Wake me up when December ends.

18 Oct

It is approaching that time of year again… the holidays.

This used to be my favorite time of year.  About now I would normally be chin-deep in decoration planning.  Where should I string the lights?  Where will the tree go?  What theme should we use for the outdoor lights?  Should we use gold or silver on the tree, or maybe both?  Is the tree going to be big enough?  I would also normally be knee-deep in planning what gifts I am going to get for who and how I am going to afford it.

Giving has always been my favorite part of the holidays.  I could never pass a Salvation Army bell ringer without dropping whatever change I had into their red kettle.  I always find a wish or two on giving trees to fulfill.  I make sure drop a toy or three into toys for tots bins.  And then there is family and friends.

To me, gift giving is not just a quick, easy grab-a-giftcard-and-go. I have to find the perfect gift, and am never happy until I do.  I think this stemmed from when I was a child.  I always loved giving gifts.  I loved shopping for them, making them, trying to make somebody smile.  But I never really felt it was appreciated as much.

It all started when my little brother got my mother her first box of Zachary chocolates.  She loved it.  She prized this simple box of assorted candies.  And the smile on her face that Christmas was brightest when she opened that box.  I don’t remember what I got her that year… I just remember feeling disappointed when I saw her open my gift with barely a grin on her face.  Each year my brother got her the same box of chocolates.  Each year it seemed to be her favorite gift from us kids.  And each year I felt disappointed that my gift, no matter how hard I searched for it or worked to make it the best gift ever, didn’t match up to that dumb box of chocolates.

And then there was my stepfather.  Each year I would ask him what he wanted for Christmas.  And each year he would tell me not to get him anything.  He would tell me that he didn’t want anything.  I’d get so disappointed.  Didn’t he understand that I just cared and wanted to make him smile?  Didn’t he understand that giving gifts was important to me?

As much as it hurt, it pushed me to try harder to find better gifts.  Each year was a quest to find something perfect for each person on my list.

But this year is different.  Not only is there all of the family drama that is keeping me from going home for the holidays, but there is my own current state of affairs.

Unless a miracle happens, there will likely be no gift giving for me this year.  In my line of work, November and December are quite slow years.  And this year more than ever before that is the case.  My full-time job will likely see a drop in weekly hours from 40-50 to around 10-15.  I have been applying for every job I can find, from full-time work to seasonal employment.  And so far, nothing.  So unless something comes up and comes up quick, I will likely have to turn to unemployment simply to try and cover rent, utilities, and groceries.  There will be no room to buy gifts.

You have no idea how much this hurts.  I was so excited about my list of nonprofits I was going to add to buy giving list this year.  I was excited to add Children’s Hospital and Clinics to the top of my list.  I was excited to support the Human Rights Campaign, Charity:Water, and Invisible Children.  Now, due to my financial circumstances, I have been forced to cross every one of these off of my list for the year.

My heart hurts this year.  I am dreading these next couple months.  It is as if my biggest source of joy-giving-has been robbed from me.

So I am wondering, is it possible to skip past the holidays and just start fresh with January?


7 Responses to “Wake me up when December ends.”

  1. Elizabeth N. October 18, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    JCPenney’s is short-staffed right now, and they’re looking for seasonal help. I got hired on the spot today. Maybe call them? 🙂

  2. Laurie October 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Brianna, you don’t have to just give monetary gifts. For instance, I know that for me, I love letters for Christmas. Or something handmade. Or a heartfelt card that says how much I mean to that person. People value knowing what you think of them. If you need a box of cards to send to people I will send you some lol. Seriously. But realize that people value relationship more than anything, and if you give that gift, you can make more impact than any charity. Seriously, you will.
    (and btw I am not asking for a gift. I just know that your heart means a lot to many and you have a lot of people you care for, and I think they’d like to know that more than anything.)

    • devilishdelish October 19, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

      Thank you for the comment, love. I know that it isn’t just about the monetary gifts. I know that there are other things that I can do. But it just is not the same for me. For me, it has always been about the donations I am able to make, the search for the perfect gift for each person. And there is just something about it that card cannot accomplish. Its just… I don’t know. It is hard to explain.

  3. Jes (@ Self Motivation) October 19, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    You have such a big heart. For me, my favorite part of gift exchanges isn’t the gifts but the cards. I love cards, letters, random post-it notes. Knowing that someone took the time to write something special just for ME makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I’d rather have a handwritten note over anything else. And just because you do not have money to donate to charities, that doesn’t mean you cannot donate your time. Your time and heart and kindness are what will be remembered and cherished. And in the end, it will be a gift to yourself as well.

    • devilishdelish October 19, 2010 at 11:24 pm #

      Thank you for the comment, Jes. I know that I can give cards, but to me, it just isn’t the same. There is just something about putting the time and effort into searching out the best gift possible that feels so much more meaningful. And not only that, but I spend so many hours per day at work telling people what they want to hear, how they want to hear it… trying to make them feel special with my words (I work in telephone customer service) that writing out cards just seems too hard and fake to me. I would rather show it and give tangible things, I guess.

  4. raine October 29, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    if you find a way to skip december, please please please tell me! some years you just cant give like you want to, but know that in the future you will be able to again 🙂

  5. Vertie Kleinman June 19, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Hi, I like your blog. It’s Great. My personal choice is flats but that’s just me. sustain the work. I’ll be checking in shortly for future updates.

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