Active Vista with Children: How do you have a Merry Christmas with No Santa?

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Hello Alumni!

I am currently a Vista in my 5th month of service. Adjusting to living below poverty level has been a challenge, but there is joy in the sacrifice.

How do I explain to my child that Santa wont be stopping at our house this year? I got so involved in serving others, and making ends meet day to day, that I missed any local programs to help my own low income family. It is not possible to visit family out of town financially, and also not possible to provide even the simplest gifts for her.

Has anyone else been in this situation? What did you do?

Chi

I'm dealing with this right now myself. Same exact thing...I missed the deadlines for organizations that would provide holiday assistance. I have two little ones, and the oldest wants electronics this year! I'm not sure what to do, but I plan to use some of the contacts I've generated to see if anyone or any program has some additional funds. When it comes down to it, we'll never know unless we ask. At the end of the day, our babies will love us no matter what. One day, they will completely understand that Mommy dedicated a year to help people that were in worse situations. For now, watch for cyber Monday sales and mark downs. I wish the best for you and yours!

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Ladies, your stories resonate with me deeply because of my childhood. I was a young child around 8, I think. It had been a difficult year for my parents economically although I don't remember the circumstances exactly.

I do remember that my shoes were tight and hurt my feet. I asked my mom if I could write a letter to Santa asking for a pair of new shoes. She told me that I should think about the poor children who had no shoes at all. I got really mad and said, "I'm tired of always having to think of poor children. We're poor, why doesn't anyone ever think about me" I guess I was just meant to be a lawyer.

my mom used to tell us if Santa clause didn't make it, he'd send a message to the three kings and they would stop by with presents on January 6th. You might be able to clean up at the after Christmas sales, and say that one of the reindeers hurt his paw and Santa didn't make it on time but an elf came by a few days later to make a special delivery.

Thinking of you

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Ladies, your stories resonate with me deeply because of my childhood. I was a young child around 8, I think. It had been a difficult year for my parents economically although I don't remember the circumstances exactly.

I do remember that my shoes were tight and hurt my feet. I asked my mom if I could write a letter to Santa asking for a pair of new shoes. She told me that I should think about the poor children who had no shoes at all. I got really mad and said, "I'm tired of always having to think of poor children. We're poor, why doesn't anyone ever think about me" I guess I was just meant to be a lawyer.

my mom used to tell us if Santa clause didn't make it, he'd send a message to the three kings and they would stop by with presents on January 6th. You might be able to clean up at the after Christmas sales, and say that one of the reindeers hurt his paw and Santa didn't make it on time but an elf came by a few days later to make a special delivery.

Thinking of you

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Hi Chi!

I served as a VISTA with 2 kids in diapers and Christmas was challenging. Kudos to you for making the sacrifice. That is a gift to give to your children that many others will never recieve or understand. It was hard for me to retain that perspective when things got financially difficult.

I like the idea Patricia gave of trying to sweep up at after Christmas sales..maybe put a Santa spin on it somehow. Maybe still reach out to those places that offer assistance, even where deadlines have passed, and ask anyway. I definitely learned not to take no for an answer during my service years.

I was thankful to qualify for WIC and foodstamps and saved my foodstamps to purchase food gifts for my family - either in homemade goods or food gift baskets. I made breakfast baskets that would have grits and biscuit mix and some country ham or movie night basket with popcorn, candy, juice, etc. or cookie decorating parties. The idea was to bring people together to share good food and fellowship. Certainly isnt Santa and doesnt work as well with kids, but it's a suggestion.

I will be thinking of you and your family and wish you the best this Christmas. Thank you for serving!

Alice

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