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Holiday blahs and a fresh perspective

in Life Lessons, Parenting, Random Musings

It hit me today that I have what I can only describe as the holiday blahs. I’m not depressed…  just not real excited about anything. I feel like I am just going through the motions and doing what needs to be done, but I don’t have a whole lot of umph right now.

Photo by foxumon on

I don’t have the money in the bank that I would like to have to give to the ministries I always want to give to this time of year. I feel like my time is strapped to the back of own three little elves and that means I cannot serve the ministries like I would like to either.

I have noticed the blahs in a lot of friends lately, too. Some are coming to grips with the fact that yet another year has past that did not go quite as expected, others are dreading spending the holidays without a loved one for the first time, and other have financial or relationship strains that make this time of year less than jolly.

I really have no reason for the blahs. I am married to the best hubby in the world, as far as I am concerned. My kids are healthy and happy. We have a house, food, love, and all of our needs (and some of our wants) are met.

But the blahs were still there.

Then, today, I went to Dollar Tree for some paper plates and Christmas paper and I came away with a perspective check. There was a lady in front of me with two toddlers and a shopping cart of frozen food. She had tater tots, chicken nuggets, french fries, peas, and mac & cheese. She was doing her weekly grocery trip at the Dollar Tree on pay day.

The cashier rang up the items and said it was $37 even.

The lady took a $20 and a $10 out of her pocket and said, “I must have miscounted.” Then she started digging through her bags trying to decide which seven items she would put back.

I happily paid for the other $7 and the lady started tearing up. She said, “feeding a family of four on $30 a week is getting harder all the time.” After the lady left, I verified the story with the cashier. The $30 food cap was the same every single week.

“On the kids’ birthdays, they get to grab a toy too,” she said.

Now that, my friends, is perspective.

The holidays are not about how going into debt buying commercialized crap, this time of year is not about how big our tree is or how many lights are on our house, the holidays are about giving and loving and sharing. It is about being a friend to those who need it, family to those who want it, and a supporter to those who can never return the favor.

And today I have a total stranger to thank for that perspective.

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