Maybe Christmas sucks less when you're not quite as poorAh, Christmas. That magical time of year when people with more money quote" How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at people with less money. It's important to make sure, when you festoon your entire house with lights that you'll leave burning for a month, that you make sure people who's children are shivering in the cold remember that you can't buy Christmas joy.
Until this fall, our family has spent most of the last 15 years dancing around the working poor line. Some years were better than others, and we always had food and housing and it was usually kind of warm enough, but it was HARD. We had many beans and rice years, put on lots of extra sweaters, and thought twice when we were sick (My kids went 4 years without a well child visit, until insurance companies were required to cover them at 100%). And Christmas lists? Pretty long, and often filled with things people with more money would just pick up when they needed them.
And we were lucky. We were never homeless and never skipped a meal, never had our power turned off.
This year, we have had much more money than we have since I was pregnant with my 15 year old. What has that meant for our Christmas season?
When two of my kids had bad coughs, I took them to the doctor without thinking about it.
When hip and knee pain from a running injury made walking painful and slow, I went to a chiropractor.
Guess what? It's easier to enjoy a holiday when you're not sick and in pain.
I just turned my heater up to warm, we are having a vehicle repaired, and tonight when I make dinner, I will have an extra half hour because I'll just throw some pre chopped organic vegetables in a pan. This will give me more time to enjoy with mt family, maybe watching a Doctor Who Christmas Special while knitting a present.
And our Christmas lists? Much shorter this year- just a few items each (if you count all individual Magic cards as one item). While talking about it with one of my kids, we came to the conclusion that we didn't feel that old feeling that we had to ask for necessities as gifts anymore, ,and we could focus on time together.
So yes, if you have a warm house, food, medical care, and clothing, and bunch of plastic crap won't make your holiday better. But hunger, cold and illness make it hard to enjoy anything, and you CAN buy happiness when you can afford to be comfortable.