Story: This last year has been a huge financial struggle for me. It's not uncommon as an undergrad college student, but It has been frustrating to get enough work and do well my my classes. When I thought I had finally gotten a hold of my finances, I was yet again struggling to pay my bills. My parents can't help me at all as they are currently filing for bankruptcy. Last Christmas our family had our most modest Christmas where we just did a gift exchange. Despite it all, I wasn't bothered by it. This year it has been even worse. I wasn't even sure I would be able to travel home to my family for the holidays.I committed to stay by myself in my apt. and taking shifts during the break to cover my bills. I was preparing to spend my Christmas away from my family and I expected to receive no gifts. Who would really give me anything?
I was happy when I found out I would have a ride home, but again, I expected that the holiday would be just spending time with family and I was fine with that. I wanted to get my family gifts, but I had no way, and with being harassed by phone calls to collect a medical bill my insurance won't acknowledge, I didn't know how I would ever become financially independent again.
I have felt guilty and frustrated by my lack of money management skills and recently felt strongly about how I need to change and become more responsible.
It was only a few days ago, but I was at my apt and my roommate had just left and I heard a knock on the door. A girl in my complex told me I had a jar sitting on my porch, filled with money and she wanted to make sure I knew. I took it from her and she left and I was just numb for a moment. Among all the pennies were random items, gum, candy and bigger change. As I dug into the jar, I noticed bills and as I pulled out the $20 dollar bills, tears streamed down my cheeks. I was overwhelmed that someone living near me, who I can imagine was also a poor college student would part with so much money. I have felt an immense responsibility to use this precious gift I received. I still don't know the exact amount yet, but I can guess that is over $200.00. After I examined the jar, I noticed the "Christmas Jar" label and began my search. I found the book and read it, hoping I could understand and appreciate this beautiful gift and know how to pass it on to someone else.
Part of the money will cover some of my bills and other financial obligations, but I'm overjoyed at the chance to provide a bit of Christmas to my family when I go back home. I know my dad expects to spend any extra money fixing his truck, and my disabled mother will need to get a knee brace. I can't wait to surprise them!
Whoever gave me this gift, it means so much! Come Jan 1st, I will be filling the jar and passing it on, come next Christmas and beyond.