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It's A Hard Candy Christmas

posted 12/3/2010 4:21:23 PM |
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Looking back, over my life, there have been some really hard and lean years. I remember years when we couldn’t even afford heating let alone to give extravagant gifts. In fact, I remember most years as being a bit on the lean side. Times were rough even then. I, of course, had very little knowledge of how rough they were because I was a kid… and kids don’t get it.

I never remember being upset though, over the home made gifts.. over the small piles of gifts.. or any of that kind of thing. I think that’s the one thing I always remember is the gifts given out of love and made by the hands of the people who loved me. In fact the most memorable gifts are the ones I treasure because someone made it for me. Yes, Mom, even the gawd-awful-heathery colored-hand-knitted leg warmers. Looking back, they were ugly as sin.. but I loved em anyway. I still have a vest crocheted by my pops as well.. won’t wear it, but I still have it. Sadly, the leg warmers and the lamby hot water bottle cover are gone. Worn out by too many uses.

I think that we lived in an era apart from the commercial madness that has become the Holiday Season. I realize that it was probably really difficult for my family, though I’d not have known at the time. We were used to making do. To wearing things out and then reusing the usable bits for something else. How would I have known we were poor? We always had enough to eat. We always had a roof over our heads.. I didn’t know. I couldn’t have.

Today, I’m grateful for having grow up without TV. I wasn’t grateful at the time, but I am now. I learned so many things because we didn’t just veg in front of the tube. I learned to crochet, to embroider, to sew *still not the best at that* and to make hand crafts. I’m amazed at how many kids my age did not learn those things as kids. I learned the value of a home garden. Of preserving food, though I don’t preserve much at this time.. I will again when I have space to put it. I learned the value of reading and learning.

The last couple of years have been really good for my little family. We’d gotten kind of spoiled and used to the idea that we can have what we want without waiting. This year? No, it’s back to the holidays of yesterday, when we have to make do or do without.

It’s not just my family that has this hardship, it’s everyone I know right now. So we can’t afford a Christmas tree this year. So what? It’s not about the tree, or the packages under it. It’s about people who love each other, giving of themselves. We have food in our bellies and a roof over our heads.. and we know we have the love of our family. What more do we really need?

If you too, are having a Hard Candy Christmas this year, try to remember.. give of yourself rather than worrying about the latest gadget or toy. You might be amazed at how a home made gift will touch the heart of one of your loved ones far more than something you spent a lot of money on.

For those who are suffering because of the Unemployment freeze, you have my prayers. I know how hard it is. I also know that our governing bodies won’t suffer this year. That just makes me sad. You don’t have to suffer though. If you have a talent of any kind, use it. Give a gift of yourself.

Hint.. Grandmas, make a cd of yourself reading a story for your little ones this year. I remember mom’s home made story tapes and how much we loved to listen to them. It’s easy to do as long as you already have a computer anyway.

Blessings and PopRocks.

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I Sold My Soul To Dr. Seuss
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The Infamous Carrot Fiasco, and other stories
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It's A Hard Candy Christmas
The Further Adventures of the Skwirl Vs. the Big Conglomerate
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A Halloween Poem and a note from B9!
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Good News for me.. bad news for y'all.
Blame that Sweet Spice Girl..
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Dec 3 @ 5:58PM  
most christmases when i was in grade school were pretty big affairs, or the old man tried to make them that way. there are reasons behind it, but not something i'll put in your blog. anywho, when we moved up to montana from the SF bay area, things got real lean real quick. but as long as we had each other, life wasn't bad really. it din't matter if i got anything or not, i was pretty much happy just to have my family.

and now, it isn't all that rough, but i'm finding a few people who think i do good enough work that they want something, and i sent one our our pervites something just so they could give it to someone else. there is a lot we can do if we just do it, and not depend on the money that isn't there for "things".

and we still have our family here, so we aren't totally alone, and people care.

big hugs skwirly, have a great christmas.

Dec 3 @ 6:57PM  
I think this year is going to be rough for a lot of people. I hope things improve for everyone and they have a good holiday because it really is not about the money you have to spend but the love you have to share.

