Tuesday, 18 December 2012

UNEMPLOYED AT CHRISTMAS.

What a shame it is that expectations for a happy holiday season are so high. For those who lost their jobs, working up the "Christmas spirit" is an agonizing chore. Commercials just create more expectations in the minds of children. They have a hard time understanding why the gifts this year are so puny compared to last Christmas.

Though I'm single, I felt the pressure to buy the perfect Christmas gifts in 1980. I had just lost my security guard job and my employment insurance was tied up in red tape. Even so, I felt I ought to buy presents for the children at the house church I attended.

The task was harder than I expected. Even at the Army and Navy store, I couldn't find many toys that were fun yet cheap enough.

I boarded a couple of busses with my shopping bag filled with gifts late in the afternoon of Christmas Day and arrived at the house church for supper. While we waited for it to cook, I gave out my gifts. Sister Roberta's grandchildren thanked me politely but weren't too impressed with what I gave them.

I felt let down as we ate supper. I had sacrificed what little money I had to buy those presents. The wrapping paper alone seemed expensive, though it was the cheapest I could afford. The lack of bows and ribbon also detracted from the appearance of my gifts. Though inviting me to supper was kind, I still felt awkward when I presented my gifts.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check them out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.