Rock bottom, we have all seen it in different lights. The holidays have a way of making you reflect on those moments that once made you feel so small. Let me shed real light on that.
The holidays are supposed to give you a sense of warmth and connection with your spiritual self, family and friends. The thing with the holidays is that we have prioritized the materialistic portion of it all. We have let the stress of gifts, decorations and the year coming to an end dictate how we perceive the holiday season.
Once upon a holiday I saw a listing online that said “The Birth Center” was hiring. I took a chance on myself. Although I have never been the kind to bargain with faith, I quit my full time job and accepted a part-time position. (The person I am today is grateful and thankful I took this chance.)
Fear is a tough word to express when you have a small human who thrives from your energy. I decided every day that I was going to wake up for him; I was going to make it for him; and I was going to smile through the day for him. I made a decision that same day to sink or swim.
You didn’t expect that, did you?
We never hear of the failures, but the truth is the only way you can fail is if you stop trying.
As Christmas was approaching, everything started to hit the fan, credit cards maxed out, bills piling up. It came down to food in the fridge or a roof over our head. That Christmas season I wanted to just set everything on fire. I wanted to call it quits because here I am a mother that could not afford Christmas for her son let alone a home cooked meal. I had one dollar in my bank account, as my son circled items in the Toys R Us catalog. I smiled and that was because of the smile on his face, the innocence behind his soul made mine full. That night though I still went to bed feeling so empty I can still feel those emotions today.
I wish I could tell you that I conquered Christmas that year, but that would be a lie. I actually spent that Christmas alone. Everyone spent Christmas with their significant other that year and my son went with his paternal grandparents on Christmas eve. Yes, that Holiday I was alone. The peak of my sad holiday was when I found out I was expecting baby number two.
I want you all to soak this story in and know that every year I, too, hold moments that make me feel small. I share this today with you because I did not give up as much as I wanted to on the hardest days.
I learned to hold my breath under water. I learned to live through the moments and soak up the time vs the burden.
Today as I decorate, I feel blessed not for the materialistic portion of it all but for the simple fact that I made it out of a dark time. It broke me to make me who I am today.
If i can shed some light on your Holiday season today, I would have to say:
if you are in a time of need, please speak up. If you do not, who will?
The people who love you cannot help if they do not know where you stand.
If you feel alone, if life keeps beating you down, please keep trying because it pays off.
I share this hard part of my life with you this holiday season to shed some light through your hard times to give you a bit of hope for the New Year. Use all the burdens, the failures and the hardships to your advantage and keep trying. Keep pushing, keep being your own Magic. Forget the decorations and the presents. Focus on the connection and moments with your family, and the rest will fall into place. Priorities first, you are still an amazing parent regardless of the rock bottom you have seen.
Below are some resources available to you if you need help through the holiday season. If you find yourself in a great place this season, please look into volunteering for the holidays.
Free holiday and Christmas assistance Delaware
Canaan Baptist Church
3011 New Castle Ave, New Castle, DE 19720. Phone: (302) 654-8818
They have a free Christmas toy giveaway event. It is first-come served and depends on donations. Parents with children, including single moms, can get free toys, books, video games, sporting goods, clothes and more.
Delaware State Service Center
500 Rogers Road, New Castle, DE 19720.
Main number is 302-622-4500
There is help for low income families, the elderly, disabled and others. Get free Christmas gifts, toys, food baskets and other goods. They help seniors, the disabled, and unemployed get year round benefits as well as help at the main holidays,
Elaina’s Blessings Foundation
They work with other non-profits to pass out Christmas gifts – new or barely used. In general, one day per year around the holiday the toys, presents and more are passed out for free.
Kent/Sussex County Adopt-a-family
13 S. W. Front Street, Suite 103, Milford, DE 19963.
Phone Number is 302-424-7260
There may be everything from furniture to baby supplies during the holidays. Gifts are for children under the age of 17, and they need to be in school. There are volunteers that wrap and deliver toys and presents, school supplies, personal hygiene, and even holiday furniture/decorations. This is a one time program.
Hudson State Service Center – United Methodist
69 E Main St, Newark, DE 19711,
A food pantry, clothing closet and holiday gift giving program are offered.
Newark Area Welfare Committee
P.O. Box 951, Newark, Delaware 19715.
The program known as Needy Family Assistance has Christmas Food boxes, shoes, clothing, and more. It is run in partnership with Newark United Methodist Church. Apply here. http://www.newarkareawelfare.org/.
Kingswood Community Center
2300 Bowers Street, Wilmington, New Castle County zip code of 19802.
Call (302) 764-9022 : They focus on residents in NE Wilmington. Free toys, food baskets, turkey dinners, Christmas gifts and more. The unemployed, single moms or dads, elderly and others can get holiday assistance.
Thurman Adams State Service Center
546 South Bedford Street, Georgetown, DE 19947.
Dial 302-515-3000 for an application : Programs include Toys for Tots, free holiday food baskets, food, and furnace repairs during the Christmas time-frame. They also deliver frozen holiday meals, such as turkeys, hams, desserts, breads and more. There are also congregate meals.