holiday season

‘We were miserable. We argued every night. The tension was terrible. And then it was Christmas break. I honestly was nervous.’: Wife realizes being together ‘all day’ was ‘exactly’ what she and husband needed

“My husband and I were literally at each other’s throats. I was struggling with feeling like a single mom because he was so busy with his job. He tried in his own way. I should have voiced things more so he knew how to help me, and I didn’t. I just expected him to know. That wasn’t fair to him.”

‘I can hear him singing, ‘Hip, hip, hooray for Christmas Vacation.’ I can see him lighting the fireplace. Memories, never to be again.’: A year after husband’s death in plane crash, mom’s advice on surviving grief during holidays

“I can see him turning the thermostat to 68, knowing dang well it’s freezing outside and the heat should be set to 72. I can also see him baking cookies with the kids, and letting them decorate the tree. The problem is, these are simply memories, visualizations of what will never be. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

‘If only the kids would listen and I had time for my marriage.’ I could see what I wanted in the future.’: Woman learns true hope is not found in future endeavors, but is actually ‘derived from what I already have’

”If only my life could keep up with my constantly changing standards and expectations.’ That last one hit me hard. This year, the sweet light of the Christmas tree hasn’t felt so magical. In fact, I’ve been feeling a little hopeless. And it has taken so many empty mornings for me to realize my hope has been misplaced all along.”

‘I carried his ashes. I carried them in a box all over the airport. I didn’t want to put him on the floor. It didn’t feel right.’: Woman’s journey to return her husband’s ashes to his home

“Before we boarded our plane in Atlanta, I took his remains to the exact spot we touched when he flew into Atlanta. I laid the box down on the exact tile we stood on. The captain came by to give his condolences and let us know that he was honored to take him home and that we would get him there as fast as possible. I couldn’t even squeak out a word when he came by. I just nodded and cried.”

‘You are our baby!’ We bought an ornament to remember the special day of becoming Daddy and Papa.’: Dad recalls how meaning of Christmas changed after adopting baby

“I spent Christmas Day staring at Sunset Boulevard, saying to myself, ‘I wish I was back in New Orleans.’ It was my home. And in just 10 years, from that very moment of despair, my husband and I would be welcoming our newborn daughter home. Now, every choice we make revolves around her. Every holiday is about her.”

‘Mom! You’re never going to believe this!’ She knelt beside me. ‘What is it, darlin’?’ I led her to the tree. ‘Look, momma!’ She saw it too.’: Woman reminds us to keep holiday magic alive, even when we’re ‘tired, on 4 hours of sleep’

“Our teacher tasked us with making little wreaths out of mini pretzels. We worked hard on those. I reached in to grab it, and instinctively knew something was wrong. My heart sank. My little eyes filled with tears. My mom said she loved it anyway. I cried myself to sleep, waking the next morning to sounds of Christmas carols from the kitchen. I shuffled towards the Christmas tree. Was it real? Could it be? I ran to the kitchen, tugged on her pants. ‘Well, look at that,’ she gasped, just as surprised as me.”

‘Are you SURE you can afford that?’ My jaw dropped! Oh. No. She. Didn’t.’: Woman’s plea for kindness during holiday season after ‘real-life Pretty Woman’ moment

“Y’all. As if the Christmas season is not already stressful enough…I was minding my business, heading into the store to buy the watch my husband wants, dressed in leggings and a sweatshirt. I wasn’t aware of any ‘mall dress code.’ The salesperson came over. ‘Can I help you?’ I told her what I was looking for. She looked back at me, totally aghast. ‘Are you SURE? You will be caught stealing, you know?’ My jaw dropped.”

‘You didn’t pay your bill for 3 months.’ No need to rub it in, electric company lady. ‘I have a baby up in here!’ I lied.’: Widow hilariously recalls why she forgot to pay the electric bill, lies to cover her tracks

“The lights went off. I was sure I’d see the whole neighborhood dark – it couldn’t just be MY house. I had a $1,500 credit on my electric bill after my husband died. I saw my neighbor’s Christmas display up and running, complete with a tiny robotic carolers singing, ‘Joy to the World,’ while my blow-up Santa lay lifeless in the front yard. ‘Can you just send the technician back?’ She was NOT having it.”

‘I blurted out, ‘Hey! Let’s leave our waitress a $50 tip!?’ The times we have nothing to give are the exact moments we need to.’: Couple erase $54,000 mountain of debt, give back to others for holiday season

“The pit in my stomach was always there. Every day. $54,000 of debt robbed me of a peaceful marriage and filled our lives with fear. We wanted to be the type of people who saved, paid in cash for things. Last week after Christmas shopping, I stopped for an unplanned lunch at a restaurant. Something funny happened when we began to be intentional with our money. I could feel our hearts changing.”

‘My card got declined in the checkout line. I was a new mom with 2 kids under 3. I felt like I could just melt into the floor.’: Mom pays it forward after stranger’s act of kindness

“My two-year-old was asking for bubble gum and chocolate bars. Without missing a beat, the man behind me in line handed the cashier his card. ‘I’ve got it.’ He said. My friend at the cash register was near tears by the end of her shift. I won’t ever forget that day and I doubt she has either.”

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