I’m about to get real everyone. For a long time, Christmas was the one holiday I truly looked forward to, especially as a little girl. Why? … presents! I would selfishly think about all the presents I’d see under the tree that had my name on it. I’d even be hopeful for the many presents I assumed I’d be receiving from other people.

As time went on and I got older, I realized how difficult it is to have presents under the tree when there’s no money to purchase such things, let alone what you specifically want. My family’s financial situation has never been the absolute best, much less during the holidays and I could never understand why.

Now it’s not about me receiving the presents but wanting to spoil those I love with the things they wish for. Let’s be honest, living in today’s world is very tough when you’re not financially stable, so when you come across these special occasions, it makes it difficult to enjoy what is very traditional, right? This Christmas is yet, another year where my family can’t be like most and give out presents the way we truly want to.

At first, it made me very angry. What’s it going to take for us to finally be financially stable and I pray to God for Him to show me what it is that we need to do… But then I got to thinking; maybe we’re focusing too much on the materialistic side of things. Gifts are amazing and we all love them… but what would life be without them?

When purchasing gifts becomes the focal point of the season, we lose focus on what’s truly important.

Joshua Fields Millburn

You’d begin to focus on the essentials like family, humility, joy and love. I realized maybe God doesn’t want me to focus on what’s temporary because those gifts that I desperately want are just that. Temporary. Dispensable. They’ll satisfy my craving for the moment and eventually, they’ll be forgotten.

So to all of you who are struggling with the idea of not being able to give during this Christmas season to your loved ones, believe me, I know the struggle and the heartbreak of not having the ability to do so. But it’s not everything. It took me a long time to realize that. You can still give the the greatest gifts anybody could receive during the Holidays.

The essentials: family, humility, joy and love

Time. love. memories. stories. hospitality. These gifts are endless and they’re timeless. Even food is a great gift! Those generation-old recipes are never just temporary. Don’t focus on what can be bought. We can do this together because even I need the reminder and I think that’s what God has been trying to tell me throughout the years.

I’ll have my moment to spoil myself and my loved ones the way I want to just like you can. But until then, I’ll turn my cravings towards what is indispensable and long-lasting.