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A ‘tiny Christmas’ for cash-strapped families sparks creativity, togetherness

August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: A ‘tiny Christmas’ for cash-strapped families sparks creativity, togetherness  (Read 185 times)
Psalm 51:17
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« on: December 13, 2012, 09:30:04 pm »

Just wait until there's a food/water shortage in this country...IOW, you ain't seen nothin yet!

1Ti 6:7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


In Johnson City, Tenn., a town tucked into the state's far northeast corner, Christmas lights and decorations brighten the streets and shops, and shoppers mill about, brimming with gifts for family and friends.

Timothy St. John and his son, 3-year-old Anthony, can just watch.
"We won't be rolling a shopping cart full of gifts through the checkout line this year," St. John says, even though his son clamors for many of the toys he spots on shelves.
"He keeps asking for a $30 Iron Man toy that talks and lights up," St. John shared in a story he wrote for Yahoo News. "Anthony loves the Avengers, especially Iron Man, who he knows shares his same first name. But I have to tell him he cannot have it.
" 'You have toys at home,' I say."
Those toys—some action figures and toy cars—are recycled from St. John's own youth, items he played with when he was Anthony's age. "He loves to play with Spider-Man, and has me play as the superhero's nemesis, Venom, acting out his favorite cartoons," St. John says. "My wife thought I was silly to keep the old toys, but they've come in handy in these financially tight times."
St. John quit his job as an inventory associate at Walmart a few years ago to stay home with Anthony so his wife could work. Pocketbooks soon thinned, and collection agencies began calling, looking for payments on loans and credit cards. A robust Christmas isn't viable.
"Anthony doesn't understand that the money just isn't there," St. John says.
The solution? Father and son make toys—Anthony's favorite superheroes—together from scratch.
"We make them from paper, from sticks, from whatever we have, and we fashion his favorite characters," he says. "They don't speak or light up, but for a little boy, they still feel like presents."
It's Christmastime in a still-down economy. 7.7 percent of the country remains unemployed, and 49.7 million Americans are stuck in poverty; meanwhile, the National Retail Federation estimated in October that consumers planned $749.51 in individual spending this holiday season, up a scant 1.2 percent from 2011. The group's president called it a "pattern of cautious optimism."
But how do those numbers relate to personal, tangible stories? The St. Johns are one of several cash-drained families who helped Yahoo News compare families against figures this week. We asked them to share their accounts and tell us: How do they break the news to their children that presents won't spill out from under the tree this year? How do their children respond to this unpleasant news? How do families keep the holiday's spirit alive, sans a $200 Xbox and a $50 Furby? Here are few of their perspectives.

"We did not put up the Christmas tree again this year," Frederick King says. "My children are used to it now."
That exemplifies the last few Christmases for King, whose 11- and 9-year-old boys, Benjamin and Ronald, have learned not to get too excited about Santa visiting their Ohio home.
Since 2009, when King lost his job at a major retailer, he and his wife, Diana, have scraped together funds for their kids' presents.
"Usually we can swing at least one or two gifts for each," he says, but he estimates their Christmas budget this year is nonexistent.
Ben wants a violin, which he's learning to play in an after-school program. There's one for $39 that King spotted online, but there's no money for it. Ronald has his eyes on an iPod or Android tablet. At $49.99, that's too much, too.
It's the family's limited budget that makes it tough: A monthly welfare check has run out. King's wages from a part-time cashier job, Ben's Supplemental Security Income (he has Asperger's syndrome), and rent from King's older son, 22-year-old Joseph, don't cover day-to-day bills, much less Christmas gifts.
"I have told both children that Santa brings the presents, but the mommies and daddies must give him the money for the presents first," King says. "This way they are aware that they must work for what they have and not to expect a free handout."
When Ben told his dad he hoped his family had enough money to pay back Santa for the violin, he said he would understand if they didn't.
"They know that times have been hard. They know that we have not been able to pay Santa very much this year," King says.

