Merry Christmas lilTanker!
Here's some Christmas Cheer for you. It's my own version of the Christmas Tale :
This year I'm getting the divorce and moving out = Legal expenses and move-in expenses. $$
Then the court assigned our duplex rental property to me = money pit. $$$
The realtor helping to sell the duplex has a renovation company - basically him hiring labor - and fronted the cash for the paint job earlier this year. I paid for my half - the wife didn't pay her half, but then finally the court assigned it all to me. Long story short, his family of 4 kids needed the rest of the cash before Christmas.
I have sworn off using my credit so I just wasn't going to spend much of anything on Christmas. The adults in my family agreed to not exchange this year. Kids only. I have two boys who are use to being spoiled - 5 and 11 yrs. Their mother got them some gifts but I had only gotten my 11 yr old a jr tennis racket. I looked at my budget, the stack of bills and it was grim. I cut the check to the realtor and there was nothing left (except bills).
Just yesterday my 11yr old asked me seriously, 'Does Santa ever really leave just a lump of coal in someone's stocking?' You can tell what kind of year he's been having.
I have a close friend at work. (Of course, he's straight and married to a beautiful doctor.) He knows I'm in a bind this holiday. He's totally pissed at how my ex has been treating me through the divorce. He is divorced with kids from a first marriage, so totally sympathetic. The thought of me getting nothing for my kids while she was (charging up the credit cards as usual) filling up the tree just pissed him off.
On the sly he gets a group of people at work together and they decide to sponsor my family for Christmas. I just found this out on Thursday of last week and Friday I got the goods.
They got a spiderman bike, spiderman helmet, skates, wooden train set, assemble and paint wooden dump truck, flat screen lite bright, and $200 in cash. I bought StarWars lego V19 ship, Naruto for Nintendo DS, SPORE, a lead figure paladin, plush blankets, Matchbox Tornado Alley, set of 12 matchbox cars, Imaginex Gorilla Mountain, and 2 snow sleds.
It was awkward getting this, but it's touching to know my friends would do this. So instead of an empty tree on Christmas eve at Dad's place, my kids got to see it full of presents. That's pretty cool.
Merry Christmas all!!