I watched my mother over the years do the best she could with what she had. There were years of feast and years of famine for our family. The interesting thing is as children we never felt it at Christmas time!
One year I remember a stroller given to my sister with three wheels. We were told this toy came from Rudolph's land of lost toys and needed someone to love it. I think we played with that stroller more than anything else that year.
This year I realize some of what she and my father must have gone through. I realized this last year when my son turned 1 and it was thus his first Christmas to buy presents for, and begin creating traditions with. Christmas was always a super special time of year growing up and I want to see that for my children too!
The single most important thing I watched my mother do was plan ahead. She has nine children and so the family grew every other year. She started thinking about what she would be doing for the family early in the year.
So this year I followed her example without even realizing it until I have come upon the month of December. I am prepared to give my little boy the best Christmas ever and I have done it with the same sense of love and anticipation that my mother does every year. I love her very much for instilling a love of Christmas in my heart. It is after all Jesus' birth God's ultimate gift to us.