31 December 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas Morning, 2010
Jay (2), Samantha (11), Charlotte (7),
Rachel (12), and Josephine (6)
Christmas is supposed to be a time of giving and surprises, a time of sharing with friends and traditions. It's a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior and His gift to the world.

This year has been one of the most stressful years. Ever. I know I said that on the last post, but, it's true. James hurt his back in January and hasn't been to work since then. His treatments and recovery have been hard on him, and hard on us all. We all believed that something would work and we would all go back to our pre-injury lives, but, he is still in a lot of pain and no surgery or rehabilitation worked for him.

Pain and suffering is one thing, but being broke with pain and suffering is quite another. I am not going into the details, but, it has been hard.

Christmas came and we didn't have the money to cover the utilities, let alone Christmas for the kids. All I want to say is thank you to all the Santas out there - my parents, James' Dad and our ward family at church - Thank you for bringing Christmas to our kids. Thank you for the gifts left at our door, the sweet treats and the gift cards slipped into our Christmas cards. Thank you all.

Another Christmas surprise came from a friend of Rachel's. We will call her M. M is a team leader at her company; she has nine people on her team. At a meeting, she emphasized that Christmas was a time of giving and that the Christmas bonuses from their company this year were generous. She told her team that they should use it for their families and their communities. Then she told a story about her daughter's friend, Rachel, although M didn't use her name. M said this family was busy - five kids - all sporty, all active and always on the go. This family was a good friend to her daughter, who spent plenty of time there and was friends with all the kids. She said the Dad had surgery and that times were hard. M admonished her team to think of families they knew, and make it a great Christmas.

M came to me about three days before Christmas, and said she had something for me. She said she wanted to come over. I said Sure, we'll be home. M pulled into our driveway and it took three people two trips each to bring in all the gifts she brought us. It was overwhelming. Each of the kids had three or four little gifts - crayons, socks, new toothbrushes, hair pretties,books and little toys. There was even a remote control car for James and dishes and silverware for me.

M told me that her team got together are decided that the family in her story should have a great Christmas. They donated gifts, or gave cash for gift cards, which M shopped for and wrapped for under our tree. The kindness of strangers! Thank you.

I tell this story not to make anyone feel bad for us - we are blessed in so many ways, and we WILL make it through this injury and rough spot with the budget - but I tell it because I want to remember it. I want it included in the history of our family - which I think this blog is. I want to tell my kids and my grandkids and my great-grandkids. I want them all to know how blessed we are.

Merry Christmas, and God Bless us, every one!

4 screams from the fans...:

Casey said...

Oh! TIna! I have tears in my eyes right now. You are very blessed. You guys are such a great family that we miss dearly. I am so glad that you had a great experience with Angels here on earth. It is a wonderful thing to give AND to recieve. I often (ALL THE TIME) think about when Tim was out of work for those 8 months in AZ and how blessed we were. I am so grateful to those that listened to the spirit and gave to us. They were answers to our prayers. It was hard to recieve sometimes. But I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. The things we learned. I can truly relate to your experience. I wish we could have been there to help also. You always helped me in so many ways - by watching my girls, helping me with invitations, the list could go on.
I'm glad you had a great Christmas. Have a Happy New Year also. Love you guys.

Casey said...

BTW, I noticed that Charlotte's and Josephine's hair is short. When did you cut it? They are all so cute. I think it makes Josephine's eyes look even bigger - I didn't know that was possible. :)

angelalois said...

What a beautiful story, thanks for posting. I did some service this year, and seriously it made Christmas all the more awesome for me. I don't even know how appreciated everything was, but it felt good to think about someone else. I am glad some people thought about you. You guys rock, good luck! And get better James! Don't hurt anyone with that remote control car.

The Thomas Family's Guatemala Adventure said...

Tina, I am so glad you included this in your history. It is inspiring to us and will be to your family for the rest of their lives. Christmas is the season of giving. I feel even more inspired to reach out to others in need at Christmas time. We all have our good years and our bad. We just need to make sure on our good years we GIVE like our Savior Jesus Christ would want us to. We love you and will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers. You are amazing!