Oh my goodness. Our little Simple Savings community is battling some sad and difficult times at the moment.
I thought I'd post these links to make it easier to seek assistance should you need it...
On a more personal note, I'd like to add my thoughts.
For those grieving, know that your loved ones are with you always. I truly believe this. You carry them in your heart, and so long as a whisper of a memory remains here on Earth, so does a whisper of their soul. If you sit very still and very quiet, sometimes you can feel them.
For those facing money worries, I know this feeling. As a single mum of three sons, Christmas was always a struggle for us. I was lucky to have a large extended family who looked out for us. If you do not have that luxury, St Vinnies, The Smith Family, The Salvos, Lifeline and local church groups will not see you go without...not food or gifts. Please please seek assistance, if not for yourself, then for your children. These organisations all have counsellors and social workers who can assist you in negotiating with creditors, and give you a warm, listening ear. Sometimes the saying 'A burden shared, is a burden halved' really does ring true.
For those facing health challenges, do something for YOU. It's hard not to get caught up in doing what the rest of the world needs, rather than what is best for you. I need to do this too as I have a pain in my side that I have had on and off for years and it plays up more some weeks than others. I believe it's a pinched nerve in my back from when DS was still at home and I was transferring him several times a day. It certainly dates back to that time. Some days I can barely walk, but I am so busy, that I just get on with things and try not to think about it. Today though, it's very fiery, so it's a visit to the Doc for me in the next few days, Christmas or not! Please do the same. Whether it's a long stretch for tight limbs and muscles, a DIY foot massage, a short walk in the sunshine, or a restorative cup of tea in a quiet spot for a while. Do it for you.
Colds and flus abound when we are stressed as well. So perhaps take a look at not focusing on this one day as someone else suggested. It really is crazy when you think about it. Stay away from the shops to reduce the urge to spend or 'keep up' and focus on the real reason for Christmas. DD and I visited our local church yesterday. There was a little Nativity set up, and we just sat for a while and prayed for those who need prayers and for peace and health for our own family. We felt very calm and rejuvenated by the experience.
For those with sick children, make sure you keep your own strength up to enable you to do what is necessary for them. Ignoring your own physical, emotional, mental or spritual health will mean you can't be at your best for them. Look after yourself as you face the days ahead.
For those with loved ones facing sad diagnoses, take time to be gentle. The anger (why me?) and denial (there's been a mistake) comes sooner or later, for them and for you. Then the bargaining...well if I/we just do this, it won't be true. Then the Acceptance, which is a sadly bittersweet time where you possibly have the most heartfelt, difficult, yet necessary conversations you will ever have with your loved one. Google Elisabeth Kubler-Ross who wrote much on this topic. It may be a good healing tool for you and your families.
For those facing relationship issues, know that my story is similar too. A downright dirty rat first time round and an absolute Prince this time. As scary as it was to make that decision to remove us from an unhappy relationship, I've never looked back.
There is a wealth of information on-line on no cost Christmas gifts, so perhaps if you want, have a look at those. Even if they're not your 'thing', it might get your own creative juices flowing and help you to reduce your costs this Christmas.
I am blowing kisses to you all, and sending you my biggest hugs and healing thoughts today....xxx