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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Dollar Tree Christmas

The season was looking pretty bleak. There really just was not the spare money to buy gifts for loved ones. There was not the scented candles lit with scents of the season, and holiday drinks were substituted with plain cups of coffee. There was no cookies baking each day to spread the Christmas cheer or the waist line and there was no Christmas wreath hanging on the door to greet visitors.

We had put up the tree, but expected it remain bare below. We had decided to do our best to celebrate the season and decorate with what we had and overlook what we did not..after all thanks to many wonderful friends and family members our rent was paid, bills taken care of and with the help of a local church food was in the cabinets. Those are presents a plenty for sure. We had each other and helped with the shaking of "Bah Humbugs", though I will be very truthful it still happens from time to time! We are trying to embracing each other and the true reason for the season best we could.

Pages were turned each night of books telling of Christmas stories, music plays in the back ground that reminds us to be of good cheer and those not near. Twinkling lights reminded us of the beauty of Christmas and often Hallmark movies tugged at our heart strings. Christmas was happening all around no matter if there was physical gifts wrapped in colorful paper and shiny bows and it would bring a mix of comfort and sadness.

One day our middle daughter showed up with grocery sacks full and said "let's bake cookies!" The warmth of the oven , and the taste of the sweet iced cookies in the shape of stars and stockings helped melt the sadness from my heart. But it slowly returned when I found that our three daughters had planned on buying us gifts. I so wanted to spoil them as we had in years past, even last year when things were tight, and it was the first time we were not in a home all our own, we had gifts, wonderfully wrapped packages spilled from under our small tree. I protested to them that as we could not buy any this year, they too should just let it go. They were gifts enough for us. Their love, support and sweet smiles were all that I would need this Christmas. But they protested I had taught them " it was better to give than to receive "  and they were just following my own example. I swelled with pride, but as I said at the same time sadness crept in like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas . I wanted my heart to open and warm and begin to grow again, despite what was happening in our lives. I wanted to embrace the holiday for all it was worth. But I was struggling.

Yesterday when making the grocery list out , I could see we had quite a few meal items left , and if I still did my tricks of making the main meals stretch and ate oatmeal and fruit from time to time so that my hubby could have a larger portion ( and well with my teeth, many times that is all I can eat LOL) I could possibly make the grocery money stretch enough to buy a few tiny things for each daughter. So as we headed out, calculator in hand, coupons collected and a small budget to buy two weeks of needs, I was in a cheerful , holiday mood.

We walked into the Dollar Tree and I was able to scratch off most of my list of toiletries, our bread and snacks were there as well. Even managed some chocolate cookie dough mix. So I could see what was left on our needs list and calculate that we could spend about 10.00 on other items. The Dollar Tree Christmas gift list began right there. I grabbed things that once , many years ago when like now we had nothing to spare for the holiday, smiling to myself that it is not about the cost, but the thought behind the gift. I filled my small basket with goodies picked out with each daughter in mind. I was even able to purchase a couple Christmas cards to send to family and then much to my delight the supplies for a small wreath for our door. I came in right on budget. The gifts I bought may not be large, pricey or all that spectacular; they do not come from fancy stores, but they were bought with love, good humor and holiday cheer and that is what counts the most.

I am sure when our girls open their gifts when we have a small gathering before the actual holiday, the two who live close by having other plans for the day, there will be laughter and love all around. And I at least was able to give a piece of my heart to them wrapped all up in colorful paper and a shiny bow. This Dollar Tree Christmas might just be the best one yet to date.

**** Sorry could not tell you what I bought, the girls read my blog !


  1. Ruby, I cannot tell you how many times I have {grocery shopped) at the Dollar Tree. I have gone through all types of budgets.. and somehow, someway - it all comes together.

    Merry Christmas my friend, better times are around the corner. Try really hard to remember the reason for the season, and maybe you will draw strength from that. It helps me. :-)

  2. Ruby I totally identify. Single mom of 3 here, all the responsibilities are on my head as my ex is not at all involved. Being able to pull off a Christmas at all sometimes is a huge reason to celebrate! BTW I am a HUGE fan of Dollar Tree!

  3. It is all about being together... Let your daughters spoil you, now... The tide will turn and you'll be able to do it, again, before long... Happy Holidays!


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