A Real Christmas Perspective
Well, it is Christmas time again. When the tightening in my chest and shortness of breath return. Somewhat akin to the beginnings of a heart attack, I imagine. Everything tries my patience more than it should. I spend time reflecting on perceived injustices of the past year and the pain is amplified. Every little hurtful detail over-magnified.
A Story That Needs to be Told
When invited to write this guest blog I felt humbled, privileged, and lucky. So I felt more than qualified to discuss credit or rather, debt. But I did feel quite under-qualified to discuss money. I am extremely grateful and appreciative. This gives me a chance to shine a light on the side of Christmas that often gets forgotten. Also, to fulfill my passion of writing and sharing my ideas with the outside world.
A Real Family With Big Problems
We are not homeless, couch surfing, or living out of cars. But we are not the privileged or middle class either. Those who will enjoy a great feast of Christmas delight. As a well-deserved reward for a long year spent working hard. Many make sacrifices so this time of year is worth the effort.
My family and I are somewhere in between. Relying on welfare but having had opportunities in the past. We were able to build a solid foundation of security with the family home. However, it is a shaky foundation. Divorce and unemployment meant downsizing and a diminishing our wealth. Trying to pay bills and maintenance are seemingly impossible. So is keeping up with everyday expenses. Life seems to be getting harder and harder.
A Brutal Storm
So here comes Christmas like a thunderbolt from a storm seen looming in the distance. But you aren’t quite ready for when it hits. So you can’t cancel a storm to prevent the damage. Also, we can’t cancel Christmas because times are tough!
Difficulties We Hide From our Children
Children don’t understand struggle and suffering, stress and forced smiles. Idle chit-chat in shopping centers while trying to remember if there is enough money in the account. Trying not to appear shocked when the total comes up. Praying the bank will let the account be overdrawn. Even finding out later, by the grace of some higher being, the account was overdrawn, but the transaction still went through. Small mercies, temporary relief, but a chilling reminder of the dire financial straits at hand. So all those things that simply can’t be paid for and go on the backburner: prescription glasses, sunglasses, car service, summer clothes, and the list goes on. So the mind swims in stress, anxiety, and worry.
Looks That Shatter Hearts
Then there’s the look on children’s faces as they expect their mom to make Christmas special and give them all the joy and magic they deserve. All they know is kindness, generosity, giving, receiving, sharing, caring, security, love, and peace. May it always be this way. So reflect on those babies and children who are not so lucky. But sadly, not all lives matter and not everyone cares. Finally, do not forget financial security is not enjoyed and experienced by all.
Harsh Judgments by Unworthy Judges
So we live in a world where those without a great deal of money are often made to feel inferior and worthless. That feeling of ruthless judgment can be debilitating, depressing and stifling. It hurts and it causes more harm than good. Often those with the capacity to help improve the lives of others instead opt to stand as judge, jury, and executioner on their high horse. Impoverished in spirit and empty-hearted, they will never enjoy all the blessings we do because they fail to see where the true value in life lies. So for the children, Christmas is beautiful and enjoyable like every year. However, for some parents, it is a painful blistering reminder of failure, shortcomings, and disappointment.
So yes, the pressure is on to make Christmas special, magical, joyful and perfect for everyone. Even grown-ups need to be reminded to the depth of the human spirit and the value good company and good people can add to anyone’s life. Christmas is still here and doors open in unexpected places and miracles do happen, eventually. That is the true meaning of Christmas and that is why I love it, notwithstanding the accompanying stress.
Shine a Bright Path for our Children
But therein lies the beauty and enchantment of Christmas. It is the perfect time to feel the loving spirit of goodwill and warmth in others. A time to be our best selves with good hearts and good intentions. The way we should be all year: radiating love, kindness, and generosity. It is up to us to show our children the way. Only in the darkest of times, the human spirit shines brightest. Because only then a path towards a bright future reveals itself. With open hearts, minds and eyes, there is a way out.
The Long Lost Point of Christmas
Christmas is a time of hope, believing, generosity, and love. A time to lift up those less fortunate than ourselves. It is a time to count our blessings and be grateful for the miracle that is life and appreciate the good people, things, and abundance we have. Just by seeing their parents trying, children are learning a valuable lesson. That lesson is to never give up. Also, never measure worth by dollars and cents. But rather true value: character, enthusiasm, goodwill and intentions.
The Greatest Gifts Money Can Not Buy
After all, it is not the size of your bank balance that counts in life, but the size of your heart and as we all know the greatest gifts in life are all the things you can’t buy from a department store. At what can be a very lonely time of year, this is the time to reach out for those with no-one and show that someone knows they’re there and that you care. Lastly, no greater gift exists than a heart of gold, full of caring, compassion, and love.
Corporations ridicule and chase those who default on repayment of a bill. However, this barely leaves a dent in the corporation’s billion dollar profits. But it does a profound amount of damage to their credit score. Also, many are left with a heavy heart and impossible burden. So please remember that help is always available.
Open Your Heart and Shine Brightly
So put pride aside and reach hands out, there are those waiting to provide a plan. Hope and a path to a bright future are available to anyone in need, from all walks of life. When the chips are down, we must learn to open our hearts. So we must accept and receive the love, support, and guidance from those waiting to help. The most rewarding aspect of giving is it feels good. It’s a natural high that we all benefit from. So give today. Make our world shine brighter!
Strength and Hope
So despite all the anguish and hardship life presents as temporary challenges designed to build our strength and test our resolve to be our best selves, there is still so much beauty, wonder, and magic in the world. We would be doing ourselves an immense disservice if we didn’t feel hope. Hope is a gift from beyond ourselves, yet deep within us, that we all possess. It does not cost a thing but it is worth everything. It is also a gift that others can willingly give. We are all in the fortunate and blessed position to do so. They are our angels on earth and if we encounter such a benevolent being, we should remain by their side until ready to continue unaided.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” -Unknown
“It is in the depth of our spirit that the stories of our soul lie.” -Unknown
May the spirit of the season bring you joy, love, peace, and goodwill. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a successful and Happy New Year. Heartfelt thanks to Joshua for this opportunity. Such random and unexpected act of kindness make the world a better place. Sending love!
This guest post was written by Emma Meconi.
Emma Meconi is a journalist and writer who recently completed a Diploma of Journalism. She lives in Brisbane, Australia and is raising two small children. Emma is passionate about social justice, human rights, politics, indigenous rights and progress, the environment, minority rights & ethical journalism.