Dec 3 @ 7:24PM  
I'm not too terribly concerned with the lack of gifts. What sucks for me, personally is the lack of human contact. I will be spending yet another holiday alone, and quite frankly, it's truly beginning to SUCK ASS! But I will suck it up and get through it, just like the last 6 lonely ones. It is what it is.

If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love instead.

Dec 3 @ 7:32PM  
I count my blessings to be working at a place where our employer hands out certificates to the employees and we can use them at any of their properties. The company I work for runs a restaurant, hotel/water park, and a golf course. In what we call the "main restaurant", in the lower level, they have a very nice gift shop. These last couple of years, my "shopping" has been in that gift shop. Not only do I have the certificate, but, as an employee for this company, I get a 30% discount on ALL of the've done all of my shopping in their gift shop. I've often told my Mom to thank my he's the one who "paid" for the gifts.

I work at the hotel

I provided a link for any who are curious to check out the company I work for..

Note: the bald guy lower right where it says: "Learn More, Ask Me Now"...that's my boss.

Dec 3 @ 7:40PM  
Well I'll bite the bullet and get all 4of my grandkids something,everyone else may get a #5.00 gift card from MacDonalds.

Dec 3 @ 8:32PM  
I'm not too terribly concerned with the lack of gifts. What sucks for me, personally is the lack of human contact. I will be spending yet another holiday alone, and quite frankly, it's truly beginning to SUCK ASS! But I will suck it up and get through it, just like the last 6 lonely ones. It is what it is.

If there is no joyous way to give a festive gift, give love instead.

Hey sweetie why don't you go find your local lions club and volunteer to help them with making other peoples xmas's special. You don't need to be a member to help, they could always do with the bodies and they are a great bunch of people to hang out with.

A lot of clubs prepare small christmas parties for senior centers, hospice, assisted living, homeless shelters, hospitals, widows, etc so volunteering would get you out of the house, fun company, you would feel great seeing the smiles of those you helped.


Dec 3 @ 9:11PM  
*sneaks back in to leave kudo on the table*


Dec 4 @ 12:50AM  
Leaving a green Christmas cookie and wishes for the Merriest , Heartfelt Christmas ever...

Dec 4 @ 3:17AM  
I want achild my favorite partof Christmas was the laying out of the cookies and milk for Santa. I already knew what I was getting cuse I snuck into Moms closet and unwrappedthe loot...I am still a very good wrapper! HA!...I have always hated surprises...but they always snuck one in on me anyway...maybe it was a sweet treat in my stocking...or a pair of mittens my Mom didn't matter...I wanted my Brothers presents! HA!...that cracks me up....but, seriously....materialism doesn't define your life...lve, understanding and care for others does.
Have a peaceful Christmas...we are all better off than most...even at our worst we figure out how to be our best.

Dec 4 @ 3:28AM  
Oh yeah...I have a saying...I know I am successful because all I want is what I need and how blessed I feel because I have that what I need....hugs an warm thoughts to all that realize that and understanding and patience to those that haven't figured it out yet.

Dec 4 @ 5:21AM  
I don't like to talk about my childhood a lot
remember that weird kid who sat up the back of the class and everyone poked fun at cos their family wasn't born in the neighbourhood and just didn't fit in so that made them an easy target to pick on,even though they stuck to themselves ?
welcome to my world, a constant reminder that i was the poor kid who lived in all the 'hand-me-downs'
my mother did her best to make sure we were fed and clothed, I appreciated it at the time but never really learn't how much until I became a father and a provider for my own children ... that can really be an eye opener when it sinks in...
for some un-explained reason I always get depressed around christmas time, sure I know its supposed to be a time for giving and sharing and being grateful for what you have. I'll never be rich or famous, prolly cos even though i try to run my own business i have alway believed in old fashioned values of never taking anyone down or using someone for my own personal gain, which sadly is slowly becoming a lost trait with a lot of ppl in this day and age, but hey , I have my immediate family here at home, and all you wonderful guys..and gals that i have come to know world wide thought this glorious invention called the internet.
now enuff of this soppy stuff before ynot or miss kitty starts callin me a sook or sumtin. a guys got a reputation to uphold ya'know
but cerial, this is my extended family and I wish you all at least some personal happiness abeit no matter how big or small that may turn out. just remember money can buy a lot of things but it can't buy happiness............... unless all the wimmin wanted to send me topless pic for xmas

special kudo for a very special friend * wether she realises it or not

Dec 4 @ 6:09AM  
Hey Tassie

[/QUOTE]welcome to my world, a constant reminder that i was the poor kid who lived in all the 'hand-me-downs' [QUOTE]

Now all those misfitting, old looking clothes are all the rage.

