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Be Thankful This Christmas…


For the past few weeks, my family has lamented that we haven’t had a ‘good’ Christmas in a several years. Job loss and financial hardship have seemed to plague our family around the holidays. We have been wading in a giant pool of self pity for a while.

Monday, I was tossed violently from the pool.

I was sitting at my desk typing a report when a co-worker came up and admired the photo of my family – all 26 of us (my parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews). The photo looked normal to me. It was all the people I love, a sea of heads, each of us connected to each other. She counted each family member and carefully looked at each smiling face. She continued to stare for a long time and finally said to me, ‘You have no idea how lucky you are.’ (She lost her mother when she was young and her father passed on over the summer).

She walked away, visibly saddened at reminder of her loss.

I picked up the picture, looked at my family… and felt like the most ungrateful person in the world. How dare we complain about our finances and lack of gifts for each other when we are beyond blessed with something far more valuable than money?

I have an unbreakable bond 25 people who love me, who never judge me, who will laugh at me (um, I mean WITH me), and will fight any battle to protect me. I am more confident, more centered, and happier because of their presence in my life.

We were right in saying we hadn’t had a ‘good’ Christmas in years. We’ve had an amazing, great, unbelievable, wonderful, blessed Christmas every year.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


  • Reply Janet MacKay |

    Yeah! You get what Christmas is about!! As a long time lurker I just had to comment since the benefit of this realization will make your life not only joyful now but in the future when you things get better financially. Life will be about those you love not things. Merry, Merry Christmas.

  • Reply brooklynchick |

    Merry Christmas and thank you for the reminder that we should all count our blessings (every day really) especially at this time of year!

  • Reply Tonya |

    A very timely reminder. This is the year I am trying to learn to be content. Having a great family is cause for more than simply being content…..it is reason to be thankful.

  • Reply John DeFlumeri Jr |

    Beks, please add my blog to your “Finance Blogging Buddies”

    You’ve been on my blogroll since September 1st.

    Thanks, John DeFlumeri Jr.

  • Reply Sandy |

    There are really so many things to be thankful for, most especially our health and the health of our loved ones. My husband also lost his job 3 days before Thanksgiving, so that came as a real blow. We were already scheduled to fly off to the East Coast to be with relatives (we did not tell them by the way because we did not want to dampen the Thanksgiving mood). Yet, we still tried to look at the brighter side, that instead of being laid off after thanksgiving, it happened before. This way we were very aware that we should not spend more than necessary on our trip and not spend during “Black Friday”. We did go around with them to the outlets, but it was all for being together and not really to shop. Also, just thinking about our health and that we have each other, was something to be VERY thankful for. I’m not saying it is easy, it is not, but we try to make the best of the situation and think postively that he will find work soon.

  • Reply Kate |

    I totally agree with you. I felt like that as well.

    This is the first year we have been really and truly strapped for cash and as I sat in the living room relaxing yesterday, I realized that this was the first year I wasn’t melancholic and/or stressed out like every year in the past.

    It was truly my best Christmas so far. My significant other and I decided not to give gifts to one another this year yet I felt more appreciated this Christmas, than some other Christmases past when he spoiled me. It was a day for contented sighing and I will remember it forever.

    Compared to some people I know-one acquaintance is busy ticking things off her bucket list before it is too late, and another just lost his wife to cancer leaving him and their 12 year old daughter alone. It can be so much worse.

  • Reply Stef |

    As one of those 25 people, I just want to say how lucky I feel to have become a part of this family! Yes, hard times have hit many in our family over the past couple years, but we are so blessed with what we do have…each other. I enjoy reading your blog every day, as it brings a smile to my face and reminds me of so many important things in life. The only bad part of our Christmas was not being able to spend it with the rest of our big, wonderful family. You deserve all the blessings that come to you! Love and miss you….the Sacramento sister-in-law…:-)

  • Reply Joe |

    Hit the nail right on the head, Beks. Kinda makes you feel guilty for putting all that emphasis on shopping and not getting the gifts you REALLY wanted, doesn’t it?

  • Reply Jean |

    Guess the term “good Christmas” is all in your perspective. I think we all go through those ‘poor me’ moments and then get smacked up side the head with the fact that there are always people out there that are worse off than we are – no matter what the situation. Thanks for the reminder. Happy New Year!

  • Reply Beks |

    I hope all my unemployed friends find work in the new year!!

    Stef – We’re SOOOO glad you’re a part of our family. Not only are you a fabulous addition, you’ve given us two very awesome neices!! Thanks for all you do!

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