I have stopped including my gratitude list of five things at the end of each of my posts. I should go back and see the date of when that happened. But today I am grateful that I haven't overdrafted my checking account. There is still $109.21 as of today left in it, so I am extremely grateful that I can still afford some food to get through until the 1st. It took a bit of juggling the bills to make it this month. Driving back and forth to Sam's each weekend put a big crimp into the budget. But I made it through fingers crossed. The worry and concern over bouncing a check is always on my mind too. I am going to go to Walgreen's to see if I can return a folding table I bought a few months ago and never used. I'd thought that I'd use it in the kitchen or as a computer printer stand but never did. That would get me $25.00 back, which would be enough for a Christmas feast! But I read the back of the receipt and it states that returns have to be made within 30 days. I'm hoping they'll give me a break.
Last night to scrimp and save I made pot pies for dinner with a can of peas which I thought would be filling. The pot pies each cost 50 cents. I had one pie and gave my youngest son two. The oldest was going out with friends and said he could grab a sandwich at someone's house. Right now my stomach is rumbling - the peas were not as filling as I'd thought. I'll be running out soon to pick up some groceries doing exactly what they say not to - shop when you're hungry.
My dear girlfriend called to tell me the time for us to come over to her home on Christmas - 3:00 p.m. She said she is trying to get caught up wrapping the gifts for her three kids, who have been very close to mine the past 13 years. I felt so removed from her statement because this year I have absolutely no gifts to wrap or purchase. This was the Christmas that wasn't. It will just be another day besides going to my girlfriend's for dinner. Part of me actually feels some relief about not being caught up in the celebration. But that may just be a front to keep me from feeling upset that the boys won't have any gifts to open. They did receive new phones from Sam who included unlimited texting and internet use too. Yes, this is nice but it would also be nice for them to be able to open up a little something - a surprise. Does it count that a few months ago I bought them each $200.00 of clothing (from the Used Teen Clothing Store Plato's Closet?). No, I think phones and clothes are in the pile of necessities parents are supposed to provide for their kids. They are a given.
Oh, I forgot. I did buy two things for the boys back when I thought our financial condition was more sound - a Packer's bean bag chair and some music picture (drums, guitar). I left them at Sam's because the car was too full coming back yesterday. Our trip back was delayed a good hour because my oldest drove into the piled snow at the side of Sam's steep driveway and it took a concentrated shoveling effort and even the strength of four big guys from down the street to get the van out. I told the boys I'd give them the gifts as New Year's presents.
But for now I am grateful for a roof over our heads be it at Sam's or here at the apartment. And that there is still money for food and maybe I can even afford a package of Christmas cookies.
It is funny - just the other day I saw one of my favorite holiday movies, "Christmas with the Kranks", which is based on the adorable novel "Skipping Christmas" by John Grisham. Unlike the movie or book, this year this family is really skipping Christmas.