Recently I was talking with someone and he was telling me he was having difficulty with funds to get his kids presents. It reminded me of a time when I had the same issue and this is what I told him. About 12 years ago I had several bills come up at the same time as the regular bills. After paying all of the bills I had no money for Christmas. I had a full tank of gas, there was food in the house but Christmas was going to be a bust for the family. I know Christmas is not about presents but try explaining that to your children. I don’t care who you are, you want to provide the same experience for your kids that other kids have. Plus you remember what it’s like on Christmas to come tearing into the room with the presents and start ripping them open. WHAT DID I GET!!!!!
I don’t know what I am going to do and I am feeling super stressed about the lack of funds. I am praying to God asking for divine intervention. One day I am sitting at my desk at work talking with God. “I need some help. I want to do for the kids. Please send me some money for the kids.” The next thing I hear is a radio DJ saying, “Be the 103rd caller at 741-WVEE and win $500.” I figure I have as much chance as anyone else so I pick up the phone and dial the number expecting the line to be busy. The line rings, once, twice then. “WVEE You are the 103rd caller.” I WON!!!!!!
They take my information and verify that I have not won any other prizes with them in the last 60 days. Once they determine I have legit won they tell me to come to the station after Christmas to get the check. “But…..I need the money now. I don’t have any money for Christmas. Is there anything you can do?” The person I am speaking with puts me on hold and a few minutes later tells me to come today otherwise it will have to be after Christmas.
I leave work early and go downtown to the station. When I get there I discover that I have to pay to park whether it is the parking at the station or putting money in the meter. Remember I don’t have ANY money, not even change in my ashtray. I panic. I have to get in there in 15 minutes or I won’t have the money. I decide to take a chance and double park in the fire lane. I run upstairs PRAYING they don’t boot or tow my car. It takes the station about 20 minutes to get the paperwork done and they hand me the check. I RUN RUN RUN downstairs and back to my car. Thank you Jesus it is still there, no boot, no ticket. Thank you God, the kids will have presents.
I tell the guy to do what I did and pray. God will always answer your prayers. He thanks me for talking to him and as I am sitting there thinking about the story I realize that God had already answered his prayer. I am that answer. I could hear in my spirit, “Pay it forward. Bless someone as I have blessed you.” So I did. I won’t tell you what I did. I simply want this story to remind us that sometimes when we ask God to help someone we most likely are the answer.
This year we decided to get rid of our old Christmas tree in anticipation of replacing it with a new one. Little did we know that Christmas trees had gotten SO expensive with the average price being $150-$175 for a realistic but fake tree. Andrea wanted to get a live tree but I am very afraid of the living tree drying out and catching fire so I nixed that idea.
One day we stop in at Big Lots and they have nice trees for half the price of what we (meaning me) were willing to pay. I mean c’mon, it’s a tree for 10-20 holidays and then it’s in the closet for 340 days. Why are “we” paying so much for something we are only going to use a couple of weeks? Where is my return on investment? Being the ever frugal person that I am I proclaim, “I bet I can do better on Amazon.” Andrea and Syd look at me and collective say OK.
We get home and the first thing I do is pull up the Amazon site and there it is. It is a beautiful tree for $40. I order the tree and the site says it will be here in two days. Two days go by and no tree. I check the site and somehow the order is “cancelled”. I can’t see any reason why it was cancelled so I have to order it again. I track the package and it arrives on the 19th. Yeah, six days before Christmas AND the box is really small, like 2-3 feet tall. Uh oh what have I done?!?!?
Syd opens the box, puts the tree together and fluffs out the tree limbs. It’s rather short, 6 footer. I look at the tree and it looks really pathetic. Our last tree was an 8 ½ footer. Syd is trying to console me, “its ok Dad. You tried.” We pull out the ornament box EXCEPT all of the lights are missing and most of the ornaments are missing the hooks or are simply outdated. Off to the Wal-mart. I get back and this is what I find. Yup, Syd didn’t wait. She decorated the tree with whatever she could find. I couldn’t help but laugh.
I give her the new accessories and this is the final result. Yeah it’s a Charlie Brown tree but it’ll do….until next year when we get the 8 footer. LOL