A Place to get Help for Christmas

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We’re not exactly a rich family, so one year I had to find a place where I can get help for Christmas. Having a three year old son, Christmas had become a big deal to me. This all started when I went to Toys R Us to find a toy for him. I had about forty dollars in my pocket and I went searching for something train or car related. I found myself flabbergasted at the price of toys in this store, but knew they had the best selection. So I was walking around and came to these large vehicles. You know the ones, where kids can sit in them and there’s a giant battery that powers them. The kid can cruise around just like he’s driving his own little car. I knew that my son would just LOVE one of those little cars but the cost was over two hundred bucks! There was no way I could pay this, and then the Christmas depression hit. This was my first dealings with Christmas depression. I stood in the isle of Toys R Us and cried. You could almost call it bawling. I wanted the best for my son and couldn’t afford it. Would this happen when it came to schools, birthday parties, graduations? I was struck by the depressing thought of being poor with a kid. He deserved better, I thought.

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Since I was only able to get him a couple small gifts with my money at Toys R Us I decided to go looking for Christmas help. So I turned to Toys for Tots. I thought, hey, people give toys to the needy all the time for Christmas, and as of now, I felt very needy. It’s really a horrible feeling if you’ve never been there, desperation coupled with inadequacy and a few other yucky feelings thrown in there. So I searched on the internet where I could get toys for my tot and I found that a lot of the places give out their presents earlier in the month and many places were out. This drove my sadness a little deeper until I found a church that still had not handed out its tots toys yet. I called the church and headed down there in the evening just a few weeks before Christmas. It was a joke and made me feel worse than ever. They didn’t have all that many toys so I had to put my name in a hat and they drew names for people to get toys. I did end up getting one, a motorcycle with a guy on it, sits about two feet high and is remote controlled. I thought; “awesome, this will be great, he’ll love it”, and went up to retrieve my gift. The feeling of relief was short lived; however, upon my approach I realized that the gift had once been opened. The box was crushed in several places and the clear packaging was ripping away from the cardboard.

I took the gift anyway and brought it home to see if I could repair and wrap this present to look nice. It was his one big gift and I tried to make it look brand new even though I could see it had been removed and put back. This was just not how I planned my Christmas, and so far it was not going well for me. Turns out my son was very happy for the present. I didn’t show my disappointment when the toy man on the motorcycle kept falling off, and it didn’t turn corners very well. I hid my tears when the thing finally broke and stopped running just a couple days after he opened it. It was a horrible experience and I try very hard to save all I can for Christmas from now on so that I don’t have to go through that again. But no matter how much you plan, something can always go wrong and it can happen to you too. I hope I never have to get help for Christmas again.

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A Place to get Help for Christmas, Seekyt
General Contributor
Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.