Jessica walked disconsolately through the stores, looking for that special something to get for her family for Christmas. I just can’t seem to find anything that says it’s from us, at least not that I can afford. Money is just so hard to come by this year. If only Jeff hadn’t been laid off. Why would companies do that, at this time of year, don’t they realize this the most expensive time of the year. Money is short any time, but at Christmas? It just makes me so mad!
I’ve been in so many stores in the last few days I don’t even remember them all. Everything costs too much, and I have too many things to do with not very much money. We’re not even sending out Christmas cards this year. I just can’t afford to buy them and with the extra cost of postage–forget it. It just isn’t going to happen.
Jessica finally gave up hunting and returned home, with a few things she had gotten for Jeff. She carried them in from the car and quickly went in to wrap them, before he got back to the apartment. She knew he was even more discouraged than she was about his not being able to find another job, and she didn’t want him getting upset at seeing her spending even a few dollars for his gifts.
She scrounged in the back of the closet, looking for the paper that was left over from last year, and set about gathering paper, ribbon, and tape. She found the paper, but it had gotten wrinkled, stuffed in the back of a box with several other things. Pulling out the box, she began going through it to see what else she could find. The box was filled with all sorts of debris left from last Christmas, and even the Christmas before, paper, ribbons, old cards from family and friends, a few ornaments that hadn’t gotten packed with the rest of them. Suddenly she had an idea. Her parents had always said it was the thought that counts, not the gift.
Jessica quickly wrapped Jeff’s couple of gifts, set them aside, and then started to work on her idea. The next hour was spent happily cutting and pasting. She was humming carols as she worked.
“Honey, I’m home, where are you?” rang out suddenly. Jeff’s voice sounded as heavy as his footsteps.
“Jeff, come see what I’m doing. I’m having so much fun.”
Jeff walked in and looked at the mess she was making, and then his eyes stopped on the object in the middle. “What is that? It looks like you’re having fun, what ever it is.”
“Oh Jeff, I’m actually getting into the spirit of the season, finally! Look, I’ve taken all of our old cards that we’ve received over the last couple of years, and I’m cutting them up, some of them are so pretty, and they have such wonderful messages. I’m making collages out of them. I haven’t done a collage in years, I’d forgotten how much fun it could be to be so creative, and recycle, at the same time.”
Jeff laughed, enjoying the radiance on her face as she showed him what she was doing.
“Okay, and what are you going to do with this masterpiece when you’re done?”
“Well,” Jessica beamed, “I thought I’d accomplish two things with it. We decided not to send cards out this year, not even to our families, and we can’t really afford to get them gifts. So I thought, if we take these old cards, that say so much about what the season means, and create a piece of art, we can then give both a gift and a card, all in one!”
“I think, judging by the changed atmosphere in here, that you have come up with the perfect solution for sending out Christmas greetings this year. Can I help?”
Jessica handed him a pair of scissors, and pointed to a pile of cards, “have at it.”
The rest of the evening they spent laughing and singing, while busily cutting and gluing. When they were done they had two beautiful collages, one for each family, in the shape of wreaths, with a picture of them in the middle. Each wreath itself was made up of the beautiful pictures and the sayings from all the cards artfully blended together, with a little glitter sprinkled here and there, just adding that final touch of holiday sparkle.
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