Every year since Bret was laid off three years ago, I have anticipated Christmas with some anxiety. I worried about money, and whether we would be able to afford any gifts for the kids. So many expenses come up around this time of year: propane for heating, insurance premiums, auto registration and so forth. And then usually something big and unexpected hits us (this year it was the well pump going out; last year our van died during Advent). I work hard to trust God and not to panic.
|Boxes from Harry & David--which Una's Godfather sends us every year|
And every year, Christmas turns out to be almost too much, too extravagant. God pours out His generosity through the kindness and thoughtfulness of others. Only two days after the well pump was replaced and I announced to Bret that we would once again have to dip into our meager savings for living expenses, he was rehired by his former employer. It isn't yet 40 hours a week, but it is something!
From family members, neighbors and our church, gifts and food have poured in. My pantry is full; I have the fixings for at least three Christmas dinners, and I wonder if my children will be spoiled by all this abundance, when just weeks ago I was explaining to them that this Christmas might have to be a bit more meager than those in the past.
Last night, as we prayed a rosary for all our benefactors, I made plans to return the favor. We will enjoy the first day of Christmas for ourselves, but we will work to find ways of giving back in what ways we can during the rest of the Christmas season.
And I will renew my resolution to trust in God's tender care.