The Key to a Rich Christmas (if you’re a poor parent)
I was raised poor, financially-speaking. We didn’t often have a car or a TV and fast food would have been considered a luxury. My mom was a teacher, and didn’t make good money, and raised me on her own.
But my mom wasn’t poor in love, or generosity, and she made sure I was rich in books, reading, learning, I remember somehow she taught me to be inquisitive, caring, she taught me to care, not merely to want. And while I remember her crying one winter when we were particularly tight on money and didn’t have the wherewithal for presents, I also remember being wildly delighted at getting a new game of RISK, which I’d fallen in love with the summer prior.
So while this may sound saccharine, and money definitely matters to stress and security and happiness up to, say, a healthy middle class income level, I did want to offer a reminder to the many folks who are tight on money that love, kindness, warmth, homemade and DIY and craft and bartering…all these things can and will fill your child with joy and true richness, if you give it to them, with them, and you hug them and love them and vice versa.
How my mom made all that love real and mutual is another matter, and one I regard with great humility: how the heck was she such a wonderful parent!?