I was listening to the radio this morning – normal radio, not satellite, not from the computer but an actual radio. Old habits die hard.
A commercial came on, electronics – Future Shop or Best Buy, one of them; it was a little kid’s voice listing everything he/she wanted for Christmas; a laptop, some sort of tablet and a camera. Something along the lines of the kid in us and the adult looking to be logical with spending; it took me back to a not-so-pleasant place in the past…
I remember being poor – dirt poor, friends and neighbours. Rent unpaid, Hydro Quebec threatening to shut off power, only food in the house was a freakin’ box of Cream of Wheat. No milk, no eggs, no butter – nothing in the fridge at all. Not even the mandatory box of baking soda. I am talking “POOR”.
The little Christmas tree was up – it was one of those little 2 foot high jobs. With nothing under it. Mind you, my son was only 3 ½ months old at the time but when you are a mother, and it’s the holidays, it doesn’t matter – you want to be able to have something under there for your child. There was nothing.
No charity baskets forthcoming – first, I am very proud and charity isn’t something I would have taken anyway. Yeah, yeah…pride before a fall and all of that but I was 22 years old. My son and pride was all I had to call my own at the time.
I listened to that commercial and I remember how damn painful it was to hear and see those commercial on television and radio. Toys and games were so completely out of the question. Just being able to feed the two of us was enough of a struggle, never mind having anything for toys.
I guess this blog is to gently remind everyone that Christmas is not always a joyful time for everyone, in fact, there are many out there for whom this season is almost overwhelming in its sadness.
If you have friends or neighbours that you know are struggling; pick up a toy or two, if they have children, wrap them up and find a way to leave them for the children. Ring the doorbell and run away. Have someone you know, deliver them anonymously. If the person or people don’t have kids – a bag of groceries delivered in the same way.
If there is an elderly person and you know they receive no visitors – bring them a meal, a small token, just remind them that they aren’t forgotten.
It is a season of giving and joy – regardless of who you are or what you believe; yes, crass commercialism and all the other derogatory comments but none of this negates the terrible sadness, the constant lump in the throat that comes of being poor in our society, during the holidays.
Spread a little thoughtfulness; spread a little kindness, even if you want to believe that you are a cold ass realist. You may be, but there are people out there, children out there who feel forgotten by society and by extension, this means you.
Spread a little love – it won’t kill you, I promise.