All the emphasis on shopping and consumerism that’s grown up around Christmas tends to remind those of us who grew up poor that we didn't feel deprived because, as kids (not being “lucky” enough to have social media to tell us), we didn't realize we were poor.
Ginny from Alabama had the perfect story to illustrate that. She wrote:
"I am 83-years-old now, but I remember this like it was yesterday. It was during the Depression...My daddy had gotten a job with the CCC (the Civilian Conservation Corps.) We lived in two rooms we rented in a big old house and shared the bathroom with the family we rented from. One room served as kitchen and my parents' bedroom, and the other was the living room, and guess where I slept.
Our Christmas tree was a holly tree my daddy had cut in the woods where he was working...I was probably four or five. I was sitting in my mama's lap while she rocked me in front of the fireplace. She was crying. I remember asking her why she was crying, and she said 'because we couldn't get you much for Christmas.'
I can remember being confused by what she said because I had gotten the clay modeling set I wanted. My aunt had sent a doll, but...the doll to me was extra. Since I got the clay modeling set, that seemed plenty...
Several years later, when things got easier, the place under the Christmas tree was filled. But the Christmas I remember the most was that one Christmas when I got the clay modeling set."
Thank you, Ginny, for that important reminder that the holidays we remember best aren't necessarily the ones when we got the most lavish gifts but the ones where we felt the most love.