My favorite Christmas memory is from a time when we had very, very little money. We were planning on building a house on our 5 acre property and had moved out of our home that we were selling. In the interim, we moved into my husband's Grandmother's house, who graciously opened her home to us during our "in between" time.
Ben had taken a new job so we could pay our bills after his previous employer had cut his salary by nearly 1/3 due to removing his on-call pay. The new job was with a company that lacked training and organizational structure and he was let go near the end of his probationary status. This was in October. While he looked relentlessly for a new job, his loss was during a time of many cutbacks and a job was hard to find. Our in between time turned into a longer period than we originally expected. By the generosity of his Grandmother and my parents, we were able to make it through, bit by bit.
December came fast and our financial situation did not allow for a frivolous Christmas. Fortunately, little one's list was limited. She wanted Bernie and Pinky (two unicorns I had included in my stories that I told several nights before bed), pajamas and soap (yes, you read that right). We collected pine cones from the yard and painted them to make Christmas trees for her dollhouse. Then we painted more pine cones to decorate the tree with. I bought a large bucket of plaster of paris and we made change holders molded from apples for Christmas gifts. We also got some gifts for Grandmom and put them in a stocking (we found out Grandmom had never gotten a stocking).
On Christmas morning, we went downstairs and prepared to open our gifts. We got Grandmom up (she was a late sleeper) and the look on her face when she saw her stocking was priceless. She went through it ever so patiently, enjoying each item. Little one opened her gifts, of which were few. The last one she opened had the unicorns and the foam soap in it. She went nuts! She was over the moon about having foam soap.