Life takes on a whole new meaning when you start looking at it with a wants vs. needs perspective.
I think there have been times when I have spent way too much of my life going after all the wants. After a while it all starts feeling so shallow and empty. I can spend my time acquiring a big house, fancy cars, nice clothes, and possessions galore, but in the end does all of that really matter???
This year is a lean Christmas for us. In years past we have always spent way too much money and always spoiled the kids rotten. With me being in school and with trying to pay for two homes with Bryan up north and us down here and with all of the things that we went through this year with Bryan's job, we don't have a whole lot of disposable income. Are we starving, no? Do we have sufficient for our needs, yes. It just isn't what we are used to.
Last month we came up with our Christmas budget and then Bryan came to us and told us that there was a family that he knew (he used to work with the lady) that was really struggling. The husband is having health problems and is unable to work, they have an autistic son and a young daughter and a couple of older married children. They are barely making ends meet and all they were hoping for this Christmas was to be able to find a way to provide their young daughter with a gift or two.
Bryan came to the kids and asked them if they would be willing to give up half of their already lean Christmas budget to help this family. I am so proud of my kids, not one of them even questioned for a second whether or not they would be willing to do this. Each of them immediately said yes.
We were able to give this family some money. Bryan handed the lady the envelope and she was very grateful. She had no idea how much money was in the envelope, but she told Bryan how grateful she was and then told him how she was going to use the money to buy her autistic son some new church shoes for Christmas. Apparently he doesn't have any nice shoes for church and it is very upsetting for him to have to wear the shoes that he does have.
Before all of this started, I was feeling bad knowing that my kids weren't going to have the kind of Christmas that they were used to, and there was a family out there who wasn't even able to provide new church shoes for their son. It put Christmas in perspective for me. It really isn't about what we receive, it is what we are able to give, no matter how small, that matters.
It was touching to me to know that my kids were willing to give up part of their wants in order to help someone else out with their needs. They really do know what this season is about and I am so proud to be their mother! I think that this Christmas will mean more to them (even though they won't have as much under the tree) than any of the Christmas's they have celebrated in the past.