There are a lot of people asking for help during this season and I see so many harsh comments about how much money these people make, how they should budget better, how kids need to be taught the true meanyof Christmas (and therefore can deal with no gifts under the tree), etc.
Although my family is fortunate and we don’t require help right now, we easily could have been amongst those asking for it. My husband and I both work and bring in good money. We budget and own a home ( with a hefty mortgage but not more than we can afford) . Bills are paid and the kids are taken care of. While we do enjoy a few luxuries like going out for dinner once a month, we live fairly simple to make ends meet. We have a small savings account for Xmas and emergencies.
This year we had two unexpected things happen that eradicated our savings. First was my husband had an accident that required major dental work. Although we have benefits that covered most of it, but our portion ate up our Xmas savings. This was not cosmetic dentistry, but necessary procedures that he had done at th u of a (most affordable place). Then our furnace crapped out. That ate our entire emergency savings. Luckily we have credit to purchase a few gifts for the kids and a nice Xmas meal but we’ve worked hard to avoid using credit for these types of things.
My point is that even people with the means to save and budget away Xmas money can suddenly find themselves in need of help. If myself or my husband lost our job or couldn’t work we’d be in financial trouble. Not everyone has family, credit, or savings to fall back on. And yes we should all teach our kids the true meaning of Xmas, but honestly, even the most compassionate and understanding kid is going to be a little disappointed when there is no small gift under the tree on Xmas morning whether they show it or not.
Definitely there are some people looking to take advantage of kind souls, and it’s hard to figure out who legitimately needs help. But for most people it’s hard to ask for help and making them feel like crap on top of it is harsh.
Everyone has the choice to help or not, just like we have the choice to keep our nasty opinions to ourselves. But empathy goes a long way and creates a kinder world. That’s important to teach our kids too especially at Xmas.