Mother's with Christmas courage...
Tonight is Christmas Eve. The stores and banks will close early. Families will be gathered at home, or visiting one another. There will be church services tonight and everyone will be pondering the birth of Christ and enjoying the Passages from the book of Luke. It is a heartwarming time of year.
Yet, in some homes, there are financial woes. When these mothers think of Christmas, they despair at the idea of coming up with money for presents. They pray and cry out and wish they could afford gifts for their children. Perhaps the heating bill was too high this month? Or the car was acting up? Maybe the cost of basic food is getting to be impossible to manage. Regardless of the source of their worries, these mothers cannot imagine Christmas morning without some sadness. They hear others say their shopping is done and the presents are wrapped, and they weep in their hearts, because they have not.
We must remember that many years ago, this mass idea of multitudes of presents was not the normal custom. Remember Laura and Mary Ingalls? They received an orange, some Christmas candy, a knitted scarf and a Christmas penny. They were thrilled and delighted!
Alas, we want to buy our children nice things. We love them dearly and enjoy seeing their happy, surprised faces when they open gifts! We have to be ever so careful to come up with the money and choose just the right items. The depression-era mothers would spend months filling up their money jar, scrimping and saving so they could buy a special gift for each child. It was an enormous sacrifice, but one these mothers would willingly make.
I remember, years ago, when I only had two little girls. I stayed up late each night, all week long, before Christmas and sewed matching dresses for my children. I used a dark calico print with pretty pink hearts all over it. I trimmed the dresses with lace and made matching hair ribbons. My girls were so surprised and wore them to church on Christmas morning. It was such a sacrifice for me, but worth every moment!
In these hard times, Mothers of today must have courage. We walk into our kitchens and wonder what we are going to feed the family. We have to smile and pray and come up with creative ways to make nutritious, filling meals. We need to keep the thought of hardship, suffering, and want out of our homes. Our children need to feel secure. We must be brave and inventive! We have to avoid giving- in to depression or sorrow.
We Mothers in this generation are facing hard economic times. I pray these Mothers have Christmas courage. It is a special kind of courage and will carry us through for months to come!