Around this time of year, most people become more generous.  We find joy in purchasing items for loved ones and oftentimes strangers, too.

However, for those who are financially strapped, it can be a depressing time of year. I know this first hand.  I can remember being tempted to skip out on holiday gatherings because I wanted to buy gifts for others, but I simply couldn’t afford to.  I didn’t want to look selfish by not buying anyone else a gift, and I also didn’t want them to know about my financial struggle.  So, sometimes, I bought small items that really didn’t cost much, but I also couldn’t really afford them.  Anything beyond a necessity that puts you below a certain amount is something you can’t afford.

A few weeks ago, I started thinking about what gifts I could give to my siblings as an expression of my appreciation for their support all year. I considered gift cards to their favorite stores and restaurants.  Thought that maybe I should just purchase things I know they’d like.  I may still get them some small items, but the one thing I knew they’d appreciate (because most parents do) is I offered to keep the kids.

In my line of work, I attend many events that aren’t child-friendly. During these times, never once has my family denied me when I asked them to keep my daughter.  There have been times where I’ve kept their children too; but this time, there was a need but not for an event. What parent DOESN’T want a few free hours ahead of Christmas?

So, I’ve had the girls for a few hours. They’ve been a lot of fun, but most importantly, I know my siblings enjoyed their breaks.

If you have a little free time tomorrow, or even after Christmas, give it a try… Well, only if you like kids. If you don’t, don’t even bother. (And don’t feel bad about admitting you don’t really like kids. I didn’t like really care for them until I had one.)