We were running out of more than money. We were running out of time. It was just a few days before Christmas. If there would be a Christmas at all.. it would be now or never. So….we spent the day Christmas shopping.  To be honest- we spent our rent. Yup. On Christmas gifts. We also hit the lottery of “instant credit approval” at a department store.  Which, we immediately ran up to it’s limit on a special gift for ourselves….Merry Christmas to us! At least for the moment…

We were young. (very young) Every month when we made out our bills we robbed Peter to pay Paul… every month, some bill had to wait. To say we were struggling financially is an epic understatement. It’s like calling the sinking of the Titanic a fender-bender. I think spending our rent made us feel momentarily rich. Well…if not rich… we at least felt: not poor. The fear and guilt were barely covered by the excitement of giving. We were emotionally short-sheeting ourselves. It didn’t cover.

We figured we’d pay our rent in January. We thought for sure we could  catch up, eventually …We’d figure out how to pay for groceries, later. Maybe we could float a check for long enough to cover. There were only three of us… it wouldn’t take much. And it was Christmas, after-all. Each bag of gifts we stuffed into the trunk of our tiny old Toyota- held a mix of guilt, fear and excitement.

The truth is-we just didn’t know how to say “No.” We should have said: “No, we can’t buy gifts for everyone we’re related to.” No, we can’t donate to this cause and that….” Instead.. we played Santa. A game we would lose.

Only the real Santa has an unlimited budget. Only the real Santa can make Christmas dreams come true…but- we were having an identity crisis. Maybe it was that first grey hair, I’d noticed…. or the extra baby-weight I was carrying… whatever the reason- we sure THOUGHT we were Santa.

On the way home, the truth settled in like a blizzard of smothering snow….We were not Santa. We’d eventually have to pay for everything.

We arrived home, still full of guilt and fear and excitement. We carried our little one and all the Christmas gifts into our duplex. The gifts weren’t extravagant… we’re not talking Tiffany’s here.. just more than we could actually afford. The thought of returning them flew in and out of our heads like a hummingbird… one that migrated to a warmer place -instantly.

After the baby went to bed.. we wrapped everything, and prayed it would all work out.. eventually.

Instead of seeing that pile of gifts and feeling excitement and joy.. we felt mostly: nauseous.  Which is probably good, because the cupboards were pretty bare, and there wasn’t much to eat. It would be days before our next check. I hoped we’d get a bunch of holiday leftovers to help tide us over….which is when I realized I wasn’t sure I had enough money left to buy the ingredients for the “dish to pass” that we had to bring for the holiday meal.

I checked under the couch cushions for coin- Mostly, I found cheerios.

I turned down the heat. (A way too late effort to save a few bucks.) and turned off most of the lights so the extra from the tree wouldn’t cause our power to be shut off in January…It had happened before- and January is NOT a good time to have your power “limited.” Not in Michigan, anyway.

Sitting on the couch, we’d have prayed- if we didn’t feel so guity for making the mess we were in. We’d made our bed.. we’d lie in it.

Which is when there was a sudden and loud banging on our front door. (more…)




I keep clicking and checking to see if anyone has it in stock.  They don’t.

But,  the internet is not my only world—-

In the real world- my alarm (internal) has been set early- -so I can go out  stalking stores….

Friday Morning I was out at 5:00 a.m. (Got a decent start on my Christmas shopping)

Saturday Morning I was up at 5:30.  Nada.

Sunday morning- 6:00. Nothin.

Shopping started- but, as far as the Wii of the boys dreams?????    No luck.  The small one has been wanting a Nintendo Wii- since they came out last year.  It’s at the top of his Santa list. As hyper and jumping like a jumping bean he is— it really would be a good system for him.   He wants- the High school musical game (he’s my rock star) and Mario something or other- and of course- Sponge Bob Squarepantis……..

The problem is- they are out of stock everywhere!  Oh sure- theoretically they come in- and out of stock…. but thus far- not while I’ve been online- or in store.

I’ve posted a request on Ravelry- to trade my Ashford Joy Dt with bag and extras for a wii bundle….. Have had a few sweet people say they are interested and looking… but so far- no Wii.  Wahhhhh :(

 It won’t be the end of the world if we can’t get a Wii.  Christmas has little to do with Wiis or other expensive toys…. And I refuse to overspend on a unit through ebay- (though it is tempting…) or other secondary market vendors…(the amazon ones have crazy prices) but there is that very normal mom-desire to see Christmas wishes come true…… so for now- I’ll keep trying;)

A few Wii search tips-

(Lots of sweet people have shared their experiences)

1) Watch the ads for Sunday sales- then head out before everyone but God is up.  Wait in line- you might get lucky.

2) Keep.  Clicking “refresh”  (Amazon is going to cancel my prime- membership)

3) Use a web-based wii- tracker-   they’ll do the clickin for you and you can subscribe to the rss for instant updates.

4) Make friends with your local game store employees…..they can give you an idea of when shipments sometimes may come in…..(maybe I should bake a pie?  No- better yet- brownies?)

5) Just keep shopping- eventually you’ll accidently find one…. or not;)

 It’s still early in the Christmas season…..not time to panic.  Yet.

I’ve cast on a Flowerbasket shawl in Ruby and garnet Zephyr for pretty shiny holiday cheer knitting…..pics tomorrow.

Hmmmm… just a random side not-

Seriously- if you live here- you have a better chance of having A coyote in your backyard than you do of finding a Wii….

No lie- this morning, we had a visitor- a coyote in the neighborhood!  (I’m sure.  I checked.  It wasn’t a dog.  It was one of these .  I ran upstairs to tell my mad hunters— (to come kill it and save all the children, and small pets) but they rolled over without much regard.

It ran back and forth along the edge of the swamp- I mean pond– plenty of time to make sure what I saw- but-no time for a pic.

I called the police. They said and I quote “They are part of nature”  I said- “Yes- but not part of my neighborhood”.

I’m telling the president of the association… she’s pretty tough;)

Actually- the whole coyote thing creeped me out.  We live in a small sub.  No street lights.   The kids leave early in the morning for the bus stop.  (Not just my kids- all the neighborhood kids) I don’t like the idea of a coyote running around.

Will check into a private animal control service.   Maybe they could trap it or something……since my in-house animal controllers- seem to only be obsessed with killing deer.

Dear Jesus- I pray for safety of the kids at the bus stop- keep that coyote away— help him find some nice rural place to play—amen  ps- Lord- a wii would be nice— but you know— it’s not like food or anything;)