Thursday, November 12, 2009

Advent Season: A Holiday to Remember

This week I began thinking about the holidays. For me, this usually starts the second week in November. The leaves have all come down, the wind has turned cold, and I am ready for Thanksgiving.

This week, I had conversations with our college son about his travel plans, his schedule, and what he wants to do with us. My mother-in-law and I found a few decorations in a closet that can be installed at the right time. I started thinking about Thanksgiving dinner and putting up a Christmas tree.

But this year is unlike any other for us.

We are living in a home generously loaned to us by family. Our Christmas decorations are in a storage unit over 700 miles away. My husband continues to search for a job. The newspaper industry he worked for is collapsing, and this complicates his job search. By Christmas, we will have lived without his salary for almost a year.

Journeying to Pennsylvania for the holidays is not in our plans right now. Travel in the winter months up the Appalachians into the Northeast is a tricky, often hazardous project. We learned this when we drove from Pennsylvania to Georgia for a December wedding and got caught in a sudden snowstorm. We managed to find an exit in the blinding whiteness and spent the night in a hotel.

Even if I drove for two days to get our decorations and two days to bring them back, I'd have trouble transporting them when we move. Our cars were full of things we really needed when we drove to North Carolina. There is a possibility that we might have to head north in a few weeks for some winter clothing, but I wouldn't want to add anything else to our nomadic luggage.

Money is tight. I don't need to explain how that changes things. You can imagine it.

So what will we do? What will happen to us? How will I keep our spirits up and create a season of joy and hope for us -- on a shoestring, hundreds of miles from home, facing anxious prospects?

This will be a holiday to remember.

Join me here for it at the end of each week on Apple Pie. Thursdays and Fridays, I'll tell our story.


  1. The holidays will be where ever you and your family are. Sometimes making new traditions and memories can be wonderful as we look at the real meaning of the holidays ... Thanksgiving - what we are thankful for... Christmas - salvation! Sweet!

  2. May the Lord grant you the graces needed to embrace the crosses you are being asked to bear and bless you with family PEACE, JOY, and COMFORTS OF HOME...where ever you are.

  3. I pray all the best for you this upcoming holiday season. Most of all I pray for a job for your husband, and for comfort for your family.
    I am absolutely positive that the holidays this year will be just as special, if not more so than in years past. We are in a different yet similar situation. Money is tighter than ever before, and money has been tight for a few years now. Although we are in our own home (well, we call it ours, but really it's mortgaged :) decorations have always been scarce. My personal thought is why spend money on that when you could be using it on food or on things to give away? Sometimes I wish I could have just a little extra to make the house look "Christmassy", but that's not what really what Christmas is about anyway.
    Even just volunteering to pass out packages at a hospital or delivering food to people in greater need could be just the thing to get you in the "holiday mood"

    When I was a kid, the "holiday mood" was about making lists of wants, and going shopping. As the years passed, it became being around family and friends. And more years pass, and it is about family, friends and giving.

    And as another poster said, it's about the Salvation of Jesus Christ! As I said, you will find the spirit, and it will be special :-)

  4. o Cassandra!! I'm sorry that things are so tough. And I can relate. We moved here with eight suitcases and had ten boxes shipped. That's it. All our worldly possessions. Miraculously a handful of decorations made it into a box.
    We don't have the spare money to go out and buy 'stuff', but we will do ok. Because we know we're right where God has placed us. And nothing can take that certainty away from us. I will pray for a real peace for you and I real sense of knowing you're in the centre of God's will - even if a new job is taking its time in coming - God's timing is always perfect.
    But I do agree - it is not easy when we live in this materialistic world.

  5. You are the home. I found this out myself many years ago as a young mother of two facing divorce at Christmastime. I so admire your gift of words and your deep faith. I want to share my "just enough" theory: The Good Lord will provide, and it will be just enough. Enough love and joy to see you through these hard times... You are on my heart and in my prayers.


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