singing e-card from the gspc family

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s was shared with me from a member of the Good Shepherd family... please read the story below while you enjoy the singing.

There were times when we were young that we did not have much. Most of our household food was grown, caught or killed by one of our household or a close family member. We bought very little from the store, not because we wanted to be self-sufficient, but because we could not afford it. We were city kids who, out of necessity, had to learn to work as a farming family would.

One Christmas, shortly after my parents divorced, i
t was particularly hard financially. I was in my early years of elementary school, my older brother was a typical teenage boy would couldn't get enough to eat, and my older sister was a typical teenaged girl who wanted so much to have the latest fashions and hairstyles, not to mention contact lenses. I can clearly remember one day that I came home from school to look for a snack and there was literally nothing but cracker crumbs in our pantry.

That Christmas we had nothing - no presents, no big holiday meal, no fancy decorations, not even a tree. Well, we sort of had a tree. We took one of those old wraps of tinsel they used to sell that was shiny green and taped it to the front window of our home in the shape of a tree, like a cookie cut-out. Each day the condensation on the window would cause it to fall. The first things we would do after school was turn on the furnace and then re-tape the tree to the window before Mom came home from work.

We did have one present that year. We had one wonderful gift, the greatest gift we have ever received from one another. That Christmas we spent our time together without any outside distractions. And that gift has not gone out of style, been misplaced, broken, nor run out to this day.

In the past year (2008) my family has had to shut down their mortgage brokerage which has been successfully operating for almost 10 years. I was the only family member NOT working there. Some have lost more than others. One of my siblings had such a hard time after the brokerage went under that they have lost literally everything; they even had to foreclose on their house. My husband has been laid off from his job as well. While not as extreme, this Christmas will be very different than we have become accustomed to.

While together at Thanksgiving last month, we siblings were talking about how tight things have been this year and that we expect it will continue to be. We are all concerned for our children who compara
tively have been so spoiled. It made us incredibly grateful for the experiences that we had growing up without much. We know how to go without, how to shop the sales, with coupons, how to make a pound of beef last three meals, how to mend and fix old things instead of throwing them out and how to be content with out new things.

Without even having to be asked, we all agreed, as we have many times before, that the Christmas over 25 years ago that we didn't even have a real tree was by far the best Christmas we have ever had as a family.

My prayer is that each of you, where ever your financial situation finds you this year or in the years to come, will remember that time spent just being together truly is the best gift we can give one another each holiday season.