Spread the joy of Christmas

By Nicole Daughhetee

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I was certainly born with a taste for silver.

Truly I am the epitome of having a proclivity for drinking champagne but a budget that can afford PBR beer on a good day.

I’m not having a one-woman pity party here, nor am I suggesting that I am unable to meet the basic needs of my children or myself.

What I am saying is that the present state of my financial affairs has me in a bit of a funk, and I am kicking myself in the behind for not being more fiscally responsible in the not too distant past.

Albeit alluring with the sweet promises you can have whatever you want right now and worry about paying for it later, credit cards have afforded so many of us the opportunity to live well beyond our means.

It is all too easy to be in a bind — to have something unexpected pop up — and to not have the cash to cover it. What do we do? We turn to that little plastic idol in our wallets — our savior in moments of “I-really-don’t-have-enough-money-to-purchase-this” financial crises.

In the end, it all catches up to us, and, if we’re lucky, we can pull ourselves out from underneath the avalanche of debt. For others, this task is not easy.

Some of the best lessons I’ve ever learned are the ones I have had to learn the hard way, and this happens to be one of those times for me. I could certainly blame my struggles on the income I lost when my husband moved out, but a portion of the culpability is my onus to bear.

Learning to be more fiscally responsible is an important life skill I am learning to master — one that will be essential for the well-being of my girls.

There are days when I wish I could go out and purchase the volume of gifts I have been able to afford during Christmases past, but I simply can’t do it this year. And while there are times I find this fact both depressing and overwhelming, in a way I am thankful of the awareness it has created.

Faithful readers know that I have a profound sensitivity for those who are less fortunate, and that compassion has only managed to grow. I’ve found myself having to say “no” or “not today” a lot more frequently with my girls, but this has, thus far, applied only to non-essential items. Wants as opposed to needs.

I pray I am never in a position where I might have to say “no” to things like fresh fruit and vegetables, toothpaste or a winter coat. The harsh reality is that there are people in Pickens County who today and tomorrow will go without things they need simply because they cannot afford them.

The thought certainly makes me thankful for all the blessings in my life.

While I might not be able to purchase the latest and greatest gift this year, I have been granted the opportunity to give the people I love home-made gifts that come from my heart and are bought and paid for with my time and creativity.

More important than gifts, of course, is that I have two amazing daughters, a loving and supportive mother, family and friends who love us without condition. We have a roof over our heads, heat to keep us warm and no one in my home has ever gone hungry unless it was her choice.

My greatest wish for my readers is that you can all enjoy the true meaning of Christmas — a love so awesome and divine that it is truly difficult to fathom. And that this love will spread out and touch those people in need of a Christmas miracle.