I was shopping at the dollar store when I saw these kids with their moms. They were running around and causing chaos. The youngest boy kept asking for things and throwing them into the basket. The mom kept saying no, and that the boy already had a toy, and kept putting the things back. Eventually the little brat started crying and mom gave in and put the item in the cart. The same clan was in front of me at the cash register. I noticed that the mom was paying for everything in food stamps. I realized the mom had just bought her kids their Christmas toys with her food stamps. It made me sad. The worst part was, that bratty kid was just like me when I was that age.
It reminded me of the my worst Christmas. My dad had been ill one year and my parents had struggled to pay the rent. Despite the hard times, he had gotten better and back to work in time for them to pay the bills. I guess Christmas had snuck up on them with all the effort they put into saving our home.
There wasn't much money left but my mom realized it was Christmas and took us to town to buy presents. I remember throwing a tantrum at Toy 'R Us because I couldn't have the Cabbage Patch kid (remember when it was impossible to get one) I had been wanting all year. I had no idea the reality of the situation, nor had I the ability to understand just what a brat I was being. Not a Christmas goes by that I don't think about how my mom must have felt and how I wished I had understood.