I just worked it out we were cool kids 30 years too early... we were TRENDSETTERS (remember Rodney Rude) before our time.

Dec 4 @ 7:28AM  
Mom always made sure we had goodies under the tree I don't recall us having it lean but according to mom we did. Unfortunately I don't know how to knit and crochet your very lucky to have learned Sammy. I can sew enough to do what I need

Dec 4 @ 8:31AM  
Excellent, well written perspective...slipping you a green ornament for your tree should you decide to slide out and cut one down somewhere (I visualize you residing in an area surrounded by pines).

Christmas has faded in its significance for me. It is much more about kids for me in hindsight, either being one or raising one. After the age of around twelve it lost its luster until I was thrust into parenthood. Then it all became fun and magical once again. I got a taste of it the other night.

My daughter is down here from Missouri visiting. Thursday night we went with the four your old grandson and her BFF to the City of Grand Prairie holiday lights display. It has over four million lights. It is in a park. It cost fifteen bucks a car during the week and has some free carney rides. The kiddo had a blast. Here is the link to it if you know anyone in the DFW area who might be interested, I heartily recommend it.

I think the my fondest memory was in 1984. It involved the "big box". Our daughter was nine and out of school for the holidays. I was pretty much off from work also. She and I collaborated on the "big box", a gift to my wife from Santa that was placed prominently against a barren wall in the living room. It was box that had contained a washing machine and we wrapped it wonderfully with a huge bow on it. Inside the "big box" was a smaller wrapped box, inside of it was another one, etc. I believe there was a total of eight boxes. The last box contained a note with instructions, something like "Christmas colors are green and red, you need to look under your bed!". Under the bed was a Christmas card directing her to another card. There were five or six of these. There was even one taped to the ceiling by the front door. They were aimed at leading her to the other end of the house and I at the appropriate time I excused myself to go to bathroom where I had put a TV in the shower. I then got it and put on top of our dresser. The second to last card directed her to our closet where there was a card that said nothing. She went right by the TV without noticing it, got the last card and thought it was a cruel joke for a moment until she saw the TV. She was both sheepish and happy.

Since my daughter has grown up, Christmas has faded considerably. There are some nice holiday parties. But people have moved away, often hundreds of miles away. So friends and family have become fragmented. A Walmart gift card is pretty much the gift of choice. When I was married I had around 2,000 lights out front, no more. It is something that I just don't get into by myself.

Dec 4 @ 2:16PM  
I love this blog! I love you kids! Blessings to you all !!!!

Dec 4 @ 2:35PM  
We had it good when I was a child!!!
My Mom and Dad worked at a Very Good company...until they retired! We were many ways!!!
Mom taught all of my sisters how to do all the sewing...yarn thingies!!!
Dad kept me busy working around the house...and doing wood working...., when "Pop" was alive..I use to go out on plumbing jobs with him...etc, etc.
I usually give my Kids the SOS for Christmas....
A Bottle of Home Made wine!!! (Made by me of course! )
1/2 Gallon of my Home made BBQ sauce...
and a Smoked Turkey Breast!!! Smoked by me also!!!
Lord willing...they will continue to get those things!!!!
but They won't get the $100.00- $200.00 Wally World gift Cert. that I normally give!!!
Hard times are wide spread this year...!!!
I pray next year is Better for all of us!!!
Merry Christmas!!!

Dec 4 @ 8:46PM  
Bunny said it best:

I love this blog! I love you kids! Blessings to you all !!!!

Dec 6 @ 3:03PM  
For me...Christmas has always been more about community. My best Christmases were made that way because of the special people I got to share my day well as those few times when I got to see a loved one's face while they opened one of my handmade gifts.

Huggles...Blessings...and PopRocks right backatcha Ms. Skwirl!

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It's A Hard Candy Christmas