For Christmas, 9-year-old Angel asked Mom for a $20 set of solid-state tires for her wheelchair.
"But that's $20 we just don't have this year," says her mom, Candes King Meisenheimer, of Prescott, Ariz. "I was forced to tell her that it might not happen."
Neither can she afford to give 12-year-old Geneva a video game from last year that's marked down to $19.95.
"Their initial reaction was a total lack of amusement," Meisenheimer says.
Her story is not dissimilar to other people's: Her husband lost a job in Phoenix a few years ago. Times turned turbulent, and they moved to an old family farm 100 miles away. Her husband worked a part-time job that paid little more than minimum wage.
"This year it looks like it's going to be a choice between presents and food," she says.
That's unless the presents are handcrafted, which is the route the family is taking this season. Reclaimed materials from the house or easily-had freebies are fodder for gifts the kids are constructing. A couple of wooden pallets and unused paint transformed into a CD shelf. Old, formal drapes found new life as decorative pillow shams, valences and trim on a patchwork quilt. Assisting are Mom, Dad, an adult sibling with a driver's license and a daily glance at Craigslist.
"The majority of what the kids get this year will be handmade," Meisenheimer says, "with a few candy canes thrown in for good measure."
Christmas for those who can afford nothing but love
Putting the word "gift" in quote marks breaks a mother's heart.
This Christmas, the "gift" for Diane Lee's daughter is a coat, something more a need than a want.
For her 10-year-old son, the "gift" this year is paying for water-repair bills after a leak caused major damage to his bedroom floor.
"I have always loved Christmas," the West Dallas mom says. "However, this year, I struggled with finding joy in knowing that I cannot give my children the things that they want because I am struggling to provide them with the things that they need."
Her daughter started junior high this year and wants an art set for her art classes. Her son—whom she calls "vibrant and all boy!"—loves Lego's Hero Factories and wants the Witch Doctor and Black Phantom for Christmas.
"But they cost about $50 a piece," Lee says, "and while $100 used to be a quick grocery trip, now it pays my water bill."
She works full-time as a teacher, but it's her family's only income. Add in a move and other debt, and it entails a sparse Christmas. But she says she was awestruck by her kids' reaction: Instead of complaining, they said they understand Christmas means more than Legos and art supplies.
"I don't have money to spend on fancy gifts, but as long as my children are cared for and we have a warm home, we will still celebrate Christmas," Lee says.

"Christmas will not be spectacular this year," says Emma Salkill.
Nathan, her 35-year-old son, is mentally disabled, functions like a 5-year-old and still believes in Santa Claus. He's asked Santa for a new stereo and an Inspector Gadget costume.
"That's a couple of hundred bucks, at least," she says.
Years ago, her daughter, Brandy, now 22, learned from school kids that Santa wasn't real. Salkill told her that it's family that carries on the Saint Nick tradition, and every family has its own Santa: "It could be Mom, Dad, or Aunt Linda, but that each family had their own."
That's her lesson: Make your own Santa, make your own Christmas. Her tips:
"Call churches; many of them will help with a gift or two. Your local Salvation Army or Goodwill organization will also donate toys, food and clothing. Call friends and trade toys that kids no longer use. Make items yourself; look at a craft store for ideas and supplies. Go to dollar-theme stores, if you have a few bucks, and select some gifts there. Consider thrift-store purchases. Have a lot of family togetherness; play board games and watch movies together. Pop some popcorn and make it the best Christmas that you can."
"You might want to cry," Salkill says. "But keep a good attitude; it will make all the difference."
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Psalm 51:17
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 09:31:10 pm »

And reading b/w the lines from the article, it looks like young kids are getting the message that Santa Clause is BROKE too. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 01:04:34 pm »

Obviously, I didn't live through the Great Depression almost 100 years ago, but FWIW I was around during the Carter engineered gas crisis years, and during the 2 pretty bad recessions under Reagan - this is pretty much the first time in my lifetime where I've read news articles over families being cash-strapped like this during the xmas season.

No, I'm not endorsing this pagan holiday, but just saying in many previous years in my lifetime, through thick and very thin, families had no problems buying any kinds of gifts to each other. When I read the article above, this passage, which we all have read on many times, came to mind...

Mat 24:7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

It's as if we're seeing the beginning of sorrows now.
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