Priscilla and her husband Sean, delivering Christmas presents to families going through financial strain.
We were still living in Texas, it was 2010, the financial market had crashed two years prior along with our company. We slowly lost everything, our home, every “toy”, including, selling all our vehicles in hopes to make ends meet. I was working 3 part-time jobs, while Sean was working at a dumpy minimum pay job. The idea of Christmas, while being homeless, with nothing to our names, unable to buy presents- Was just heartbreaking. Sean and I, were so depressed, angry and tired, so tired. The holidays were the last thing on our minds, just one more thing to add to our stress. But we didn't have the luxury of choice, we had to find a way to have Christmas, we had three kids (at that time). Then to make matters worse, we spent our last “penny” on a plane ticket for my step daughter to spend Christmas with us. (She is from Sean’s first marriage, and therefore, we get alternating Christmas’ with her.) And for reasons unbeknownst to us, her mom decided to withhold her from us that year, knowing we didn't have the money to fight it in court. I've never seen my husband more depressed, there was nothing left to his ego, not an ounce of pride, only defeat.
It all sounds like a Hallmark Christmas movie, however in this “movie” there was no “miracle” or “angel” that swept in and saved the day. We had to find a way, so instead of paying a $680.00 bill that was due, we decided to “skip” it that month, just so we could buy presents. ( I don't recommend doing that.) Thankfully, it all worked out for us and we were able to make up that payment later.
Because of that Christmas many years ago, “Merry Christmas” means so much more to me than a greeting or a farewell. When the words “Merry Christmas” leave my lips, I am truly hoping and praying for you to have a very merry Christmas. Having gone through that painful Christmas without a home, without any vehicles, unable to afford a single present, or buy any groceries….I have a better deeper, more meaningful understanding for others going through a difficult time at Christmas. I know how difficult the holidays can be. I know the stress of a loss, ( even if it was materialistic loss) I know the feeling of guilt when you can't provide for your family during the holidays. I know how it feels to work three jobs to make ends meet. But I also know that just like my situation, your situation is temporary. You too, will overcome this trial, if you just keep believing. Afterall, the holidays are all about “believing.” Not in Santa, Elves, reindeer, presents or even Christmas miracles...But in the One who came and became flesh, who died to give you the greatest gift. And because of that gift, you have the keys to a life more abundantly.
Now I live with this permanent reminder, a compass, that guides me and fills me with compassion. And when I say “Merry Christmas,” I am wishing you the merriest of Christmas’. And I mean it, with all my heart.
I’m your Mrs. International reminding you-
TO CHOOSE LOVE,