A week and a half before Christmas, the CEO of the company I work for announced that we would be closing for the holidays; there would be no Christmas bonuses and to only expect to be paid for Christmas and New Year’s Day. I immediately thought to myself, “What am I going to do?” Christmas has been rough for the past few years and I finally thought I would be able to make up for all of them this year. I didn’t want to let my children down.

The closer we got to Christmas, the more my children began to ask about getting a Christmas tree. Let’s just say I was feeling the pressure and they deserved everything they were asking for. But I knew I just wouldn’t be able to do it. I was requested to work an additional 6-8 hours per week, which I was grateful for. I worked a part-time schedule Monday. I worked out a part-time schedule with their daycare; they would be spending the rest of Christmas break with me.

On Christmas Eve, we woke up and I started washing clothes. Then it hit me, why should we spend our Christmas not surrounded by family. I’m sure the CEO of my company was with his family and enjoying the holidays. Unannounced to my children, I began packing clothes. I was determined to give them the best gift that I could afford, family.

We drove 9 and a half hours to Northern California and enjoyed every minute of it. They were able to spend time with their cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, great-grandmother and they loved it! Who am I kidding? I enjoyed every minute of it. Saying goodbye was the hardest part of our trip but it was worth every minute of that drive and I would do it all over again. And the picture with my sister, cousin and I in our matching shirts was pretty cool.

How did you spend your Christmas?