winters and work as hard as we can in order to enjoy the immense beauty of this place and hopefully get a few days to explore our own backyard as much as the tourists. ( Whom we welcome with open arms and wave and smile when they leave.) Thank you, come again.
My black Friday started late. I no longer wish to shop in a frenzy get to the store and find out that I should have pitched a tent in front of Best Buy two days ago. I do use this time to stock up on clothes, boots, socks and all the essentials we need in this winter wonderland. I do the best I can and try to remember that there are children out there that don’t have socks or a special toy and we get an angel every year. The real meaning of Christmas is hanging on those trees and for every child that is blessed with a secret Santa it sends a message that they matter, that someone cares. That compassion is what warms up the heart when the gloominess sets in, and the beauty of it is that is spreads like a fire.
Many years ago, my oldest child and her newborn sister were on that tree. I will never forget the kindness that was shown to us that Christmas – a large amount of new toys and clothes were delivered to my doorstep. My children never knew how close Santa came to missing our house. Since then, it’s a family tradition to do the same for another child, be their angel and give them more than what they asked for. On these tags, we read girl age 7 needs coat and socks and likes Barbies. I’ll swipe that card again to get her the latest Barbie and a couple of outfits too, something frivolous that lets that child know that she/he matters that someone does care. A lot. That’s what keeps me warm this holiday season. I expect to see a number of bare angel trees out there this year as we pull together to keep Christmas alive in the hearts of all children, even the big ones.